Why count carbohydrates if I use insulin and seek tight control?

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Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar
Nutrition & Dietetics
Counting carbs helps blood sugar control by managing the balance of food and insulin. Carbohydrates are responsible for raising your blood sugar and insulin lowers your blood sugar. By counting the carbohydrates every time you eat or drink, you can dose an appropriate amount of insulin. Many endocrinologists and CDE's actually dose insulin based on your carbohydrate intake. Remember there are great nutrients in the carbohydrate food groups: breads, fruits, starchy vegetables (like corn and potatoes) and milk, but choose wisely. Whole grains, fruits, low fat milk are all great options, make sure your choices are nutrient rich.    
Counting carbohydrates gives you maximum variety in your eating plan. It is based on calculating your personal carbohydrate to insulin ratio. This gives you a good idea of how your body uses the insulin you inject to process the carbohydrate you eat. Your dietitian or diabetes educator can teach you to count carbohydrates.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.