Daily Archives: May 1, 2012

Bread as my benchmark

Clearly, this image has 75 grams of carbohydrate
Image Credit: SliceOfChic | Flickr, used under Creative Commons license

I stink at counting carbs.

When the Big D first shot it’s arrow through my pancreas in 1981, I left the hospital with a strict exchange diet.  Most meals were two or three bread exchanges (depending on the meal), one or two meat exchanges, and one fruit exchange.  There were some vegetable exchanges and fat exchanges in the plan too, which I never really counted too closely.  The Exchange Diet was kind of like the Richard Simmons Deal-a-Meal plan.

The fruit exchange was a fast-acting and sweet-tasting part of the meal, put there so my blood sugar wouldn’t crash after an injection before the meal had time to work.  In hindsight, that reason wasn’t very credible, considering I ate the fruit at the end of the meal as dessert, and that the Regular insulin took forever to work to begin with.  But that was the conventional wisdom at the time.  (1 Fruit Exchange = a small apple, an orange, twelve grapes, two plums, or half a banana)

But the most interesting and challenging of all was a bread exchange.  Quite simply it was, a slice of bread (or if anyone was counting, 15 carbohydrates) – or to complicate things, something equivalent to a slice of bread: like some measurable amount (which I can’t remember) of mashed potatoes, ½ cup of Cheerios (or something like that), or exactly twelve potato chips.

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