Fairfield Ledger

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To Your Health

Carbohydrate counting demystified

Aug 18, 2014
Tamara Harvatt

Editor’s note: The monthly To Your Heath column is a venue for Jefferson County Health Center to provide health information that will benefit The Fairfield Ledger’s readers. To suggest ideas for future articles or to obtain information, call Jefferson County Health Center community relations manager Ginny Hughes at 469-4198.

Whether you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes or have had it for years, carbohydrate counting is a part of your life. With everyone having individualized needs and every food so different, controlling your blood sugars and figuring out how much to eat can be a task in itself.

Follow these tips to easily count carbohydrates at home.

1) Know what foods contain carbohydrates and how much to eat. Fruit and fruit juices; milk and yogurt; grains and breads; beans, peas, corn, and potatoes; sweets. These foods all contain carbohydrates and will raise your blood sugar. Meats, fats, and all other vegetables are very low in carbohydrate.

2) Most woman should have 3-4 servings of carbohydrate each meal (45-60 grams) and men should have 4-5 servings each meal (60-75 grams). A serving of carbohydrate is 15 grams of carbohydrate.

3) Look at serving size and grams of carbohydrate on food labels. Divide the carbohydrates by 15 to get number of carbohydrate servings in a serving.

4) All foods, with moderation, can fit in your diet. Regular soda, which is mostly sugar and will cause your blood sugar to spike, should be eliminated completely from your diet.

Tamara Harvatt, RD, LD, is the dietitian at Jefferson County Health Center.

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