Susan’s story: Cutting out the carb calculations

18th January 2017

Susan has had type 1 diabetes for 45 years, and was diagnosed as having Coeliac Disease and an overactive thyroid 8 years ago. But this wasn’t to be the last of her health issues. A keen cook who values healthy eating and nutrition, Susan discovered Cook&Count app while searching for an easier way to carb count when home cooking. She shares her story with us…

All was good until 2010 when I detected a breast lump which turned out to be cancerous. I’m glad to say, because I found the lump early, I’m alive and kicking!

As a result of my various health conditions, healthy eating and nutrition is really important to me. I try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Though of course there are times when I’m in a hurry or have a low blood sugar when I tend to grab whatever I can.

I try as much as possible to make my own gluten free soup, bread, cookies and cakes with reduced sugar. When I make my own products I know exactly what goes into them, especially ingredients like sugar, salt and fat. I keep only gluten free flour and baking powder in the cupboard so I can’t ever get mixed up with normal flours.

The problem: Too many calculations!

Knowing the nutritional values of food was always important being a type 1 diabetic, but now more than ever as I’m on multiple daily insulin injections. It is imperative to know how many carbohydrates are in everything I eat before I inject. If I underestimate the carbs in a food, and so don’t inject enough insulin, it can lead to elevated blood glucose. While if I overestimate I can inject too much insulin, causing low blood glucose levels. I have often miscalculated in the past – there was a lot of guess work and sometimes I’d cook the same meals as I’d know how I was going to react.

I find it so annoying that many companies give nutritional values per 100 grams rather than per portion. Diabetics have to do constant calculations – see what blood glucose is, try and assess carbs in meals they’re about to eat, and then decide how much insulin to give. Other factors like alcohol, exercise and illness may need to be factored in too!

The solution: Save your sum-free recipes

In desperation I went to Google to see what I could find on counting carbs. There was loads of stuff on calorie counting but that was of no use to me. I often said to my husband you nearly need to be a diabetic to understand all the calculations that need to be done. I came across Cook&Count app, read some reviews, saw that Deborah is the parent of a Diabetic son and was sold!

The app makes life so much easier, especially for home baking. Many gluten free recipes have a lot of ingredients, but once you get into the hang of how the app works it’s a great resource. Some ingredients aren’t on the database but you can easily insert them in yourself. I love the fact that I can keep my usual recipes or even my favourite breakfast cereals saved there. It’s so great to type in the weight of the food you want to eat, which might not be the standard weight, and not have to do the sums!

I’ve been using Cook&Count app for a year now and overall I can honestly say it was a great find for me.

Try out Cook&Count app for free for yourself from the App Store or Google Play.