Carbohydrate Counting

In a way this is similar to the exchange diet, in that you are given a certain amount of carbohydrates per meal but can eat any type of carb you like as long as the number of grams per meal is correct. There is no restriction on the amount of protein or fat but you have to remember that some of these may have carbs in them and factor that into your overall carb count.

This seems to be the diet of choice of the Canadian Diabetes Association.

How do I find out how many grams of carbs there are in my food? There are various ways of doing this.

1. ‘Nutrition facts’ labels are found on most shop bought foods. Just remember that these often list carbs per weight e.g. 6.2 carbs per 100grams. You will need to work out what amount of the food fits in with your meal plan and work out how much it weighs and how many carbs there are in that quantity.

Also remember to subtract the amount of fibre from the total carbohydrates. Fibre is a carb but it does not have any effect on your bg so can be discounted.

2. There are also a number of programs on the internet that will help you work this out. Most require you to buy them but some will allow you a free download for a trial period. E.g. Free Use Carb Counter

Disadvantages

These are that you have to do quite a lot of ‘working out’ to get a precise idea of the number of grams of carbohydrates there are in each of your foods, made worse if you are eating a pre-made meal at a friends or in a restaurant.

You will also need to get accurate measurements, which can be a nuisance after a while, plus include the purchase of good scales and measuring cups.

Also, be sure to match apples with apples, it is no good weighing in ounces when the nutritional information is in grams, (this scenario is not impossible in the modern age of international food sales), unless you are really good at conversions. And on that note, do not forget to get a calculator!

As you do not count proteins and fats there is every chance that you will not loose weight on this diet.

Advantages

This is a useful diet for those on insulin. If at first you need to be very consistent in the amount of carbs you eat at each meal daily but you will eventually be able to adjust your insulin needs to that of your carb intake. It allows you to balance your insulin with the food you eat but does involve careful working out of what carbs you are going to eat and what their effect on your bg’s is.