Carbohydrate Counting Handbook Table of Contents



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Carbohydrate Counting Handbook


Table of Contents


Page


Introduction…………………………………………………………………………2

Why count carbohydrates? ……………………………………………………… 2

Healthy Eating Guidelines ………………………………………………………..2

Is this food a carbohydrate, protein, or fat? …………………………………….3

Diabetic Food Guide Pyramid…………………………………………………….4

Reading Food Labels……………………………………………………………...5

Measuring Serving Sizes…………………………………………………………. 6

Sources of Carbohydrate………………………………………………………….7-8

Sources of Protein/Fat……………………………………………………………..9

Sugar-free versus Carbohydrate-free……………………………………………10

Snacks………………………………………………………………………………11


Free Foods………………………………………………………………………….12

Low Carb Foods……………………………………………………………………13

Guidelines for Dining Out………………………………………………………… 14

Fast Food Facts…………………………………………………………….......... 15-16

Exercise Guidelines………………………………………………………………. 17-18

Heart Healthy Low-Fat Diet Guidelines………………………………………… 19-20

Sick Day Guidelines………………………………………………………………. 21

Sources of Carbohydrate Quiz…………………………………………………... 22

Sources of Carbohydrate Quiz (Answer Key)…………………………………..23

Meal Planning Quiz……………………………………………………………….. 24

Meal Planning Quiz (Answer Key)……………………………………………... 25

Your Carbohydrate Meal Plan…………………………………………………… 26

Keeping a Food Diary…………………………………………………………….. 27
Important Phone Numbers……………………………………………………….. 28

Carbohydrate Counting Resources………………………………………………29

Additional Resources to Help You .……………………………………………...30

Introduction

The eating regimen for someone with diabetes is a healthy way of eating from which the entire family can benefit. This handbook will provide you with the basic survival skills to count carbohydrates while eating a healthy diet.




Why Count Carbohydrates???

Food is made up of many different nutrients:



  • Carbohydrate

  • Protein

  • Fat

  • Vitamins and minerals

  • Water

  • Fiber

Our bodies need a little bit of each of these nutrients. But, when someone has diabetes they need to pay close attention to the amount of carbohydrate that they consume. Carbohydrate is the nutrient that breaks down to sugar in our bodies as we digest it. Our bodies use carbohydrate for energy. In order to utilize that energy, however, insulin must be available to carry sugar (glucose) into cells. Because people with diabetes have impaired insulin production and/or utilization, sugar can build up in their blood, causing hyperglycemia, if they take in too much carbohydrate at one time. This is why it is very important to count the grams of carbohydrate in the foods that you eat. It will allow you to control your diabetes better by eating the correct amount of carbohydrates for the amount of insulin that your doctor prescribes. Carbohydrates and insulin are a balancing act.




Healthy Eating Guidelines

Guidelines for meal planning:



  • Eat a variety of foods to make sure your diet is well balanced.

  • Limit intake of sweets, fats, and salt to make your diet healthier.

  • Increase intake of fiber.

  • Eat meals and snacks at the same time each day.

  • Eat the same amount of carbohydrates at meals and snacks.


Is this food a carbohydrate, protein, or fat?

Now that you will be counting carbohydrates, you will need to determine if the food that you are eating contains carbohydrates. If any food contains more than 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving you will need to include it in your meal plan. Foods can be a combination of “carbohydrate, protein, and/or fat”. You can use the food guide pyramid to help you determine if a food is a carbohydrate, protein, or fat, or a combination.


Carbohydrate Group:

Protein Group:



  • Beef, pork, poultry, fish

  • Eggs, cheese

  • Nuts

  • Tofu

Fat Group:



  • Butter

  • Margarine

  • Oils

  • Lard

  • Sour cream

  • Mayonnaise

  • Salad dressings* (see page 9 )


Diabetic Food Guide Pyramid

Reading Food Labels

There are two steps to follow when reading food labels to count carbohydrates:




  1. Look at the serving size for the food. This is located at the top of the label.

  2. Look at the total carbohydrate amount. This is located towards the middle of the label.

These two parts of the label tell you what you need to know. The amount of total carbohydrates listed is for the particular serving size listed. Also keep the following information in mind when reading food labels:




    • “Sugars” reflect both added sugars and those that naturally occur in foods. It is important to look at the total amount of carbohydrate rather than the source.

    • If sugar alcohols are listed on the food label, divide that number by 2 and subtract it from the total carbohydrate. (Sugar alcohols only provide half the calories as sugar.)

    • If dietary fiber is listed on the food label, you can subtract the full amount of fiber from the total carbohydrate. (Fiber is not digested as sugar and therefore, will not have an effect on our blood sugar.)


Measuring Serving Sizes
Measuring the serving size of the items that you are choosing to eat is very important. The total amount of carbohydrates depends on the serving size. Therefore, it is very important that you have measuring cups, spoons, and/or a food scale. The following is a list of descriptions to help you visualize what a serving size might look like, in case measuring cups are not available.

Easy Ways to Estimate Portion Size
3 oz boneless meat = deck of cards

1 oz slice cheese = 3 ½” computer disk

Medium piece of fruit = baseball or tennis ball

2 Tbsp peanut butter = golf ball

¼ cup dried fruit = golf ball

1 pancake = compact disk (CD)



1 serving of chips (1 oz) = 1 small cupped hand









Sources of Carbohydrate
Each item listed with its accompanying serving size contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate or 1 serving(exchange) of carbohydrate.


