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Counting Carbs - Please tell me how

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#1
Miss Milly

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I am confused. I need to know how to count carbs.

An example:
'Eat Smart' Baked Beans which I often have for lunch.
Tin is 220g.
Label information:
Carbohydrate= 11.4g per 100g
25.1g per tin
Of which sugars= 2.4g per 100g or 5.3g per tin

So am I eating 25.1carbs here? Is there something I am not seeing on tins or looking at incorrectly?
Some people here are saying they only eat very few carbs a day, well even this small tin of beans seems very high to me!

#2
Thuff

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For one you want to take the fiber in the beans and subtract that from the carb totals, also if anything contains sugar alcohols you do the same. You'll hear about the Glycemic Index (GI) but more important then that is the glycemic load which takes in account the foods number on the GI scale and it's net carbs.

#3
Subby

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Yes, you seem to be identifying the correct carb total. It is not sugars, but total carbs. When people say they eat very low carb, chances are that navy beans don't figure heavily on their menu! Some foods are high in carbs, others have none or very little. If you wish to eat low or lower carb, you will need to choose your foods accordingly.

I think in the UK fibre will not show up as carbs on the label, anyway. In the US, it does, as a certain technical reading is that fibre is a carb (but it usually doesn't act like one). So unless fibre is listed under carbohydrates, don't follow the common US advice, to subtract it from total carbs.
20 years T1. NPH and Novorapid.
Some essentials for my blood sugar control: dosing via i:c ratio and cf • basal testing when needed • daily 40 minutes moderate exercise (or close) • carbs somewhere below 120g currently • only eating carbs and carb/fat combos that do not cause a problem spike, with or without insulin.

#4
davef

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Just look at the total carbs, you can if you wish subtract the fibre which is often listed separately. To be honest I don't subtract the fibre so as to err in the side of caution (it means I over estimate the carbs) BUT I'm not currently on insulin so I don't have to match rapid insulin to carbs.

Beans are often high in carbs, for people who try keep total carbs per meal down around 30g, half that tin would represent one third of what they allow themselves so they would probably steer clear of them.

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By Endurance, we conquer - Shackleton Family Motto
Insulin resistance is futile - I will win - me

Metformin 3000mg daily, Enap 5mg, Victoza 1.8mg, Lantus (currently 50u)
Diagnosed T2 on 26th Nov'07, with FBG of 21mmol/L (378mg/dL) and A1c of 11.6%.

 

A1c

Most recent 08/09/14: 8.2% (down 3.4%)

20/11/13: 11.6%


#5
Subby

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I think the subtracting fibre thing only applies with US labels, because they list the fibre as part of total carbs. If it is not listed as part of total carbs, no need to subtract it. But, keep an eye on each label, it may be that you get US derived goods with US labels...
20 years T1. NPH and Novorapid.
Some essentials for my blood sugar control: dosing via i:c ratio and cf • basal testing when needed • daily 40 minutes moderate exercise (or close) • carbs somewhere below 120g currently • only eating carbs and carb/fat combos that do not cause a problem spike, with or without insulin.

#6
Miss Milly

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Ok, thanks.

Also it is interesting that the glycaemic index consists of foods tested on non-diabetics - but it is all we have to go on I suppose. We just have to test individually to see the effect on each of us.

#7
Miss Milly

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So 'total carb' is the thing I need to take note of. I did actually wonder if the sugars were the relevant bit.

#8
Subby

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Yep to both points. Total carbs, basically forget the sugars. In terms of avoiding overly processed and/or "sugary" foods, you will be able to get a basic idea from the actual food, the ingredients, and from your reaction to it.

My take on the GI index is that it may point you in the right direction of carbs that you tolerate better, but your tester can and will tell you the reality and it may be different to what the GI index says.
20 years T1. NPH and Novorapid.
Some essentials for my blood sugar control: dosing via i:c ratio and cf • basal testing when needed • daily 40 minutes moderate exercise (or close) • carbs somewhere below 120g currently • only eating carbs and carb/fat combos that do not cause a problem spike, with or without insulin.

#9
Miss Milly

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oh my god so that shows just how little the amount of carbs is that many of us have to limit to! I thought a small tin on a small slice of wholemeal toast (about 10g carbs) was a very nice low carb lunch.

#10
Subby

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Well a 30g meal may still be part of a relatively low carb day compared to a typical 300g a day diet... it depends how low carb you want to go. You need to work out what and why you are aiming for x amount of carbs a day...
20 years T1. NPH and Novorapid.
Some essentials for my blood sugar control: dosing via i:c ratio and cf • basal testing when needed • daily 40 minutes moderate exercise (or close) • carbs somewhere below 120g currently • only eating carbs and carb/fat combos that do not cause a problem spike, with or without insulin.

#11
Miss Milly

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yes in the end, the meter rules.

It is actually quite hard when you are in a busy supermarket to buy low carb. Lots of tinned soups give the carb count for half the tin, as they assume that consists of one serving. What a con! Most people will not have half a tin surely? Not until they get diabetic I suppose...

#12
Miss Milly

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Well so far I estimate that I should certainly keep it under 100 carbs a day.
What about the carbs in an apple - do I have to consider them just the same as something in a tin? Sounds daft but I just thought an apple is such a healthy thing it almost does not count. I thought the fibre has such a good effect in it that it does not affect the blood sugar very much - of course now I know about fructose being important too.

You know, I consider myself of at least average normal intelligence and yet I struggle with this.

#13
Miss Milly

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Ok, I have done what I always do when I am determined about something. I have ordered a book from Amazon.
It is the Collins Gem Carb Counter and has several good reviews. I need to count carbs accurately as soon as possible, I am determined to maintain strong control of this whole thing!

