Diabetes Forecast

New Tips on Carb Counting


Whether you're newly diagnosed or have been managing your diabetes for years, accounting for every gram of carbohydrate that you consume might seem like a complex task. The Complete Guide to Carb Counting, now in its third edition, aims to make this job simpler than ever.

The American Diabetes Association book, by Hope S. Warshaw, MMSe, RD, CDE, BC-ADM, and Karmeen Kulkarni, MS, RD, CDE, BC-ADM, takes an in-depth but straightforward and easy-to-understand approach to counting carbohydrates.

Carb counting is the most common method of meal planning taught to people with diabetes. "With the right skills, carb counting can make successful blood glucose management a reality," says Greg Guthrie, managing editor of book publishing for the ADA. "The great thing about The Complete Guide to Carb Counting is that it gives you simple tools to learn how to count carbs, so you can get started right away."

The new edition of The Complete Guide, first published in 2001, is slimmer and trimmer than its predecessors, thanks to a more streamlined format. It includes breakdowns of nutrition labels, lists of common foods and their carbohydrate counts, tips for eating at restaurants, and sample food diaries.

Warshaw, the author of nine ADA books, believes The Complete Guide to Carb Counting is especially useful to people with diabetes because of its practical applications. She says its tips about convenience foods, restaurants, and grocery shopping can help people maintain carb control when they're on the go. "There's a lot of information [available] about carbohydrate content in food," Warshaw adds. "There's not a lot of information about the how-tos of carb counting, and that's what this book can help you do."

The guide provides real-life examples of issues that people with diabetes might face, such as choosing a cafeteria lunch or figuring out what combination of meals and snacks works best for them. It explains how to solve such problems by finding patterns in how blood glucose levels respond to food, exercise, stress, and other factors and then making a plan and taking action. For those who need help in spotting patterns, the book also includes a checklist-style quiz to take. "The only way to get a handle on the many factors that can affect your blood glucose is to build your own 'database of experiences,' " the authors write. The result should be better blood glucose control and fewer diabetes complications.

The Complete Guide to Carb Counting is available at shopdiabetes.org.



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