What is Carbohydrate Counting?
Foods containing carbohydrate have the greatest effect on blood glucose (sugar) compared to foods containing protein or fat. Carbohydrate counting is a method of calculating grams of carbohydrate consumed at meals and snacks and matching insulin requirements to the amount of carbohydrate that is eaten or drank. Carbohydrate counting is an extremely useful method of meal planning for individuals who require insulin to treat their diabetes.
At the Mater Private Diabetes Centre we offer a program specifically designed to train and support you in this technique.
Our program provides a greater understanding of carbohydrates and how they affect blood glucose levels, giving you greater freedom with your food while still achieving good diabetes control.
You will learn what foods contain carbohydrates, how many servings of carbohydrate containing foods you should select for meals and snacks and how to calculate the required insulin dose for that meal or snack, all of which help to control your blood glucose and achieve your weight goals.
Counting Carbohydrates can take a while to become competent at and requires patience and diligence, and for some time it will be necessary to measure foods.
The programme consists of 3 sessions delivered by the Dietitian and Diabetes Nurse.
Session 1 – Assessment & Learning
- Assessment of your understanding and management of your diabetes.
- An individual session with the dietician for review of your diet, intensive education in carbohydrate counting and insulin. Advice on alcohol and exercise.
- Telephone contact to monitor and advice on accuracy of carbohydrate counting, insulin doses and assessment of blood glucose levels.
Session 2 – Progress Review
- Review of carbohydrate counting, insulin calculations for meals, blood glucose levels.
- Advice on daily management, how to troubleshoot for hypo and hyperglycaemia.
Session 3 – Fine Tuning
- Review of diet and accuracy of carbohydrate counting.
- Fine tuning for exercise.
- Discussion of any day to day issues of concern