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To Count or Not to Count Carbs, That is the Question…

I’ve been watching. I have someone in my life who is a type one diabetic. He’s on an insulin pump. In order for it to give him the accurate and safe amount of insulin, he has to know how many carbs he’s consuming and enter it into his pump. The question is how do you get an accurate carb count?

If you’re eating packaged food, this is much easier than when you’re cooking. You measure the serving size that is listed on the nutritional facts on the product packaging and eat only that amount. You have carbohydrates listed below the serving size in grams. You just enter that number.

It is much more challenging when you’re cooking from scratch. Why cook from scratch? You have the benefit of being able to control exactly what you’re eating. The quality of ingredients in your food is more important than saving money. We would rather eat well and stay healthy. Or we can save that money for hospital bills in the future with icky hospital food. I’ll save that story for another day.

We have to find a way to calculate the correct number of carbs. If we don’t account for enough carbohydrates, we may end up with a hyper event. If we over calculate the amount of carbs we’re consuming, we may end up with a scary hypo event. These are much worse and can lead to a trip to the hospital. So, let’s tend to be cautious and over calculate a bit fewer carbs to prevent dangerous hypoglycemic events until we get a better feel for it. Here are a few more tips and tricks to help us all get more comfortable with carb counting.

I use a carb counting app. I recommend that you do as well. There are a bunch of different carbohydrate counting apps out there. Some I’ve used are MyFitnessPal and Calorie King. They have different brands of foods. You select the version closest to what you're eating. Then you open up the information to see the carbohydrate count.

If you haven’t found an app that you really like, you can Google the ingredients on a smart phone. Just hold down the speaker button in Google and ask how many carbs a particular amount of food has. When I’m making spaghetti squash with meatballs for example, I ask how many carbohydrates are in 1 cup of spaghetti squash. I ask about the carbohydrate amount for smaller amounts of vegetables in the recipe, in smaller cup sizes or tablespoons. It becomes a math problem. Usually, it’s pretty straightforward and you add the carbohydrate count up for the meal.

I don’t worry about the meatballs, if I made them from scratch because my ingredients are protein, including almond flour instead of a bread product.  This means the meatballs have 0 grams of carbohydrates. If I get them pre-made in a freezer case, there usually are bread crumbs in the recipe that need to be added to the overall carb load of the meal.

It can be quite confusing and frustrating. When there are different serving size quantities on packages going into a recipe. While the apps have improved and gotten quite detailed in their list of products on the market, you will still have to rely on logic and thought. Sometimes you may make a dish a little healthier than what you see on an app by switching out a less healthy choice for a better ingredient. You may need to lower the carb count.

For this week’s recipe, I did the carb counting already. My total carbohydrate count for the recipe had to be divided by 24 because this recipe makes 24 cookies. These adorable almond butter chocolate chip cookies have 14 g of carbohydrates per cookie, barely a serving of carbohydrates. They’re great for any holiday parties you may have next week. For me, they help calm my savage sweet tooth.


  • 2 cups almond flour

  • 1/2 cup sunflower butter

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon 50/50 Stevia and vanilla extract mixed

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • a pinch of salt

  • 6 oz of Lillys dark chocolate chips

  • Decorative Halloween pieces from Walmart (that adds 4 g of carbohydrates alone)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

  2. Mix the dry ingredients first using a fork to sift out any lumps in the almond flour.

  3. Next add in the sundlower butter, egg, and melted butter. Combine until you have a sticky mass.

  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  5. Roll small bits of the mixture into small balls. It should make 24 balls.

  6. Press your thumb into the center of the balls and mold them into round cookie shapes with an indentation in the center.

  7. Place on the cookie sheet and cook for eight minutes.

  8. Remove the cookies and top them with approximately nine chocolate chips.

  9. Replace it in the oven and cook for five more minutes.

  10. Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately place the decorative candy bits in the chocolate.

  11. Allowed to cool for five to ten minutes before serving.

When you get an insulin pump, some companies include training. When it comes to counting carbs, the basic idea of the training is that you use an app. but with all the different serving sizes, brands of food, and different ingredients, this can be quite complicated. It really comes down to doing it. Over time it will become second nature. Please let me know if this week's recipe makes it into your recipe book. Our diet can play a significant role in undermining our hard work. I'll keep working on the recipes to prevent this. If you have a favorite dish, please tell me. I'll create a diabetic friendly version, just let me know by leaving a note below. I've learned how to swap blood sugar spiking ingredients for others with a lower glycemic index. It may take a week or two, but I love the challenge. I'll also work on introducing more recipes to help lower the ceramides in the body. Please comment, like, share, and come back next week for more recipes, ideas, and tips. Subscribe to the website, if you would like weekly email reminders to add more recipes to your recipe book.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, but a compilation of research from medical sites. Make sure to see your doctor and have up-to-date lab work.

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