Count Correct!

Carb Count ThisIn my line of work, it’s not uncommon to be surrounded by diabetes professionals of all sorts at very opportune times. For example, last Friday night, when I found myself at a table full of registered dietitians who were all also CDEs. I was working an Oregon CDE conference and we went to dinner with a few of our customers. Feeling in the mood to try something new, I ordered a baked acorn squash dish that ended up being as delicious as the description promised.

When the dish arrived, I ballparked the carbs at about 20 total, and bolused 2.5 units to cover the carbs and a slightly elevated BG. I was only halfway through the meal when I saw the arrow on my CGM take an uptick. One of the RD CDEs seated across from me asked me what I had ordered and I described the dish. She turned to the other RD CDE next to her and asked “how many carbs in an acorn squash again?” Both of these CDEs also have diabetes, so between being dietitians, CDEs, and also having Type 1, you can be sure they know their stuff triple times better than your average person!

The woman next to her said it was about the same as potatoes, so she estimated about 30 carbs per cup.

The same as potatoes? A squash? Really?! If that was correct, I had totally underestimated the dish, and just assumed since squash didn’t seem a starchy that it couldn’t possibly have that many carbs. I looked it up in the carb counting app I have on my phone (and clearly don’t use enough) and there is was: acorn squash with 29 grams of CHO per cup, the same as as small baked potato. I had totally under bolused for the meal – no wonder my CGM showed I was rising!

Being around a group of providers who were so knowledgable about foods and carb counts was a reminder to myself that although I *think* I know the carb counts on everything simply because I’ve had diabetes for a long time is a false sense of security. We all need refreshers from time to time, regardless of the duration of our disease. Especially in this situation because I was eating a food I don’t have that often. The whole interaction was a good reminder that one way to make managing diabetes easier on myself is to actually apply the resources I have available. It would be doing myself a favor to take the five seconds needed to look up the carb count, use the bolus wizard on my pump, and actually let technology make this disease a little easier for once!

And in case your were wondering, yes, a table full of RD CDEs with diabetes DOES order dessert – and they carb count the heck out of them! It was a work of art to watch.  If only I could have these ladies follow me around to all my hard-to-calculate meals…


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Yep, all winter squash has to be carb counted! And all of your stuff says 1/2c = 30gm? That’s weird… My carb counting material says 1c = 15gm. Gonna have to research that shit 🙂

Gnmm. And yet your CGM reminds you that you miscounted. And you don’t notice three hours later, when you feel horrible and thirsty and are on the way to bed.

“New unproven technology”.

It is fantastic, though, to sit with others on the same table. Same with the diabetes self-help dinners we occasionally get here. And 20 people carb-counting the same meal is fun as well (will there be differences? massive ones? why?).

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