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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When y'all count carbs, do you count total carbs, available carbs, net carbs, or what? This site talks about the differences. One thing I found interesting was this:

Many countries, including the U.S. and Canada, determine the amount of carbohydrate in foods indirectly, that is “by difference.” They measure the amount of protein, fat, water, and ash per 100 grams and subtract the sum of these from 100. In contrast, countries in Europe and Oceania analyze carbohydrate directly, so their carbohydrate figures do not contain unavailable carbohydrate (e.g. fiber), while values for the U.S. and Canada do.

As a result of this international difference, nutrition labels on packages imported to the U.S. from Europe and Oceania can be misinterpreted. For example, Bran-A-Crisp Fiber Bread, from Norway, is sold in the U.S. with a nutrition label that says it has 6 grams of total carbohydrates and 6 grams of fiber. It would be a mistake to conclude that this product contains no available carbohydrate. By comparison, either wheat or rye bread from Atkins Bakery made in America says on its nutrition label that it has 7 grams of total carbohydrate per serving and 4 grams of dietary fiber. Since it follows U.S. practice, the fiber is included in the carbohydrate, so this bread has 3 grams of available carbohydrate per serving.


Who knew that you had to take all this into account? Are y'all sitting there waving your hands in the air saying, "I did! I did!" while I'm sitting here scratching my head?
 

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Am I alone in my cynicism regarding food labels? These boys know the letter of the law and use it to full advantage, so it doesn't really matter which country's label you read, it all comes back to what they want to sell.

As a general rule we use the value of total carbs since the definitions of things like "dietary fibre" and "net carbs" seem to be very subject to marketing spin. For instance, I don't think it's an accident that the Bran-A-Crisp label leaves scope for misunderstanding.

But I've got a PhD in cynicism!:smile:
 

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I count total carbs, then test like crazy to make sure I didn't over- or under-dose on the insulin.

Most of the time, I avoid the stuff and try not to bolus at all.
 

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Wife and I are not on insulin, we took the easy road and just don't eat any carbs in the way of rice, potatoes or grains. What carbs we do consume is from veggies alone. Wife does eat the WASA crisp and light crackers, which are 10g net carbs per 3 slices. pretty low for a large slice of cracker.
 

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I use the "net" figure - subtracting fiber from total carbs. It is interesting, though, that there's such a difference between USA and European labels.

I always test after eating something new, so if there's a significant spike after eating it, then no matter what it says, I don't eat it. Atkins bars come to mind. Can't do those things - it was a sad day when I finally had to give them up!!!
 

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I usually use the net carbs. Now you have me thinking. I do eat the Scandanavian Brancrisps which are made in Norway, but distributed through a company in South Carolina. They say 7 carbs and 5 fiber per cracker. I've never had a problem with spiking while eating them. But I am confused now. I don't specifically count carbs anymore. I just have an idea of what foods I can eat safely and which ones I cannot. For example last night I had some sweet potato fries which are carbs but bg at 2 hours was 95, which is fantastic for me.
 

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Most of my carbs come from natural sources, like raw vegetables, so I just keep a general tab on the likely amount of carbs ingested. We eat little or no packaged food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Now you have me thinking. I do eat the Scandanavian Brancrisps which are made in Norway, but distributed through a company in South Carolina. They say 7 carbs and 5 fiber per cracker. I've never had a problem with spiking while eating them. But I am confused now.
I'm confused too. The main thing, of course, is just to know how foods affect you and eat to your meter. Got that. But when people say they eat less than 20g or 30g of carbs a day, I'm astounded. Just the veggies in my favorite salad (Fuji Apple Chicken at Panera Bread) are 8 carbs. The gorgonzola crumbles, pecans, and chicken add another 7. So even if I skip the apple chips and salad dressing, I'm already at 15g.

Oy vey. I think I need to quit thinking so much. I know that I do okay with this salad, even with the apple chips and dressing, as long as I pair it with soup instead of half a sandwich. To heck with the numbers.
 
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On the Scandinavian Brancrisp it is my understanding that for food sold in N. America (regardless of origin), the labels have to conform to our standards.

