When I had to upgrade my from my Disetronic H-Tron Plus to the new Accu-Chek Spirit years ago, the representative went over several options I had for carb counting. Reason being was because since the Disetronic had no way of calculating carbs, I honestly just knew to eat a certain amount of carbs and to bolus a set amount. It was a strange way, but it worked for me back then. When I upgraded, it came with a Palm Treo cell phone that had their own bolus calculator and logbook integrated into the phone (or you could choose a PDA if you wanted). Anyway, to make a long story short, she suggested the CalorieKing website. I was hooked from then on. All I had ever known was the book, but to have a website with search? Yep. Totally up my alley.
Fast forward until today. Pumps have come a long way since then. Most all of them have some sort of calculator in their system making it much easier to calculate your dose based on various amounts of carbohydrates. Granted, I still stick to having a steady amount of carbs per meal, but I can vary those if I want, but I just have to be mindful of the total amount of carbs no matter what, and CalorieKing remains my go-to source for carbohydrate amounts in foods I’m not familiar with. Since it was available, I’ve had the CalorieKing app on my phone – no matter which phone I use. It’s a staple in my diabetes care. And now, with all the fitness apps out there too, such as MyFitnessPal (which I LOVE), CalorieKing has one of their own as well. It’s called ControlMyWeight (obviously they like their words to run together… like a hashtag… minus the hashtag). In this app, you can set up a set amount of calories you’d like to track for a day, and it also lets you track water intake and minutes of exercise. But, what I love most about the app is you can set it to show the total amount of carbs per meal.
This way, you can just search for all of the foods you plan to eat, and it keeps a running total. Granted, as far as a weightloss app, it’s pretty fair but expensive in my opinion at $4.99, but I still think MyFitnessPal beats it (because it’s awesome and free). And if MFP integrates an option to total the carb count per meal, I’d absolutely have no reason to look anywhere else. But as far as just finding out how many carbs would be in your total meal for something you may not be used to eating, the Control My Weight app does a good job at keeping a running total for you. And, if you choose to let it be your calorie counting app and you keep a dedicated log in it, you can tap the circle that has the lines in it in the upper right hand corner, and it will give you a summary for that day, with Calories and Carbs at the top. So, if you have a goal per day that you aim towards, you can see how you’re fitting in there.
Why do I see all of that as important? Because when it comes to taking insulin, it’s good to maintain a good basal to bolus ratio. So, for me, a 60/40 ratio is ideal. Since *my* daily total basal is 20.7u, then my boluses should typically average 13.8u per day, or about 150g of carb. (Your diabetes may vary**). This is also why when I go on a lower carb diet, I typically have to lower my basal rate, otherwise the ratio is thrown off and I go low a lot more often and and up making up the excess with glucose tablets.
To some, this may not be a big deal. If you have the Tandem t:slim or Asante Snap pumps that also have a carb calculator built in, you may not need something like this and could rely on just the standard (and free) CalorieKing app, but if you don’t, this may be an app you might want to check out and see if you like it for yourself.