Mealtime = Math Time


“Okay, let’s do the math here. There’s 30 milliliters in 1/8 of a cup, so that means there’s 60 milliliters in 1/4 cup. This little container is filled with 45 milliliters of granola, and according to the nutritional information on the bag, there’s 38 grams of carbohydrate in 1/2 cup…”

Meal Time = Mathe TimeUgh, typing out that sentence was enough to give me another headache. But I was faced with solving this tricky little math problem the other night knowing that the solution would make lunchtime insulin calculations easier for me the next day. Since I’m not a particularly talented mathematician, I walked myself through the problem with my mom. It took us a few minutes, but eventually we determined that the mini vial of granola couldn’t contain more than approximately 12 grams of carbohydrates.

This scenario is the perfect example of something that I believe isn’t understood or realized by those lacking familiarity with diabetes. I think that people make the assumption that diabetes is more about managing a healthy diet and an exercise routine – which is true, to an extent – and less about calculating nutritional content or insulin dosages. In other words, if I elect to order a salad as opposed to a sandwich when dining out, my restaurant companion(s) might think it’s just in an effort to eat healthfully. They forget that it could be more due to the fact that salads are typically lower carb options and therefore easier to calculate when it comes to bolusing.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I find it really frustrating to do the math in more complicated situations such as this, and I’m kind of bitter that most other people I know don’t have to give the nutritional content of foods they consume a second thought. While I wouldn’t wish diabetes on anyone, I do wish for greater consciousness of some of the more complex aspects involved in daily care and management.

In the grand scheme of things, not every mealtime carb count is going to yield a cut and dry computation. Bear this in mind whether or not you’re someone who’s directly affected by diabetes. That way, you’ll be more understanding when you need to break out the calculator before you break the bread. Just remember that in the end, it’ll be worth it when doing the math improves your accuracy and causes better blood sugars. You’ll be glad you took those extra steps, and whomever you share your meals with will be happy to see you benefiting from it.

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