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Online learning resources for diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and nutrition.
Diabetes 101: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels, and your diet.
Diabetes 201: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugars, and your diet.
Asthma 101: Learn more about asthma and dealing with shortness of breath.
Hypertension 101: Learn more about hypertension and managing your blood pressure.
Nutrition 101: Learn more about improving your nutrition and diet

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Diabetes

Lesson 1 - Carbohydrate Counting



Planning meals the carb counting way

As we mentioned, your dietician or Certified Diabetes Educator should work with you to develop a meal schedule and assign a certain amount of carbohydrate to each meal and snack. You may end up with a plan that resembles the one below, give or take some snacks:

Meal/Time

Carbohydrate

Meal/Time

Carbohydrate

Breakfast

(time:______)

grams

Snack

(time:______)

grams

Snack

(time:______)

grams

Dinner

(time:______)

grams

Lunch

(time:______)

grams

Snack

(time:______)

grams

Your goal is to distribute your carbohydrate grams in a relatively even fashion through out the day (forget about saving all of your allotted carbohydrate for a pint of ice cream at midnight!). For example, if you and your dietician determine that you need 170 grams of carbohydrate each day, the following breakdown would be reasonable and would provide good glucose control throughout the day:

Meal

Carbohydrate

Carb Servings

Food Example

Breakfast

45 grams

3 servings

  • 1/2 cup cereal
  • 1 cup milk
  • small banana
  • coffee/tea

Snack

17.5 grams

1 serving

  • 6 crackers and cheese

OR

  • a small muffin

Lunch

45 grams

3 servings

  • 2 slices of bread
  • lunch meat
  • mustard or low-fat mayonnaise
  • iced tea or sugar-free drink
  • small apple

Dinner

45 grams

3 servings

  • Broiled fish or chicken
  • 1/3 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetable
  • 1/2 cup pudding
  • sugar-free drink, coffee or tea

Snack

17.5 grams

1 serving

  • 1-1/4 cup of strawberries

OR

  • 2 rice cakes with peanut butter

Notice that the three main meals all contain the same amount of carbohydrate (45 grams) which equals three carbohydrate units or exchanges of 15 grams each. The snacks contain 17.5 grams, but can be counted simply as one carbohydrate unit of 15 grams. The same goes for dairy products with 12 grams. Since the exchange lists show carbohydrate in serving sizes containing roughly 15 grams each, it is advisable to just use that serving size instead of trying to guess how many apples and fractions of apples would equal 17.5 grams of carbohydrate!

Mayonnaise and mustard are not counted as they have little effect on glucose levels. Peanut butter and cheese— both fats and proteins, as well as meat and fish — both proteins, are not counted as they do little to alter blood glucose levels. Likewise, sugar-free drinks and desserts, as well as coffee and tea aren't counted. Seasonings and condiments, like ketchup, non-dairy creamer, salsa and unsweetened cocoa are considered "free foods," or those that have little effect on blood glucose.

The best part of this planing system is the flexibility it provides in food choices. This means that technically you can eat any of the above choices and count them equally in terms of carbohydrate consumption.

It is still essential to remember, however, that eating a balanced diet is just as important as counting carbohydrates.

Assignment #2

Welcome to the fun zone! This is where you get to test what you've learned in a fun interactive game. What are you doing reading this? Go click on the game link and have some fun!

All finished? Good job. We hope that it helped you to understand meal planning with carbohydrate counting more thoroughly.

Assignment #3 (You're almost done!)

So, you made it through the lesson. Good job SavvyScholar! Just for kicks, try the quiz again to show yourself just how much you learned.

Did you improve your score? If so — grea


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