Carb Counting to help manage diabetes! About a year and half ago, my husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. His blood sugar numbers were too high… over 230 (which was really high for him). (Please note that I am NOT an expert about diabetes and anything I share here is just what we are doing to help him. Please contact your health care provider for more specific information.) We use diet control, prescription medicine, and exercise to manage his blood sugar levels at this time. This may change and if it does, we will change with it! (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
When he was first diagnosed, his physician suggested that he lose weight to help with these issues and he also recommended that we take nutrition classes to help with controlling the diabetes with his diet. I am happy to report that he has lost over 20 pounds and his blood sugar numbers stay fairly steady as long as he watches what he eats.
Learning Carb Counting
We started out our learning process with the nutrition classes that were provided by our local hospital (check to see if there are costs for this service – sometimes there is!). We learned basic nutrition and what to look for as it related to diabetes. They also covered exercise and medications for living with diabetes.
The most important tool that we learned to use was carb counting to help manage his diabetes. Simply put: most foods contain carbohydrates and if they are managed well they can and should be a part of a balanced diet even for a diabetic. For instance, the recommend amount of carbs for an average man per meal is 45-60 carbs and 15-30 carbs for each snack, The guidelines for an average women is 30-45 carbs per meal and 15-30 per snack. So we started by writing out every meal that he usually eats and then making changes to fit the above guidelines. We did this by reading the nutrition labels on each food. It was a little painful at first, but it didn’t take us long to get in the routine of it.
Reading Nutrition Labels
Here is a nutrition label for his bread:
Note that each slice of bread has 11 grams of carbs per slice means that his sandwich for lunch is 22 carbs for bread alone. Then he can add other ingredients as fits with his guidelines.
Here is a nutrition label for a can of Chunky Sirloin Burger with Country Vegetables Soup:
Note that the carb count is 18 grams of carbs per serving; however, the can of soup is two servings. So if he eats the whole can (and he will) then the carb count for this is 36 grams of carbs which fits for a meal for him. He will add cheese(protein) and maybe a small piece of fruit to round out this meal.
The next thing we learned was that he needs to balance each meal and snack with a carb and a protein. As long as he does this regularly, it has really helped keep his numbers in line.
We definitely have had to make lifestyle changes but he is doing really well with it now. We are very blessed that his is controllable with medication, diet, and exercise. I know that some of you are dealing with it much more severely than this and my heart goes out to you. I know it is a daily battle. My hope was to just share one thing that is working for us right now.