Breads

1 slice bread

2 slices reduced-calorie bread

1 1oz. dinner roll

½ hamburger/hot dog bun

½ bagel


½ English muffin

1 2 ½ -inch biscuit

1 2-inch cube cornbread

½ 6-inch pita

1 6-inch tortilla

2 6-inch taco shells

1 4 ½ -inch waffle

2 4-inch pancakes

1 slice French toast

1 cup croutons

1/3 cup stuffing, bread (prepared)

Cereals and Grains


½ cereal bar

½ unfrosted poptart or toaster pastry

½ cup bran cereal

¾ cup unsweetened cereal

½ cup sugar-frosted cereal

1 ½ cup puffed cereal

½ cup Shredded Wheat

¼ cup Grape-Nuts

½ cup oats

½ cup cooked cereal (grits, oatmeal)

1/3 cup couscous

3 Tbsp flour (dry)

3 Tbsp cornmeal (dry)

3 Tbsp wheat germ

½ cup pasta (cooked)

1/3 cup rice (white or brown) (cooked)

½ cup rice milk
Starchy Vegetables

½ cup corn

1 corn on cob, 6-inch

½ cup peas

1 3oz potato, plain (baked or boiled)

½ cup mashed potatoes

½ cup yam, sweet potato, plain

1 cup squash, winter (acorn, butternut)

1/3 – 1/2 cup tomato or spaghetti sauce

1 ½ cup vegetable juice



Beans, Peas, and Lentils


1/3 cup baked beans

½ cup beans/peas, cooked (garbanzo, pinto, kidney, white, split, black-eyed)

2/3 cup lima beans

½ cup lentils, cooked



Crackers and Snacks


7 saltine crackers

15-20 tortilla or potato chips

24 oyster crackers

8 animal crackers

3 2-½ -inch square graham crackers

¾ oz pretzels

¼ - ½ soft pretzel

3 cups popped popcorn

2 4-inch rice cakes

½ cup chow mein noodles

3 cheese or peanut butter crackers

43 Goldfish crackers

21 Cheese Nips
Milk and Yogurt

1 cup (8 oz) milk (skim, 1%, 2%, whole)

½ cup (4 oz) chocolate milk

¾ cup (6 oz) plain, low-fat yogurt

½ cup evaporated milk

1/3 cup nonfat dry milk

1 cup goat’s milk


More Sources of Carbohydrate
Each item listed with its accompanying serving size contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate or 1 serving(exchange) of carbohydrate.


Fruit

½ cup canned fruit (unsweetened, in its own juice)

½ cup applesauce (unsweetened)

1 small banana (4½ inch)

1 small apple, orange

15 small grapes

1 ¼ cup strawberries, whole

1 ¼ cup watermelon (cubed)

1 cup cantaloupe, honeydew, papaya (cubed)

2 Tbsp raisins

¼ cup dried fruit

½ cup juice (apple, orange, grapefruit, pineapple)

1/3 cup juice (grape, cranberry, prune, blends)

Combination/Other Food

½ cup Ice cream


½ cup Ice cream, no added sugar

1/3 - 1/2 cup frozen yogurt

¼ cup sherbet

½ cup pudding, sugar-free

1- inch square cake, frosted

2- inch square cake, unfrosted

½ Doughnut, plain cake

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp regular syrup

1 Tbsp light syrup

1 Tbsp jam, jelly

3 Tbsp ketchup

½ cup jello, regular

1/3 – 1/2 slice, medium pizza




Fibrous Vegetables

Each item listed contains about 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving.

What is a serving of fibrous vegetables? ½ cup cooked OR 1 cup raw


Artichoke/artichoke hearts

Asparagus

Beans (green, wax, Italian)

Bean sprouts

Beets

Broccoli


Brussels sprouts

Cabbage


Carrots

Cauliflower

Celery

Cucumber


Eggplant

Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)

Kohlrabi

Leeks


Lettuce

Mixed vegetables, without corn, peas, pasta

Mushrooms

Okra


Onions (white, green, scallions)

Pea pods


Peppers, all varieties

Radishes


Salad greens

Sauerkraut

Spinach

Summer squash



Tomato

Turnips


Water chestnuts

Watercress

Zucchini



Protein/Fat (0 grams carbohydrate)
Each item listed is considered a protein and/or fat, unless you add carbohydrate to it


Beef

Poultry


Fish/Seafood

Pork


Veal

Meat sticks

Luncheon/deli meats

Eggs


Cheese

Nuts


Cream cheese

Creamer, non-dairy

Mayonnaise

Margarine

Butter

Oil


Lard

Salad dressings: ***ranch, oil and vinegar, Caesar

Sour cream


***The following are salad dressings that can be high in carbohydrate per serving. Please read the food label to determine the amount of carbohydrate:




Catalina

French


Honey Dijon

Honey mustard

Poppy seed

Russian


Red wine vinaigrette

Raspberry vinaigrette

Thousand island


***Items that are “fat-free,” “low-fat”, “lite”, or “reduced-fat” may actually have sugar/carbohydrate added to them to make them taste better, since the fat was taken out. Therefore, you should always read the food label for the total carbohydrate.




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