Serving Serving Sizes

Finger foods should be a food group. No, that’s not a proposed “Man Law”, it should just be law, period. Finger foods are the ultimate double-edged sword for a person with Diabetes. When it comes to managing carbohydrate intake, it’s all about the serving size. Assuming the nutrition labels are accurate, which apparently can be a risky assumption, the serving size is the ultimate piece of information that helps determine insulin dosages. Of course finger foods, even if you have the right nutrition facts, are nearly impossible to keep to the specified serving sizes. Why must something that tastes so good be so difficult to maintain self control over? Or am I the only person that has a problem with that?

So this post will serve as a 3 paragraph PSA. If you are a fan of something like Doritos, try to find the variety packs. Instead of trying to count out “about 12 chips” for 18g, have a fun-size bag with the same carb content. Eliminate the risk of grabbing an extra handful of chips that could throw off the rest of your carb/insulin calculations. Of course if you are on a pump then adjusting for an underestimated carb count isn’t that big of a deal. However I’m still operating with some analog technology and getting the numbers right is a particularly nasty obsession of mine.

Little Bag...Big Bag...

With me, it’s all about these stupid numbers. When I miss, it stresses me out (to a fault). If I get it right, I focus on the times that I’ve missed. I know I need to change my outlook on my Diabetes management. The vocabulary I use is mostly pessimistic, I focus on the negatives to try to keep myself motivated. It’s not healthy, and I’m working on it. This isn’t the kind of thing I can just flip a switch and be Oliver Optimist. Not yet at least. As far as the chips go, it’s a bit easier to eat a small bag and be done with it instead of looking at a big bag of chips and resist temptation. Although being tempted by a bag of chips isn’t exactly the worst instance of temptation, I think you get the idea.

3 thoughts on “Serving Serving Sizes

  1. Doritos, bad. Sun Chips, good. ;-)

    I have a pump and I don’t always get it right. It happens.
    Carb counting can be a weird guessing game at times, even when it’s written on the package. Then there is the over and underestimating of insulin dosage. Fun times.

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  2. The FDA may soon move to mandate that serving sizes correspond with package sizes. See http://nyti.ms/bweyPj for the NY Times article on that subject; this is long overdue — how many people view a small bag of chips purchased with lunch as 3.5 servings? I’d guess no one, but the manufacturers do this to make their calorie counts appear lower than they are in reality, and they’ve been able to do this under the guidance from the Food and Drug Administration. The issue of how to measure broken chips is another matter entirely, one which Scott K. Johnson blogged about a while back (see http://bit.ly/bPufxe) in a post called “14 Chips?” which you might want to have a look at. The reality is the challenges dealing with measuring everything face a host of challenges that life throws in the way, which is why glycemic control will never be perfect like doctors would like. That says to me that the focus on glycemic control is a lofty theory and might be good advice with what exists today, but still a misplaced priority. A cure would be a better investment!!

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  3. Given the variability even within a package (3.5 servings can range from 3.2 servings to 3.8 servings, count the grams), the only moderately accurate method is to get a digital scale and measure out everything to the last gram… which means having the self-control to not barrel through the rest of the bag, anyway, and never eating those foods “out”. Not the happiest way to live life.

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