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Carbohydrate counting: Getting started

Carbohydrate counting: Getting started
Step 1: Know the goal
Eating about the same amount of carbohydrate at meals and snacks each day will help to keep blood glucose levels from getting too high or too low.
Focus on keeping the amount of carbohydrate intake moderate to keep your blood glucose levels from going too high. Remember, it is not healthy to cut out all carbohydrate foods; the body, especially your brain, needs some every day.
Step 2: Monitoring intake and blood glucose
Keeping a daily food and blood glucose record will help inform what affects blood glucose levels.
Measuring or weighing foods is helpful in the beginning to learn what common food portions look like.
Step 3: Methods of counting carbohydrate
To count carbohydrates, there are two methods. Patients may also blend the two methods.
Read food labels: Look at the grams of total carbohydrate on the label. Remember, the nutrition information on food labels is for the standard serving size. If the portion is larger or smaller, it is necessary to adjust the carbohydrate information.
Use the exchange system: Estimation of carbohydrate content can be broken down into food groups that are standardized for carbohydrate content according to particular portions. For example, one serving from the Bread/Starch, Fruit, or Milk group each contains between 12 and 15 grams of carbohydrate. Most vegetables do not contain a significant number of carbohydrates and do not need to be counted, although there are exceptions (eg, corn, potatoes).
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