Why counting carbs is hard….. for me
When was first diagnosed with the big D, one of the first things I was taught about was counting carbs. Easy… not. Almost any food that you buy in the store has a Nutrition Facts section. It lists all of the nutrients in one serving of the food. Everything is in really big letters, for instance, 1 serving of whole wheat pasta is 40 grams of carbs. 1 serving of cereal (that I eat) is 24 – 26 grams. The one thing that I was overlooking is the little letters at the top that say what a serving size really is.
I figured that I was pretty normal, and that 1 serving is what I would normally eat, is what the Nutrition Facts was. Looking back, I now remember the nutritionist did tell me to look at what those little letters said. But I am normal I have got to eat 1 serving. My first 6 months, I could not figure out why my BG’s were always HIGH, huge even, after I ate. I went back to looking at those labels. 40 grams of carbs in whole wheat pasta is 1/2 cup. 24 grams of carbs in my cereal is 1 cup. I didn’t have a measuring cup, went to get one. Those suckers are expensive, I thought. 1st time I measured carefully 1 cup of pasta, dripping with sauce, and poured the 1/2 filled measuring cup on my 12 inch plate. Not on the side of a plate like a real dieter, but right in the middle, in anticipation for a hearty meal. I looked at the 3/4 empty (1/4 full for all the optimists) plate in disbelief. I shook the measuring cup, just knowing the rest of my meal would pop out. Nothing. Wow. Determined to be a good diabetic, I measured my insulin in the syringe, gave me the shot. I don’t remember what vegetables I ate, but probably corn, what I thought was normal. Ate. Did the normal after meal stuff. An hour or 2 later, I felt the hunger pangs. Upon checking my BG, right where the doctor told me it should be. A three year old would still be hungry after eating that much.
Wow, did the same thing for breakfast. Same results. This is going to be fun. I started thinking, and re-reading the pamphlets the nutritionist gave me. Really reading this time. A serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. I shopped everywhere, I could not find a T-Bone steak the size of deck of cards, ditto for a breast of chicken, ham steaks, even a quarter pound hamburger barley makes the cut. Investigations into everything I usually ate was the same way. Then here comes the really tricky ones. I like M&M’s with peanuts, every once in a while, I like them. Ok, 35 grams of carbs, a lot, but manageable, just for a treat, once in a while. The trick, 1 bag, 2 servings. I could eat 2 bags every day, back when….
The real killer is popcorn, you know the microwave bags, it has been so long since I had one, I forgot how many carbs, but I remember 2.5 servings in a popped bag. I would lick the bag when the popcorn was gone, way back when.
Enough of going way back when, keep on looking forward. I now use 6 inch plates, so no matter what I eat, the plate looks full, a full plate equals a full stomach, right.
Moral of the story, remember, to read the whole Nutrition Facts label, not just the carbs, what you would normally call a serving is way less than what is recommended on the label. 🙂
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