desang, diabetes diet, diabetic diet, counting carbohydrates, food for diabetes, Lisa Bailey, The Ca

KITLIVING

• If you're using the label to work out the

carbohydrate content check whether it

provides the carbohydrate value of the

cooked or uncooked product, because

labels tend to only provide one or the

other - it would be much more helpful if

they did both.

• Jacket potatoes are best calculated

when raw due to the huge variation in

water loss during the cooking process.

• Weighing rice, pasta and other grains

before cooking will give the most accurate

result. If you don't like weighing, you could

weigh your regular portion once then find

a handy measure to fit it into and use that

the next time.

• Cook pasta, rice and other grains as per

the instructed cooking time, over cooking

will add extra water which will make your

calculations wrong if calculating using the

cooked weight

• When measuring cooked rice or pasta

to work out the carbohydrate content,

handy measures (such as cupful, a

spoonful, or a portion the size of your

closed fist) may be just as accurate as

weighing ,plus are much more practical

especially if you are cooking for more than

one person.

Cooked or raw? When is

the best time to work

out the carbohydrate

content of food?

It might seem a

simple question. You may prefer working

out the carbohydrate content based on

the raw weight, which is great from a

food waste point of view because you're

measuring before you cook. Alternatively,

you may be someone that judges it by

eye once the food is served on your plate.

There is no wrong way of doing it but

there are factors that could affect which

would be the most accurate choice, from

how the food is cooked to how long it's

cooked for. The guide below tells you

what to look out for and when might be

the most accurate time to work out the

carbohydrate content of different foods.

Rice and pasta

On average when cooked, pasta doubles

in weight whereas rice triples in weight.

This reflects the water absorbed during

the cooking process. If you boil 100g

of raw rice (which contains 83.7g*

carbohydrate), the resulting amount of

cooked rice (which would weigh roughly

300g due to the water it absorbed) would

contain the same 83.7g of carbohydrate,

as none of the carbohydrate is destroyed

by the cooking process (although it can

alter the starch structure this doesn't

affect the overall amount of carbohydrate).

Some leaching of starchy

carbohydrate may occur whilst cooking

but the amount is so small it's not a factor

worth considering when working out the

final carbohydrate content.

The longer rice or pasta is cooked,

the more water it absorbs. I carried out

an experiment at home and found that

cooking 50g (raw weight) of rice and pasta

for 3-4 minutes past the recommended

cooking time resulted in the pasta

absorbing an extra 15g of water and

the rice 20g. Cooking time is therefore

something to consider if you are using recipe overleaf

MAKING CARBS COUNT

the cooked weight of rice, pasta and

other grains to work out the carbohydrate

content.

Potatoes

Potatoes are so versatile and can be

cooked in lots of different ways. The

cooking method makes a big difference

to the water retained and therefore the

amount of carbohydrate per 100g of

cooked potato. Roasting, baking and

microwaving significantly reduce the water

content whilst boiling slightly increases it.

I microwaved a 220g raw potato and

found at 7 minutes it weighed 187g and

at 10 minutes it weighed 162g, which is a

big difference if you are using the cooked

weight to calculate the carbohydrate

content.

If you're buying loose potatoes then

you won't have a label, so it's worth finding

a reliable reference table like the one

below as you will need the carbohydrate

content per 100g of potatoes cooked in

different ways.

See table below for more details.

POTATO Carbohydrate content per 100g*

Potato, raw without skin 20g

Potato, boiled without skin 18g

Microwaved with skin 22g

Baked with skin 23g

Roasted potato wedges (homemade)

with skin

27g

*Carbohydrate values per 100g taken from The Composition of Foods 7th edition rounded

up tor down to two figures. .

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