Wish Upon A Dish: FYI - How many carbs are we really allowed to eat?

July 31, 2012

FYI - How many carbs are we really allowed to eat?

If you are counting carbs or following South Beach Diet, these figures are not for you. Diabetics need to wrap their brain around not only eating the right carbs (yes, there are good carbs) but actually knowing they are allowed carbs as long as you balance the bad ones with the good ones.

How Many Carbs to Eat:

Dietitians agree that the following starting points for carb grams or choices per meal work for many people. Don't severely limit or avoid carbohydrate to control blood glucose -- you'll compromise your healthful eating plan and be less likely to control your blood glucose or long-term weight. A note about the list below: If you are of average size your carb counts per day and per meal are between the small and large sizes (for example, an average size woman should eat 45-60 g carb per meal).

Carb Counts per Day
Smaller Woman: 135 g carb. or 9 carb choices
Larger Woman: 180 g carb. or 12 carb choices
Smaller Man: 180 g carb. or 12 carb choices
Larger Man: 225 g carb. or 15 carb choices

Carb Counts per Meal
Smaller Woman: 45 g carb. or 3 carb choices
Larger Woman: 60 g carb. or 4 carb choices
Smaller Man: 60 g carb. or 4 carb choices
Larger Man: 75 g carb. or 5 carb choices

1 carb choice = 15 grams of carbohydrate

Both the American Diabetes Association and the U.S. government's Dietary Guidelines suggest eating 45-65 percent of your calories from carbohydrate sources. If you eat less carbohydrate, especially if you eat fewer than 1,500 calories a day, you won't get the nutrients you need.

With basic carb counting, you try to eat the same amount of carbohydrate at the same time each day. For example, if you eat 60 grams of carbohydrate (4 carb choices) for breakfast, you should eat that amount at breakfast every day.

"By keeping carbohydrate consistent, we can keep blood sugars on track," says nutritionist Linda Yerardi. "That does not mean you have to eat the same thing at every meal every day." You can choose from many different foods that have similar carbohydrate amounts.

My problem in the beginning of my diabetic journey was to eat a good breakfast. As long as I can remember I ate one meal a day, dinner. I never got hungry during the day, even working 12 hour days during the holidays. I now understand why I was never able to loose weight.

I am not 100% better but I do eat a breakfast sandwich at 10-11:oo, a snack at around 3:oo and dinner at 7:oo.
I also have been making single serving desserts, most healthy and they always include a fruit.

I have lost 13 pounds total and have kept it off as well as lowered my A1C from 6.7 to 5.6. This is HUGE for me.
Being at 5.6 does not mean I am no longer pre-diabetic, it shows you can control glucose with diet and not rely on pills.

I am a firm believer that the more pills you take, the more pills you need.
I prefer to try holistic methods where I know they can work but I give myself a time goal. If my diet did not show results in 1 year I would go on Metformin.

I made one change per week in my diet. Small steps will get you further.
I changed portions the first week. I ate half of what I used to eat.
I added beans the next week.
I limited my pasta or rice to one serving a week.
I eat portioned 'no sugar added' fruit cups for a snack.

Since my diagnosis 2 years ago, my cholesterol was at 210 and would not budge. This last test has me at 194.
I limited my dairy to one meal a day and my triglycerides are within the acceptable level.

Yes, I splurge. I drink wine with dinner. I have cut out hard liquor usually with juice of some sort and when I can, I drink red wine. I do not feel that I am depriving myself at all. I eat well, I don't skimp. I never get cravings anymore.

If you ask me what I think my most significant change was, I would have to tell you cutting out white foods made the most difference.

These tips can help anyone trying to eat better, loose weight and get better medical test results.

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