However I have noticed an occasional lapse for speciality import stores like Pete's Frootique here in Eastern Canada -- he imports some food directly from the UK and it seems to only have the UK label. I mentioned it to the dietician they have in store, as she was unaware of the difference.

As above: my solution is rarely to eat packaged food, or many carbs for that matter... so I count nothing -- calories, carbs... nothing.

But for those who do eat more carbs and/or need to balance them with injected insulin: I'd recommend (again as above) testing, testing testing -- by all means use the label as a guide but only testing (more than once, and at different times of day) will let you know how different foods effect you.

I also strongly agree with John that manufacturers are more than savvy enough to manipulate both the formulation of their "food" and the nutritional labelling to make it more of a marketing tool than health advice.
 

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the digestability of certain LC processed products. I may be alone in this group, but items like LC torilias I find difficult to digest, resulting in my BG baseline elevated 10-15 pts for hours, not to mention the indigestion that comes with it.
 

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Although a lot of us throw around numbers like 30,40,50 carbs a day, I think most of us know what our limit per meal is. I know for me depending on the time of day I can safely eat anywhere from 4-25 carbs per meal. If I am going to indulge in carbs I usually do it at lunch time or an early dinner. For me the processed packaged carbs are usually the worst. The Scandanavian Brancrisps are usually pretty good to me.

Marty, I also have problem with som of the LC tortillas. I read somewhere that these products rely on a lot of wheat gluten flour which is high in protein. But if you are sensitive to wheat these products may still cause inflammation which may cause higher bgs.
 

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I agree with everyone here, and I sometimes get confused as well with the whole carb counting. I try to just stay away from carby foods, and I really do not eat pre-packaged food all that much anymore. However, I sometimes eat something that shows very little carb or no carb and yet it will cause a rise in my bg's. I can eat one low carb multi-grain tortilla wrap, but that's it. Not more than one. I can eat the thin buns (I think Schwebel's make them), but only the whole wheat, not the honey wheat. And, only sometimes. My body reacts differently to an item all the time. It's very strange, and makes it quite difficult to know what I can or cannot eat. I had my Just Like Sugar Hot Cocoa last night. I don't even use the full amount of mix they call for because to me it is too chocolaty. I add either some half-n-half or heavy cream to it, and I put a nice topping of whipped cream for a little treat last night. I took my full basal amount of insulin before bed, woke this morning to an awfully high bg of 200. Go figure. And all I had was a salad for dinner and nothing else (salad didn't have much in the way of carbs in it other than salad dressing). Sometimes I just don't understand my own body. But, with all that said I did experience a very stressful day yesterday; more so than normal so that could have affected my bg's this morning as well. I'm on the rollercoaster again and I hate that. I need to get to a stable point and stay there. I start to wonder will that ever happen? I hope it does. I get rather down when things like this happen.
 

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I agree with everyone here, and I sometimes get confused as well with the whole carb counting. I try to just stay away from carby foods, and I really do not eat pre-packaged food all that much anymore. However, I sometimes eat something that shows very little carb or no carb and yet it will cause a rise in my bg's. I can eat one low carb multi-grain tortilla wrap, but that's it. Not more than one. I can eat the thin buns (I think Schwebel's make them), but only the whole wheat, not the honey wheat. And, only sometimes. My body reacts differently to an item all the time. It's very strange, and makes it quite difficult to know what I can or cannot eat. I had my Just Like Sugar Hot Cocoa last night. I don't even use the full amount of mix they call for because to me it is too chocolaty. I add either some half-n-half or heavy cream to it, and I put a nice topping of whipped cream for a little treat last night. I took my full basal amount of insulin before bed, woke this morning to an awfully high bg of 200. Go figure. And all I had was a salad for dinner and nothing else (salad didn't have much in the way of carbs in it other than salad dressing). Sometimes I just don't understand my own body. But, with all that said I did experience a very stressful day yesterday; more so than normal so that could have affected my bg's this morning as well. I'm on the rollercoaster again and I hate that. I need to get to a stable point and stay there. I start to wonder will that ever happen? I hope it does. I get rather down when things like this happen.
I've had a few -- OK, several -- of those moments, too. Some sweeteners are simply unpredictable for me, and I'm in the process of learning which (hope it isn't all of 'em).

