Friday, June 13, 2008

"Guess the Carbs" game...answers!


Thanks to those of you who played.. namely "My Favourite Nurse" Mona and loyal reader, Jme!
As a result,
My Favourite Nurse wins in the carb category and Jme wins in the calories category! Congratulations!!

Before I divulge the number of carbohydrates (and calories), some explanation is necessary to put things in perspective (for those of you who are not diabetes educators).

When we eat, the food gets broken down into various simpler substances, one of them being sugar. In response, our pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin. Insulin is often compared to a key that opens the door to our many many cells. Once the cell door is open, the sugar, that's been floating around in our blood, goes into the cells. Our cells, and in turn, our bodies, need sugar to function.

People that have Diabetes type 2 (the one that usually, but not always, occurs later in life) either have a pancreas that doesn't produce enough insulin or that insulin-or key- can't fit into the cell door's keyhole (this is called 'insulin resistance'). As a result, that sugar stays floating around in the blood and blood sugar rises.

People with Type 1 diabetes (usually, but not always, diagnosed at a younger age) have a pancreas that produces no insulin at all. As a result, they need to take insulin by injection.

We get 3 main nutrients from our food- carbohydrates, protein and fat. Carbohydrate is the main one that breaks down into sugar in the body. As a result, people with diabetes have to monitor how many grams of carbs they eat.

We'll focus on diabetes type 2 since people with type 1 often adjust their insuling dose to how many grams of carbs they eat.

The general guideline for people with type 2 diabetes, and this is in no way a recommendation, is to aim for 45-60 grams of carbs per meal. This is usually sufficient to meet the carbohydrate needs of most people but not too much that they risk having high blood sugar.

Of course, everyone is different and this amount varies with age, gender, activity level and also on how much insulin the pancreas is producing. That's why it's important to seek the advice of a registered dietitian when you have type 2 diabetes.

Ok- so now you know 45-60g per meal is a general guideline.
Time for the answers!

*Note that the total carbs I've included are net carbs. This means that I've substracted the fibre from the total carbohydrates (since fibre is not broken down to sugar in the body).

Tim Hortons

Wheat n' honey bagel: 300 calories , 56 g net carbs.
Chocolate chip muffin: 430 calories, 67 g net carbs.
Low fat cranberry muffin: 290 calories, 60g net carbs.
Chocolate glazed donut: 260 calories, 37 g net carbs.

Starbucks

Grande cafe mocha, no whip: 290 calories, 38g net carbs.
Grande peppermint white chocolate mocha, no whip: 490 calories, 77g net carbs.
White chocolate bluebery scone: 470 calories, 53 g net carbs.

McDonald's

Large fries: 560 calories, 68g net carbs
Large Coke: 320 calories, 82g net carbs
10 chicken McNuggets with BBQ sauce: 565 calories, 42g net carbs
Hot fudge sundae: 330 calories, 55g net carbs.

How'd you do?!

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