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Diabetic Children May Focus Too Much On Counting Carbs

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Keeping an eye on the amount of carbohydrates consumed can help young people with type 1 diabetes control their blood sugar.But they should also be careful about putting too much emphasis on carb counting alone, researchers say.

Nutrition counseling for children and teens with type 1 diabetes often recommends carb counting. By calculating the grams of carbohydrates in a meal or snack, diabetics can more closely control blood sugar levels and adjust their doses of insulin appropriately.

The small study, published inĀ Diabetes Care, found that parents and kids sometimes put too much emphasis on carb quantity at the expense of diet quality.

In interviews with 35 8 to 21-year-olds and their parents, the researchers found that some preferred packaged processed foods to “whole” foods, like fruits, whole grains and legumes, because the carb content was readily available on the product labels.

In addition, some parents limited their children’s intake of healthy choices like fruit and whole grains because of their carbohydrate content. This was despite the fact that parents and kids alike usually believed that fruits and vegetables were generally healthy foods, while “junk food” and fast food should be limited.

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