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Miss Milly

Counting Carbs - Please tell me how

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Sometimes it's not just what you eat but what you eat it with. If I eat a piece of bread by itself or some candy odds are good I'll spike bad. If I eat the bread along with a hamburger patty and green beans I won't spike as much, in part due to the fat. If I ate the candy following the meal I wouldn't spike so much either as it'd slow down absorption.

 

Eating beans and toast is eating carbs and carbs. Odd but some people spike less adding something to it that isn't carbs even if the carbs remain the same.

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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...

 

He-he :D.

I don't think you must be so drastic. And pudding is OK if you make it yourself low carb. I eat chia chocolate pudding almost every day and it looks like it actually HELPS me to lower my BG! I also found that it is better to ADD some fat instead of subtracting it and why to be afraid of cream? I whip some cream with Stevia and cocoa powder and it’s absolutely delicious dessert, which does NOT spike me! And while eating those things I didn’t gain any weight, lost some and so did my husband, who adheres to the same diet!

Of course overeating is never a good idea, but I found out that eating much more than I do now as long as I watch my carbs wasn’t a big problem BG wise and weight wise for me. (Read my Travel report thread). But YMMV and all that - work with your meter and your scale.

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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...

If you focus on the "never again can I have xxx" you are really likely to be miserable, and eventually fail.

I focused on all the "new" stuff that I could try.

And, when my A1C was down to a "good" level, I asked my doctor for rapid-insulin.

Now I can have the OCCASIONAL dessert, "bad" dinner choice, delicious meal out with friends, etc etc WITHOUT raising my blood sugar to a really bad level.

Some people do that anyway and either just say "occasional spikes are ok" or they beat themselves up for failure..... I opt to plan for the higher carbs and control them with the insulin. Then it's MY option to have or not have something.

Doesn't work for everyone, but it's something to consider down the road.... You WILL have to monitor your eating -- but you do NOT have to give up your favorite treats "forever" or even feel guilty when you have them!!!

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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!

 

For a low carb diet, most legumes are no longer part of the diet. Many people have a difficult time with the concept that eating beans are not beneficial to people with metabolic disorders.

 

For my own diet, I no longer eat any legumes. Some folks can handle it in moderation. YMMV.

 

Most of us can agree on this final point -- If you do decide to eat any legumes, please eat only fresh and natural legumes. Legumes that come out of can often are processed with chemicals or other items (like HFCS) that are not healthy for you. Please only eat fresh and natural items, that you have prepared, so you know what you eating! You body will thank you for it.....

 

BTW....I found it humorous that this can of beans was called "EAT SMART".....for me, there was nothing smart about this choice!:D

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there are many low carb deserts you can enjoy.

 

I eat a small amount of beans, ( like half a cup, measured) on occasion, but I cook them myself, & they are also undercooked, & I find this satisfies my bean craving, without affecting my BG control. There is a balance for all of us, but it is unique to each individual. Once you know your body better, it will become easier. Good luck.

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