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Counting carbohydrates

Carbohydrates (carbs) are in foods like:

  • starchy foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and cereals
  • sugary foods such as sweets, jellies, biscuits and cakes
  • dairy foods such as milk and yogurts
  • fruit and honey (sugars)

Knowing how many carbs you're eating and drinking helps you manage your blood glucose levels by matching your fast acting insulin dose to the amount of carbs in your meals and snacks.

This means you do not have to inject and eat at the same time every day (fixed dose), so your treatment is more flexible.

You can start learning about carb counting by:

  • making an appointment with the dietitian on your diabetes team
  • asking your diabetes team if they run carb counting sessions
  • doing a dose adjustment for normal eating (DAFNE) course
  • doing a course to learn how to count carbs

Dose adjustment for normal eating (DAFNE) courses - dafne.nhs.uk

Carb-counting courses - diabetes.org.uk

More support

The Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute have a booklet on Eating well with type 1 diabetes (PDF, 39 pages 1.8KB)

Find out more about carb counting - diabetes.org.uk

Page last reviewed: 1 August 2020
Next review due: 1 August 2023

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 9.