Diabetes information | type 1 University

Advanced Carb Counting & Glycemic Index



Jennifer Smith, RD, LD, CDCES

This course is for those who have a basic understanding of carbohydrate gram counting but want to do a better job of matching the amount and timing of mealtime insulin.  Accurate carb counting is particularly important to those who are using insulin-to-carb ratios, as well as those trying to carefully manage the amount of carb in their diet.  And because not all carbs digest at the same rate, post-meal glucose control hinges on proper insulin timing.  Recognizing the “fast” versus the “slow” foods will allow you to avoid the post-meal high/low pitfalls that plague so many insulin users.

Specific topics include:

  • The rationale behind counting carbs
  • Adjusting for dietary fiber
  • Traditional counting techniques
  • Use of carb factors
  • Portion estimation and conversion to carb grams
  • Defining glycemic index
  • The benefits of applying glycemic index
  • Optimal insulin timing for different food types/combinations 

Not sure you need this course?

Take the 5-question “placement exam” and find out!
no pressure!

Placement Exam: Advanced Carb Counting & Glycemic Index

1. Which carbohydrate raises blood sugar the fastest?

A. Sucrose

B. Fructose

C. Dextrose

D. Straight-chain starch

E. Branched-chain starch

2. Which meal contains approximately 60 grams of carbohydrate?

A. Medium slice of pizza, small side salad and diet soft drink.

B. Footlong submarine sandwich and a small bag of chips.

C. Cup of pasta, Caesar salad, and a scoop of ice cream.

D. Grilled cheese sandwich, handful of carrots, and mineral water.

E. Fast-food burger and medium fries

3. Carbohydrate factors represent:

A. The portion of calories in a food item that come from carbohydrates.

B. Anything in a food item that can raise blood sugar.

C. The percentage of a food’s weight that is carbohydrate.

4. Which of the following represents exactly a 1-cup portion?

A. A medium apple

B. A half-pint of milk

C. A soda can

D. An adult’s fist

E. 8 ounces of anything

5. Which is true about glycemic index (GI)?

A. High-GI foods cause a greater total blood sugar rise than low-GI foods.

B. Low-GI foods “cancel out” the effects of high-GI foods.

C. The greater the GI-value of a meal, the later insulin should be taken.

D. High-GI foods tend to reduce hunger between meals.

E. Having 40g of low-GI carbs will cause the same total blood sugar rise as 40g of high-GI carbs

D. The speed with which a given food item raises blood sugar.

E. The various things that make up total carbs (fiber, sugars, complex carbs)

Answers: C, A, C, B, E

  • Answered 4 or 5 correctly?  Nice job, Professor!  Looks like you know your stuff.  Maybe you could teach a course on this subject! But there are always new things to learn.
  • Answered 3 or fewer correctly?  You may have a thing or two to learn.  You would certainly benefit from taking this class. 
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    Register today!