Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tidbit: Phone App for Carb Counters

 The free Calorie King phone app is just the thing for people who are actively watching calories, carbs and other nutrients. It’s handy for looking up food values on the fly; there’s less need to guess the carbohydrate content of a restaurant food item, especially if  you have diabetes and are matching insulin to the carbohydrate grams eaten at meals and snacks.

I teach carb counting for diabetes, and I use the Calorie King app to look up foods at various restaurants just for fun and to add to my general knowledge. (Pretty sad to call that a fun thing, huh? Plus, I am a bad guesser when it comes to portion sizes and amount of calories and carb; I need to measure things with measuring cups, measuring spoons or a digital scale, just like I teach my patients).

Here are some foods I recently looked up: Tim Horton’s apple fritter donut (49 grams carb), Panera’s bowl of black bean soup and whole grain baguette (29 grams carb,  36 grams carb), and McDonald’s mango pineapple fruit smoothie (small is 54 grams carb, large is 81).

What if you don’t have a smart phone? The 2012 Calorie King Calorie, Fat and Carbohydrate Counter book is available for around $9; it looks small but has a nice selection of restaurants and other foods listed. As the title implies, the book lists calories, fat and carbohydrate; the app gives an expanded nutrient list in case you are interested in protein, sodium and other nutrients. Plus the app is updated fairly frequently.

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