TEEN TOPIC #60: What are some of your top tips for carb counting new foods?

Annelies (age 15)
My top tips for carb counting new foods are using Google and GoMeals. When in doubt, you can probably find the answers online.

Andrew (age 15)
My top tips for carb counting new foods that don’t have nutrition labels, for example food ordered at restaurants, are to ask for a carb count and use the carb information you remember from similar foods you’ve eaten. You can always ask for a carb count on the food you order at restaurants to help you count your carbs properly. You can also use the carb count information from similar foods you’ve eaten by using the carb counts from those foods to estimate the carb count in the food you’re eating.

Ashley B. (age 16)
My tips for counting carbs for new foods is comparing the food to another food. If you have a gigantic burger, compare the size of the buns with the store bought kind. If it looks twice the size of the store bought buns, the big burger’s buns would be roughly twice the amount of carbs as the store bought buns.

Ashley C. (age 14)
Guess and hope you guessed right.

Cameron (age 17)
I usually just base it off of foods that are similar that I know how my body reacts to.

Claire (age 18)
Guess-Ti-Mating is a good way to do it, but as you get further into your many years with this disease you can just kinda look at a plate or a cupcake and tell how many carbs it is. Don’t ask me how, it’s just magic. I’ve been at this 11 years and I can do it every time. New foods are weird though, I usually Google it, as the Internet has numerous carb counting websites that are helpful.

Erin (age 17)
I base the new item off something close in size or food group and make a guesstimate from that.

Ian (age 14)
Think about the ingredients. More often than not, if you can sense what the ingredients are and their amounts then you’ll be golden.

Jessica (age 20)
I think the best thing to do when carb counting new foods is the nutrition label or the Calorie King books. I always start there and if I go too high or low, I make a mental note for next time and try to adjust accordingly. After more than 16 years living with T1D, I have come to know how my body works and what carb counts work for me. But most importantly, I have learned that this is different for every single one of us. I have met some diabetics that always spike after eating pizza, no matter how much insulin they take. I, on the other hand, know that no matter what kind or where I get pizza from 35 carbs is enough to cover me. Until you know how different foods affect you (or your child) the nutrition labels and Calorie King book are my top tips to help with carb counting.

Jordan (age 18)
My top tip for counting carbs on new food is to go with the flow, if it looks like 30 carbs to you, give yourself 30 carbs worth of insulin. You can always correct later.  Also, most food is similar carb wise to other foods so just base it off of that.

Julia (age 15)
When trying to figure out the carbs for a new food I usually use the Calorie King app, but if it’s not on there I really just have to rely on guessing based off of other foods like it.

Laura (age 17)
I never use an exact carb counting method. When I was first diagnosed I was forced to, so I learned the carb content on a lot of basic food. Really all I do is take that prior knowledge and incorporate it in when I’m eating something unfamiliar.

Lexi (age 16)
Most of the time you can guess based on how big the proportion size is. If you’ve had diabetes for a while like 3+ years you’d get in the hang of guessing really well.

Maggie (age 16)
For new foods I will either look them up online or basically just take an educated guess and correct later on if I did to little or too much.

Skylyn (age 16)
My number one tip would be to use common sense and look up the carb count online if it doesn’t say on the package. Otherwise just take an educated guess.

Vanessa (age 16)
If I’ve never seen or had the food before I think of what’s in it and count it by that or I just Google it on my phone which is very easy.

Haley (age 14)
Google! Whenever I try new foods, I usually just Google the nutrition and serving size info and figure my bolus from there.

Maddy (age 14)
Some of my top tips for counting carbs with new foods is to break down recipes and count the carbs in the individual ingredients and then calculating the total carbs for each serving of the food and to also stick with meals with low carbs and a lot of flavor.

McKenna (age 16)
Carb counting new food? Well if it’s pure sugar, like candy or soda, cut the carbs in half. You may be a little high after but you just have to mess with it, experiment a little. But if it’s with a pasta sort of food count the full amount of carbs and add it to whatever other carbs you’re eating or drinking.

Christina (age 15)
When I was first diagnosed, I would carb count new foods by searching for it by name in the app MyFitnessPal’s food registry. This helped me to know what a pretty accurate carb amount would be for any food. Now, I tend to estimate, on the safe side, based on my BG, activity, and similar foods I know the carb count for.

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