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Your spare change, the minutes, your blessings: You probably count many things in your daily life. Try tallying just one more — carbohydrates.
Carb counting is a type of meal planning that may help you control your blood glucose. New studies in the journals Diabetes Care and Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome suggest that counting carbs may improve blood glucose levels, trim your waist and help you feel better if you have Type 1 diabetes, though further research is needed. It may also help people with Type 2 diabetes.
Follow these carb counting steps to help control your diabetes.
Step 1: Set Your Limits
Carbohydrates are found in a wide variety of foods, including grains, fruits and dairy, which your body quickly converts into glucose. By counting carbs you can keep blood glucose spikes in check.
Work with your diabetes care team, specifically with a certified diabetes educator, to determine your maximum number of carbs per meal target. This target is individualized depending on multiple factors such as activity level, medications and weight goals.
Step 2: Track Your Intake
Each time you eat a meal or snack, note the carbohydrates you consume. Monitor how close you are to your limit.
How many carbs does each food contain? For packaged foods, the label clearly states the amount of carbohydrates you are eating per serving. For others, you'll have to calculate.
There are about 15 grams of carbs in:
This article is a correction to the "Count Carbs to Control Diabetes" article found on page 4 of the Fall 2012 issue of Living Well, which incorrectly stated the amount of carbs needed per meal.
Find a San Diego Endocrinologist
To find a Sharp Rees-Stealy doctor, search for a San Diego endocrinologist or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
For More Diabetes Information
To learn more about Sharp Rees-Stealy's diabetes services, visit Diabetes and Disease Programs at Sharp Rees-Stealy. To find general information about diabetes, visit San Diego Diabetes Care in Sharp System Services, Diabetes Care in Adult Health or read the Diabetes News archive.
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