Everything With a 15 In It Is a Lie


If I were ever to regain the stamina required to care about the carbs in apples, I would carb factor that.

Apple not usually in bag. Usually pick from tree, or ask farmer place bushel in handmade hemp sack. But today buy apples in bag. With nutrition information on bag.  Bigfoot not need read. Know 15g/apple.

But whoa. Catch eye. THIRTY-FOUR G’s, this apple wrapper brag.

Learn in hospital apple, orange, plum, pear, cup of berries, cup melon = 15g. Whatever fruit available, it 15g. Only specialty fruit is banana @15g per half banana. Assume pineapple different–because so big, mango–because so dense/big. Sometimes, if apple bizarrely large, maybe count 20g CHO. But feel illegitimate whole time. Because Apple. 15. Surely most iconic, plain fruit. Apple: fruit :: finger: base ten mathematics. Entire counting system based on apple.

More 15 Lies:

  • Eat 15, wait 15 for hypo: only accurate for 160-pound sedentary male no IOB, no food, no friends
  • Freshman 15, the weight gain: measured in milligram, high school friend not notice
  • Route 15 Pennsylvania, the road: surprise that’s West Virginia/ not DC
  • 15 minutes with you: Morrissey def. say no
  • Quinceañera, the party: probably OK wear running shorts/no need style hair


  1. Robin Jingjit · August 13, 2013

    This is my favorite kind of funny!!


  2. Scott E · August 13, 2013

    Yeah, umm… I was thinking the same thing a couple of weeks ago. Bought a bag of apples at a warehouse-club store and saw the label. The 15 g rule had always been for “small” apples (bring your tape measure) and these were large. They were also Gala apples, which to my tongue tasted sweeter. I expected MAYBE 25 g. But 34? I was really shocked.

    I haven’t eaten too many, but my experience tells me it’s not really 34. Maybe 25. But I’m stubborn and don’t take my word for it. My ratios are all effed up anyway.


  3. Anamaria · August 13, 2013

    Don’t forget to subtract out the fiber (I love subtracting the fiber, it makes me feel like we’re getting away with something). But still, 29? Those are some big apples.


  4. fifteenwaitfifteen · August 13, 2013

    LOL. I had the same revelation a while back. All these little tips and tricks we learn early on in the diabetes diagnosis (like the 15 wait 15 rule) tend to fall by the wayside when we learn that 1 size of things does NOT always fit all. And all apples are not necessarily 15g. Sheesh!!


    • Katy · August 13, 2013

      I meant to have that as my #1 lie on the list! So famous I forgot to include it in my rush to attempt clever. I’m adding it in…


      • fifteenwaitfifteen · August 13, 2013

        Good girl! I swear, I write a blog post, publish it, then edit it 15 times until it’s really finished. Ha! 15 times. That is totally a lie 🙂


  5. theperfectd · August 13, 2013

    Bwah- ha-ha. Morrissey. (Saw him a few years ago at Foxwoods. I wanted my 15 back. He is nothing without Mr. Mars.)
    Ahem… 15g is like the Fruit White Whale. Watermelon? Kiwi? Sigh.


  6. Katie · August 13, 2013

    Once I actually used my food scale to weigh an apple and then looked it up in Calorie King and it was outrageous. I never eat apples anymore. If I’m going to eat 35 carbs I’d rather it be bread of some sort.

    Also, subtracting fiber doesn’t work for everyone (but we’ve covered this before). If I subtract fiber I end up high. I use the actual carb count and don’t look at anything else on the label (I still haven’t graduated to figuring out how protein may or may not need to be accounted for). I’m still living happily in a world where protein just always equals “free”.


    • Katy · August 13, 2013

      This whole time I’ve been romanticizing apple w. peanut butter as the perfect 20g CHO after school/cocktail hour snack. But maybe it works OK for us because I usually swipe a few slices. Also *do* the people in the carb counting lab count on us eating the whole entire core?


    • bookstogether · August 13, 2013

      Oops, sorry, I missed the subtracting (or not) fiber discussion! Thank goodness it does seem to work for us, particularly when it comes to those LA Tortilla wraps.


  7. Karen · August 13, 2013

    I wish they has given a carb food scale with carb factor book in hospital. Would have saved me a lot of grief. “Cup” of canteloupe? Hard to measure. Doesn’t fit perfectly across top of cup and how do you account for the spaces between the little chunks of melon in there? And 15 grapes = 15 carbs? Please. Sometimes one grape is same size as 3 grapes. Love weighing fruit. Takes out the SWAG. Does eliminate the ability to just eat a whole apple. I always core and slice.


    • Scott E · August 13, 2013

      Since you brought up grapes, can someone please explain to me how the number of carbs in 15 grapes is different than the number of carbs in 15 raisins? All they did was remove the water… (and I always thought 12 grapes was 15 carbs — or maybe that was a “fruit exchange”. I remember the day when they upped the number of carbs in a fruit exchange from 10 to 15; I was ecstatic. Maybe that’s why I’m so confused now)


      • Karen · August 13, 2013

        Maybe the same as how there is more sugar in a brown spotty banana than in a pretty yellow one with green ends? I think I read that in the Sugarbusters book that someone gave me is why I said sugar and not carbs. I don’t know if there is a carb difference based on the ripeness of a banana… But maybe it’s something like that. Guess I gotta Google it now. 🙂


  8. SarahK · August 13, 2013

    This is why I go ahead and slice it, and weigh the slices. Then I calculate the carbs based on that weight, not the whole apple weight. 🙂


  9. laura · August 15, 2013

    also…daughter say ‘ready in 15!’


  10. Anonymous · September 4, 2013

    4 oz apple is not a lot of apple. Sliced and weighed on the Salter it is 14 grams. Most apples today are huge and easily double that. So half a nice large apple or a very small one. I too think apple with peanut butter is a great snack. Now they have all those flavored chocolate peanut butters which look yummy. I used to give a very large afternoon snack because she used to be so hungry after school. Ignored the meal plan and would give 50 grams. However, she was picky breakfast and lunch and only ate 30 grams maximum for breakfast and about 40 grams lunch. They run around so much after school, they are surely going to burn it off anyway. Grapes I charge 2 very small grapes 1 gram or 1 large grape 1 gram. If I can’t weigh it.


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