Category: Carb Counting

For a little practice, here is the carbohydrate breakdown for the four meals and two snacks I’ve had so far. Remember that my goal is 45-60 grams carb (3-4 carb portions) per meal and 15 grams carb (1 carb portion) per snack:

Monday Dinner


3 oz meatloaf = 15 g carb (1 carb portion)

1 small dinner roll = 15 g carb (1 carb choice)

1/2 c. mashed potatoes = 15 g carb (1 carb choice)

1/3 c. cooked carrots = 7 g carb

1 c. green salad = 0 g carb

1 Tbsp light blue cheese dressing = 0 g carb

Total carbs = 52 grams carb  (3.5 carb portions)



Tuesday Breakfast

whole wheat English muffin = 30 g carb (2 carb portions)

1 Tbsp fresh ground peanut butter = 2.5 g carb

1/2 medium banana = 15 g carb (1 carb portion)

green tea (with my awesome Mr. Tea infuser!) with Stevia = 0 g carb

Total carbs = 47.5 grams (3 carb portions)








Tuesday Morning Snack

3/4 oz pretzels = 15 grams carb (1 carb portion)





Tuesday Lunch

img_0759                       2 slices whole wheat bread = 30 g carb (2 carb portions) 3 oz. turkey deli meat = 0 g carb

1 slice cheddar cheese = 0 g carb

2 leaves lettuce = 0 g carb

2 slices tomatoes = 0 g carb

1 Tbsp light mayo = 0 g carb

1 tsp Dijon mustard = 0 g carb

1 medium apple = 28 g carb (2 carb portions)

                                                                                         Total carbs = 58 grams (4 carb portions)





Tuesday Afternoon Snack

6 oz. light yogurt = 16 grams carb (1 carb portion)









Tuesday Dinner

1 c. chili w/lean ground beef = 22 g carb (1.5 carb portions)

1 oz. cornbread = 15 g carb (1 carb portion)

1 c. green salad = 0 g carb

1 Tbsp light ranch dressing = 0 g carb

1 Tbsp fat free sour cream = 0 g carb

1 Tbsp Smart Balance spread = 0 g carb




And I had plenty of carbs left so I topped it off with a square of Ghirardelli dark chocolate (7 g carb)!

Total Carbs = 44 grams carb (3 carb portions)




So far, so good! The food has been tasty and filling, and I haven’t felt restricted. I’m loving the flexibility of this meal plan!

Comment if you have any questions about how the carb counting works (or about anything else)!


Carb Counting

Check out this haul from my first grocery shopping trip for Carb Counting!


Yes, we drink a LOT of milk at our house.
Yes, we drink a LOT of milk at our house.

I think I’m going to like this particular meal plan that I am using because it offers more flexibility than other meal plans I have used in the past. It gives lists of sample breakfasts, lunches/dinners, and snacks and allows me to pick and choose the ones I like, as well as repeat meals to use leftovers, which definitely helps with some of the issues I have with meal plans in general (which I described here).

So I thought I’d start out by describing what carb counting is all about. As described here, eating too many carbohydrates at one time can raise blood sugar too high for someone with diabetes. First thing’s first: which foods have significant amounts of carbohydrates?

  • breads and grains like rice, pasta, and oats
  • beans and legumes
  • starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas, and corn
  • milk and yogurt
  • fruit and fruit juice
  • sweeteners like sugar, brown sugar, agave, syrup, honey and sugary beverages like soda and sports drinks

These are the foods we primarily “count” as we count carbohydrates. The specific goal for carbohydrate intake varies between individuals based on height, weight, gender, activity levels, and blood sugar control goals. If you have diabetes and don’t know how many carbohydrates you should eat, find a Registered Dietitian who can help you find out.



For me, my goal is going to be 45-60 grams of carbohydrate per meal and 15 grams of carbohydrate per snack, as well as meeting the recommended activity goal of 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week (This can really help blood sugars!)

To help make carb counting easier, something called a “carbohydrate portion” or a “diabetes portion” was introduced. This is basically the amount of any carbohydrate food that contains 15 grams of carbohydrate.

As you can see by my carbohydrate counting goals, they are in multiples of 15 grams. So basically, at meals I can select 3-4 “carbohydrate portions” and at snacks I can choose 1. I can then fill in the gaps with non-carbohydrate foods like meat, eggs, cheese, vegetables, nuts, or seeds.

Carb counting can be tricky, but with some practice, awareness, and strategy, most people with diabetes find that they can live a relatively “normal” food life. I’ll see if I can make it happen in these three weeks and, if so, hopefully I can pass some useful info on to you!


Carb Counting

No matter how you say it, it’s serious. Diabetes is common and can wreak havoc on someone’s body, so I’m more than happy to spend some time focusing on this condition and how to manage blood sugars by counting carbohydrates.

For anyone who is looking for a review of what carbohydrates are or what they do in the body, check out this post. Carbs are the numero uno focus when it comes to managing diabetes and reducing risk of complications.

To understand how diabetes works, let’s go back to the house/insulin key/sugar explanation I wrote about here. Check it out because my upcoming explanation will likely not make sense if you’re not in on the metaphor. Let’s also bring my highly sophisticated representative drawing back for a second look:


 In people with diabetes, the sugar people are not able to get into the house, causing a buildup of sugar people in the streets. They get crowded and angry and start flipping cars, breaking windows, and rioting all over the place. It makes for a pretty hostile environment.



This buildup of sugar people in the streets typically happens for one of three reasons:

  1. The person has an autoimmune condition that prevents the body from being able to make insulin keys at all. This is called Type 1 diabetes.
  2. The person’s locks are all rusty and take a long time to open. While the lock and key are fumbling around, sugar people build up in the street. This happens for a variety of reasons including genetics, obesity, stress, and inflammation, among others. This is called Type 2 diabetes.
  3. The person’s locks are temporarily rusty because of the effects of hormones associated with pregnancy. This is called Gestational diabetes and most of the time it goes away after the baby is delivered, though it does increase a woman’s risk of having type 2 diabetes later in life.


In order to keep there from being too many angry sugar people in the blood, nutrition recommendations include portioning total amounts of carbohydrates eaten at one time. In other words, we send sugar people into the street single file all polite-like rather than stampeding en masse. That is why, in support of my patients and anyone with diabetes, I will be counting and moderating intake of carbohydrates at each meal and snack starting on Monday. We’ll also be going over more specifics about what types of foods are carbohydrates.

There are several other things we can do to help keep the sugar people from building up and rioting – look for more info in upcoming posts!


Carb Counting How Your Body Works

So, which diet did you choose for Dietitian on a Diet to follow next?


Carb counting for diabetes! That means I’ll be keeping on eye on the types of foods that break down into…*gasp*…SUGAR!!! I’m looking forward to this one for a few reasons:

  1. Diabetes is really common. Scary common. According to the American Diabetes Association, as of 2012 9.3% of the population had diabetes, and about 8.1 million of those were undiagnosed. With nearly 1 in 10 Americans having diabetes, chances are very high you know several people with diabetes.
  2. There are a lot of misconceptions about eating for diabetes. For some reason, the message has come across that eating for diabetes is very restrictive and the portions are teensy. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be that hard. It takes intention and awareness, but it’s not a death sentence for your tastebuds. Promise.
  3. Sugar is the root of all evil. Or so a lot of people say. Therefore, foods that break down into sugar must be evil. Or so a lot of people say. We’ll definitely address that while I’m on this diet.


I’ll be delving into this diet starting Monday – stay tuned if you’re interested in learning how to live with (or support someone who lives with) diabetes!


Carb Counting