Is carb counting required for well-managed diabetes?


First of all, any clinician that says everyone with "X" needs to do "Y" 100% of the time, with 100% accuracy... That's not patient-centered care, nor is it evidence-based.

Second of all, there are waaaaaay too many other factors that affect blood sugar besides carb intake to think for a second that counting every single carb that goes into our body will make a significant difference in blood sugar management. Here's just a snippet of other things that can affect blood sugar: ⁣

  • Hormones⁣

  • Stress⁣

  • Protein intake⁣

  • Fat intake⁣ (and types of fats)

  • Emotions⁣

  • Sleep⁣

  • Hydration⁣

  • Pump malfunctions⁣

  • Other medications⁣

  • How we feel about our diabetes⁣

  • How we feel about ourselves⁣

Thirdly (that's a word, right?), it's crucial to consider how this emphasis on counting carbs with the utmost perfection might be affecting our mental, emotional, and relational health. ⁣

ALSO! who are we to expect to know the exact amount of carb in a food? Even if you carefully measure each food you eat, the database you're pulling the carb count from can't account for THAT EXACT FOOD you're measuring. And food labels aren't 100% accurate (see sources below).⁣

Finally: Diabetes care needs to be individualized. If you're new to a carb ratio, I'd be willing to bet that googling the carb count of a food now and then is going to help you have a bit more stable blood sugars. If you're recently diagnosed and on metformin, carb counting is wildly unnecessary. Diabetes care is NEVER one-size-fits-all. ⁣

So, no. You do NOT need to count every carb that goes into your body. Let's consider some other factors that are influencing your blood sugar and health and have some self-compassion instead. ⁣

(Also, if counting every single carb that goes into your body is working for you and not causing you mental anguish, well then -- shit! -- keep doing what works for you, my friend.)⁣


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