Dosing insulin for soups

HI Everyone,
I’m a T1 and have been struggling to correctly figure out carbs when eating soups and casseroles. I always seem to either under or over dose and then have to deal with highs and lows. Are there strategies for dealing with carbs in soups, etc? It seems much easier when the food is easily recognizable in portions/amounts, but harder when its combined with other food. Thanks.

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hi @DFBB , do you mean like canned soups? I go off the label and add a bit. for homemade stuff I cna estimate the carbs in pasta but when mixed with sufficient fats… the carbs are a little harder to figure. trial-and-error with a known amount may be your best strategy. good luck!

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Hi Dianne @DFBB , as @Joe said, there are at least two distinctions when calculating soup carbs and fats, Homemade, and that covers a wide spectrum, and canned or packaged soups.

I had very good and easy insulin dosing when eating Progressive brand soups a few years ago for a couple of weeks following surgery while I was on a “no solids” diet. I found the carb count and fat content printed on the label to be carry accurate FOR MY body - yours may differ. The only care I really needed was when I was on small and frequent eating and needed to split a can into two servings; I used clear glass soup bowls so that I could see that the variety of ingredients was evenly split between servings.

Homemade soups are a totally different matter and involve much guess-work for me; I much rather under count carbs than over count and send my BGL too low too quickly. My wife makes some awesome soup meals that give me the same carb-counts as a meat, potato and vegetable dinner.
Good luck in counting your carbs, and enjoy eating!

Thanks for your advice, canned soups do seem a bit easier because the label is a guide, but homemade soups can be tricky. I appreciate your swift response.

I like your strategy of undercoating versus overcounting which happened to me last night and my BG went low way too quickly so I knew I overestimated the carbs.

Agree with the above! Canned soup I can always follow the nutrition label. If I feel like I scooped more broth than ingredients I make small adjustments down or a couple of grams more if I feel like I scooped more ingredients than broth.

If it’s homemade, I take a look at what is used as the base. Cream soups hit me a lot slower than home made chicken noodle, so basically it becomes the high fat/protein protocol for me. Depending on how noodle or rice heavy, I usually can get away with a 70/30 split with my pump. If it’s really cream heavy like chicken wild rice or a tortellini based with meat or something, then I have to do less up front and then extend most of it a few hours out and typically do 50/50 split over 3 hours with my pumpXLike the above said just a lot of trial and error but once you figure it out for one and have it down relatively close (everyday will be different but I consider it a win if I’m under 150 after everything is said and done heck even 170 if I can correct and it comes down easily) then I stick with that plan and just apply it to most of my soups. Your ratios could totally differ than mine but this is what I’ve found works best for me.

Thank you, your responses are very helpful.

This may be tedious, but when I’m measuring for my son I basically count the known carbs by scooping out those chunks if I can (potatoes, peas, etc) and guesstimate by measuring. (Then put them back in) I may add a few carbs for the liquid but it seems almost every time I overestimate soup carbs. At least I know I’m covering the “chunks” somewhat. And anything with beans is always much less due to the fiber.

Hi Diane, I have been a diabetic for many years, and it so happens that casseroles and soups are two of my favorite things. I eat soups made from scratch in the instapot. Tastes so much better than cans.

As far as figuring out the carbs you can get a general idea from the ingredients. If there is rice or potatoes it will be higher carbs of course and if it is a vegetable soup it will have next to no carbs. My way of figuring it out is simply by guestimating the first time and try to remember how dish affected your blood sugars, and then make adjustments for next time you make that dish.

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