C-O-U-N-T C-A-R-B-S: a 10-step guide to teaching carbohydrate counting

Diabetes Educ. 2008 Jan-Feb;34(1):67-74. doi: 10.1177/0145721707312206.


C-O-U-N-T C-A-R-B-S: A 10-Step Guide to Teaching Carbohydrate Counting describes a performance-based approach staff nurses can use to reinforce carbohydrate-counting learning in patients newly diagnosed with diabetes. A pilot of this strategy, which emphasizes practical, interactive exercises designed to improve transference of learning after discharge, was implemented in the Patient Learning Center at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Minneapolis. Based on feedback offered by 8 patient participants, guidelines were developed to help nurses apply evidenced-based adult learning principles to their diabetes education practice. Many nurses lack confidence in their ability to provide diabetes diet education. This article offers nurses practical guidelines for providing patients with opportunities for successful performance experiences in diet education, a method shown to produce better behavioral outcomes than the didactic strategies commonly used in hospitals at present.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / rehabilitation*
  • Diet, Diabetic*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Self Care
  • Teaching


  • Dietary Carbohydrates