#14
davef

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Milly,

For me, fruit is really something to work on with your meter rather than checking carbs. Personally, I find that I can't tolerate apples at all, others can munch away happily. Best thing is to test, then eat only the apple, then test again (after 1,2 and maybe 3 hours) to see if the apple causes a spike.

We all struggle, at the beginning especially, managing diabetes can be complicated and at times things happen for which we cannot find a reason, if that happens shrug your shoulders and move on. The "beauty" of diabetes is that it's consistently inconsistent, all we can do is our best and to keep learning.

I'm 4 years into this and have a few "bumps and scrapes" to show for it, but all I can do is keep on keeping on. So don't be hard on yourself.

0F869DE117BBAE6820F3DD49C762BF1A.png

By Endurance, we conquer - Shackleton Family Motto
Insulin resistance is futile - I will win - me

Metformin 3000mg daily, Enap 5mg, Victoza 1.8mg, Lantus (currently 50u)
Diagnosed T2 on 26th Nov'07, with FBG of 21mmol/L (378mg/dL) and A1c of 11.6%.

 

A1c

Most recent 08/09/14: 8.2% (down 3.4%)

20/11/13: 11.6%


#15
sumi

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It is difficult at first. Many things that we have been brought up believing to be healthy are not great for anyone (not just diabetics). Fruit juices are a great example, I would no longer give my grandchildren endless amounts. A small amount of actual fruit is a much better choice. Whether or not you can handle beans will vary by type of bean as well as your own body. The fibre in fruit and beans slows the absorption of the sugars (converted carbs) into your bloodstream. Fat does the same thing. You will need to be a bit compulsive for a time, but soon your carb radar will be up and running.
Susan
DX Dec4/08 FBG 19(342)
Dec4 /08 A1C 10.9
Feb.4/09 A1C 7.6
may4 /09 A1C 5.2:D
Sept 4/09 A1C 5.4
Dec 7/09 A1C 5.2
2010 A1C average 5.4
2011 A1C average 5.5
Current meds: 1500mg metformin, 5 mg ramipril, Victoza
Low carb- started at < 50 , now can handle 100

#16
Miss Milly

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Very wise.
I have made a big decision today actually. Yesterday I was wondering how on earth to raise my protein levels higher by eating vegetarian. Today I talked to my husband, who had found it very hard that I became vegetarian this year along with now diabetes. I have decided to include chicken from now on. Suddenly we can share favourite dishes again - like stirfries. So if I eat chicken, fish, eggs but otherwise no other meats, I think I can live with that. I feel guilty though, like I have sold out my ethics. But I am doing this to get my diet right. Cutting carbs is hard, you have to have replacements in your food, and protein will help keep those numbers down - I think people on here will agree?

#17
jwags

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The general rule is to look at the Total carbs on the label . Then figure out what size portion you are eating. Many time labels are misleading and the serving size is very small. If there are 2 servings in a can and you eat the whole can then you need to double the carbs . People do different things with the fiber. Some subtract it some don't. Depending where you live the fiber may already be deducted from the total. In the US it is not. Not to confuse you more but some carbs with more fiber or fat may digest slower so you won't spike right away but maybe at 3 or 4 hours. This is the case with pasta. So in the beginning it is a good idea to test at 2, 3 and 4 hours to see what your own bg pattern is with differrent carbs. Since we are all different one diabetic can handle 10 carbs a meal, where another can handle 45. So you have to test with your meter. Also you will find you may be more sensitive in the morning than in the afternoon. You need to create a diet that works for you.

metformin 2550 mg
Moderate carb diet 40-75 carbs a day
3 T of Coconut Oil daily

Vit D, CoQ10, Melatonin, Multi vitamin, zinc, B 12
Chia Seeds , Flaxseeds, fish oil, biotin, occuvite and zinc

Exercise- Tennis - 2 hours/week, Power Walking- 2-4 miles most days, Hiking in the summer on trails and in the mountains

diagnosed Feb 2007
Age 64

#18
Peggy_TX

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You might also try livestrong.com site
Go to the food/my plate D section
This will allow you to get into a personal food tracking database, which is customized for diabetics
It contains the nutritional infor for all sorts of "standard" for products, and you can use it to track you carb intake over time (as well as tracking your meter readings)
I'm sure there are other similar sites... But it's nice to be able to track your carb consumption over time (and for entire meals), rather than looking up each food individually.

Type 2 /Dx: 12-01-10
A1C= 10.2 on 12-01-10
5.6 on 04-10-11
6.1 on 10-06-11
5.8 on 04-28-12
6.2 on 10-29-12
5.7 on 04-26-13
5.7 on 11-05-13

6.0 on 05-20-14

Metformin ER 1000 2x/day
Lisinopril HCTZ 10/12.5mg
Diet: ModCarb (60-80g/day)
Control occasional spikes with insulin (Humalog Kwikpen)


#19
modcarb

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Miss Milly,
I eat apples and other fruits. However I always eat protein and a bit of fat when I do. I eat an apple with almond or peanut butter or cheese with it.
For breakfast this morning I had 1/2 grapefruit with my eggs.
The key is getting the balance you and your meter like.
Did you test before you had the tin of beans with your toast? Then you want to test at 2 hours afterward. This will tell you if that is a good meal for you.

#20
Miss Milly

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I like the thought that my carb radar will develop over time. I had no idea that we have to think in such detail. Never again can I tuck into a big plateful of lovely food followed by a pudding covered in cream. Oh the thought of it. I have decided that when I go out I will just have a taste of my husband's or someone else's. I dare not let myself even think about eating a whole one - I mean, what on earth would my meter think about that? It would freak out and start jumping up and down in rage before registering a very nasty number indeed...




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