Updated: Apr 7
Carbohydrate counting can be used with or without insulin injections.
When carbohydrate counting is used without insulin, it can be used as a tool to manage blood sugar levels. A certain number of carbohydrate grams or carbohydrate units is consumed with each meal and with each snack.
In keeping the carbohydrate at a certain level, the blood sugar is able to remain within a normal level.
ADA recommends starting at around 45-60 carbohydrate grams (3-4 carb units) at each meal, with potential to increase or decrease that amount.
Carbohydrate counting may be used with either a fixed insulin dosage or with a more flexible insulin dosage. Carb counting for fixed insulin dosage is done in the same manner as carbohydrate counting without insulin.
The only difference is that insulin is administered with the meal. With more flexible insulin dosage, the insulin is administered in regards to the amount of carbohydrate consumed. The insulin amount will vary based on the amount of carbohydrates consumed.
It’s common practice to use 1 unit of insulin for every 10 gram of oral carbohydrate intake with all meals.