So I'm learning, the hard way, to hold off on the sweet stuff at bedtime, or, at the very least, to eat/drink it early enough so I can test and correct if need be.

Fortunately, my annual Sweet Tooth Season appears to be over for now.
 

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I've had a few -- OK, several -- of those moments, too. Some sweeteners are simply unpredictable for me, and I'm in the process of learning which (hope it isn't all of 'em).

So I'm learning, the hard way, to hold off on the sweet stuff at bedtime, or, at the very least, to eat/drink it early enough so I can test and correct if need be.

Fortunately, my annual Sweet Tooth Season appears to be over for now.
Shalynne, the sweetener in the hot cocoa mix is not artificial; it is made from chicory root, calcium, vitamin C, and zest from the orange peel. The mix has 22 grams carb in 4 level tblspns, but has 21 grams of fiber...I had the same exact thing the night before and my morning number was much lower. I think it probably had to do with the stress I had yesterday; between starting my day off knocking my huge travel mug full of coffee on the kitchen floor just before leaving for work and having to clean it up, the boss being very crabby in the morning, getting a phone call at 12:30 p.m. from my youngest daughter that she was just in a car accident and having to run out of work to her, and then having my car battery just completely die on me at the gas station...Egads! It was an unpleasant day to say the least. I just wanted to go home and crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head and not appear again until the day was done!
 

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Oh, and by the way, my daughter and the other driver were both fine...no injuries thank goodness! And, even better, my daughter was not at fault! The other driver went left of center (turned in front of her) at the last second. But, as a Mom, you get a call from your kid crying and getting car accident, car smashed up, your adrenaline starts going and you get horrible images in your mind's eye. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but scary for my daughter, the other driver (who was an elderly woman) and me all at the same time nonetheless.
 
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On the Scandinavian Brancrisp it is my understanding that for food sold in N. America (regardless of origin), the labels have to conform to our standards.
It's the same here in Australia. Most distributors repackage the whole thing, or import in bulk and package here.
 

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Shalynne, the sweetener in the hot cocoa mix is not artificial; it is made from chicory root, calcium, vitamin C, and zest from the orange peel. The mix has 22 grams carb in 4 level tblspns, but has 21 grams of fiber...I had the same exact thing the night before and my morning number was much lower. I think it probably had to do with the stress I had yesterday; between starting my day off knocking my huge travel mug full of coffee on the kitchen floor just before leaving for work and having to clean it up, the boss being very crabby in the morning, getting a phone call at 12:30 p.m. from my youngest daughter that she was just in a car accident and having to run out of work to her, and then having my car battery just completely die on me at the gas station...Egads! It was an unpleasant day to say the least. I just wanted to go home and crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head and not appear again until the day was done!
Sometimes the natural sweeteners do a number on me as well. I can't do agave at all. But yes, stress plays a big role, and you had enough for 10 people.

Strange how important things like car batteries self-destruct in times of crisis.

I'm extremely glad to know your daughter's OK. Hope everything gets calm, and stays there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think it probably had to do with the stress I had yesterday; between starting my day off knocking my huge travel mug full of coffee on the kitchen floor just before leaving for work and having to clean it up, the boss being very crabby in the morning, getting a phone call at 12:30 p.m. from my youngest daughter that she was just in a car accident and having to run out of work to her, and then having my car battery just completely die on me at the gas station...Egads! It was an unpleasant day to say the least. I just wanted to go home and crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head and not appear again until the day was done!
Looking for the sympathy button. But very happy that daughter and the other driver are okay. As I told one of my kids one of the times they totaled a car: "Factories make new cars every day, but there's only one of you."
 
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I totally agree with you WVMom. Only one you...cars can be fixed. The elderly woman was visibly shaken and I guess it was her first accident. She kept apologizing and I told her it was okay...accidents happen. As long as her and my daughter was okay...the cars could be fixed. I felt so bad for her I almost started crying...poor thing.
I also agree Shalynne that stress does play a HUGE part in bg's and raising them. I hate that part of diabetes. Why does so many things have to affect it? It's not enough to just eat properly and exercise, but so many things affect it. Yuck
 
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