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From Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA:

Please explain what is meant by a "carb" and its relation to the amount of insulin units required to metabolize it.

My 4 year old grandson's diabetes is monitored and regulated by the number of "carbs" he's allowed to have and the units of insulin he takes to cover them. Is a "carb" one gram of carbohydrate or one serving of carbohydrate-containing food? Do you have a list of foods and how many "carbs" they contain per serving?


A "carb" is considered 12-15 grams of carbohydrate or one serving of major sources of carbohydrates, such as fruits (a serving is 1/2 cup canned without sugar or a small piece of fresh fruit or 1/2 cup of most juices), milk (a serving is 1 cup) or starches (1/2 cup of cooked rice, oatmeal, etc.)

Carb units help determine insulin doses and they vary with each individual. You can ask at your local hospital for a booklet which lists exchanges for foods or carbohydrate content. I am glad you are so interested in your grandson and his health.


Original posting 24 Apr 1999
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet


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