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The nuts and bolts of carb counting

When you live with type 1 diabetes, carb counting is a great way of managing your blood sugar or glucose levels.

It can give you more freedom and flexibility in what you eat when you're preparing meals at home, grabbing food on the go or eating out.

Carb counting does take some time and effort to learn, but the control that comes with it can make life much easier. Whether you've been doing it for a few months or a few years, it always helps to refresh your knowledge from time to time.

Understanding carb counting

Most carbs break down into glucose once digested, this means that the carb content of your diet directly affects your blood sugar levels, otherwise known as your blood glucose levels. Getting familiar with the basics of carb counting and how to count what is in your food and drink can really help you day-to-day.

Jess has been carb counting since she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 14.

In a series of videos, Jess talks through all the key things you need to know about carb counting – as well as sharing some of her own experiences and tips.

After each video, you'll be able to test your learning and find links to other resources that might be helpful.


1. Why understanding carbs (and how to count them) matters

We have more information on the different types and why being able to count them can make your life with type 1 easier.

Find out more about carb counting.

2. How carbs interact with your body

Understanding how different carbs interact with the body is key to carb counting. Jess explains the two main ways of counting carbs, and how to work with your healthcare team to match the amount of insulin you need to take.

Discover how to count carbs.

3. What to look for on food labels

These days, food labels should have all the key nutritional information you need to count the carbs in your meal. Find out what to look for on food labels, with tips and advice from Jess along the way.

Find out what to look for on food labels, plus tips and advice from Jess.

4. No labels? No worries...

When you're out and about it can be harder to get information about the food you want to eat. But that shouldn't get in the way of having a great time.

Hints for what to do when no carbohydrate information is available.

Learn more about eating healthily with diabetes on our Learning Zone.

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