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Carbohydrate Counting Works Regardless of Amount of Carbohydrate Eaten

In the May 5, 1999 issue of Diabetes Care, researchers from Canada published results of a study designed to evaluate the effects of high and low carbohydrate meals on the insulin requirements of nine patients with Type 1 diabetes. The patients used Ultralente as a basal insulin, and Regular insulin before each meal based on the carbohydrate content of the meal.

During the study, patients were randomized into a high-carbohydrate meal plan or low-carbohydrate meal plan, then switched after 14 days. Patients also kept a detailed diary for three days of all food consumed.

The results of the study indicate that, for patients with Type 1 diabetes,

  1. The amount of carbohydrates eaten doesn't influence control as long as premeal Regular insulin is adjusted accordingly;
  2. Algorithms based on determining the number of units of insulin per 10 g of carbohydrate consumed are effective and sage, regardless of the amount of carbohydrates consumed;
  3. Glycemic index, fiber content, and lipid content do not affect premeal insulin requirements;
  4. Basal insulin is unaffected by carbohydrates consumed; and
  5. The Ultralente-Regular regimen allows premeal and basal insulin rates to be adjusted independently.

[Diabetes Care 22:667-673,1999]

Posted April 16, 1999

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