Carb counting has always been a weakness in my diabetes management. Eating well demands knowing how much to eat from each food group to manage your weight. For someone with diabetes, knowing how to balance different foods is about weight control, but knowing your carb count is the key to successfully managing your blood glucose levels. Everyday on Twitter, under #bgnow, you can see how many of us are waffling with this. If you own a continuous glucose monitor, it’s another eye-opening experience to see the amount of guessing that happens with carb management and insulin requirements.
In April, I was introduced to a program that Sanofi-Aventis sponsored with CalorieKing called GoMeals. It is an iPhone and iPad application that allows you to calculate calories, carbs, fats and more in a daily log. The program is free to download and the features connect to CalorieKing, making it easier to add foods from some of my favorite hangouts, like Starbucks. The design company - who did an outstanding job, by the way - was Intouch Solutions. For the diabetes community, I must say this little app has all the functionality we need and and easy-to-use interface. I downloaded the iPhone and iPad applications and have been playing with both
A sample of of the application displays a virtual plate with a knife and fork, and in the center of the plate is your total calories you should eat in a day. Underneath the plate are your totals for carbs, proteins, fats, sodium, fiber, and saturated fat. Personally, my biggest problem for creating blood sugar spikes is calculating carbs. I can’t tell you the number of times I have had a blood sugar spike due to poor carb counting. At last we have an electronic carb counter!
Using the integrated CalorieKing, I can easily scroll through the list of drinks at Starbucks and add them to my daily plate. My favorite drink is a grande skim mocha with whipped cream - yum! I can only find the grande skim mocha on the application, so I click and add that to my plate. One grande skim mocha has 71 grams of carbohydrates, 27 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fat and a total calorie count of 224. For people like David Mendosa, 71 grams of carbs would put him into an excess of carbs for the day! In fact, if most LC (low carb) people eat a total of 60 grams a day, they should take a good long look at the count and decide if this drink is the best use of carbs!
Within the GoMeals application, there are areas to search for foods, look up restaurant foods, grocery, or generic foods, a list that allows you to mark your favorite foods, and section for homemade foods to which you can add. Personally, I like this better than my CalorieKing book, which sits in my kitchen next to my food scale. This is so user-friendly, I could become obsessed with logging in all that I eat.
I highly recommend this program to everyone, with or without diabetes, as it will help you learn about how food choices affect your body. Many people feel it is too hard to follow a low-carb diet; however, this gives you a glimpse at the choices you make and allows you to think about healthier options. For those of you working with a CDE or nutritionist, GoMeals gives them a chance to see your choices and offer alternative options.
Just like my Starbucks grande skim mocha with whip, this is a treat I strongly suggest. You can find GoMeals on Twitter at twitter.com/gomeals. Happy carb counting!
Wellness Center Owner, living with type 1 diabetes