Tips and Tricks – Carb Counting
Counting your carbohydrates can be a tricky thing to do, so here are some tips and tricks we have put together with the support of our dietitians that you can use everyday to help you.
- If a food has a label then use it, this will be more accurate than books and apps. By counting total carbohydrate content, all of the ingredients that affect blood glucose levels are taken into account.
- Be sure to check if the amount stated is per dried or prepared weight. It is easy to get caught out as manufacturers sometimes change how they list the nutrient information. For example, some pasta packaging may list the carbohydrate content of dried pasta but others as prepared.
- Fruit, potatoes and other starchy food sizes can vary considerably. The difference in carbohydrate content between a small and large banana can be as much as 20 grams. With practice, you will be able to visually estimate carb content.
- It helps to weigh your portion against the suggested serving size as you may be consuming more or less than the stated portion. It’s always useful to check that your food weight remains consistent. For example, when having your favorite cereal, measure the amount, then put in a cup and mark the cup with a pen. You can then use this cup next time you want your favorite cereal.
- To save time and effort, it is useful to keep a list of the carbohydrate content of your usual foods and drinks. Some people create a ‘database’ so they do not have to constantly check.
- Books such as “Carbs & Cals” show thousands of photos of food pre-plated portions with accompanying nutritional information – this means you can compare your potion alongside to check the carbs.