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Carbohydrate-Counting Chart for People with Diabetes

Posted by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:16 PM
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Carbohydrate-Counting Chart for People with Diabetes

A Single-Serving Reference Guide

-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian

Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source. During digestion, sugar (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood sugar (glucose). If you consume too much carbohydrate-rich food at one time, your blood sugar levels may rise too high, which can be problematic. Monitoring your carbohydrate intake is a key to blood sugar control, as outlined in a plan by your doctor or dietitian. 

Carbohydrates are found in lots of different foods. But the healthiest carbohydrate choices include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, and low-fat dairy products. The chart below shows a single serving of carbohydrate-containing foods, which equals 15 grams

Grains1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Bagel (white or whole wheat)1/2 of a small
Bread (white or whole wheat)1 slice (1 ounce)
Bun (white or whole wheat)1/2 of a small
Crackers, round butter style
Dry cereal, unsweetened3/4 cup
English muffin1/2 of a small
Hot cereal (oatmeal, grits, etc.)1/2 cup cooked
Macaroni, noodles, pasta or spaghetti1/3 cup cooked
Pancakes and waffles1 (4-inch diameter)
Pizza crust, thin1/8 of a 12-inch pizza
Rice (white or brown)1/3 cup cooked
Beans & Legumes1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Baked beans1/3 cup cooked
Beans (navy, black, pinto, red, etc.)1/2 cup cooked
Lentils1/2 cup cooked
Starchy Vegetables1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Baked potato (regular or sweet)1/2 medium (4 inches long)
Corn1/2 cup cooked
French fries, regular cut10-15 fries
Peas1/2 cup cooked
Winter squash (acorn, butternut, etc.)1 cup cooked
Vegetable soup1 cup
Fruits1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Apple1 small
Banana1/2 medium
Blackberries/Blueberries3/4 cup
Canned fruit (in light syrup or juice)1/2 cup
Cantaloupe1 cup cubed
Cherries12 to 15
Grapefruit1/2 large
Grapes17 small
Honeydew melon1 cup
Orange1 small
Peach1 small
Pear1 small
Raspberries1 cup
Strawberries1 1/2 cup whole
Watermelon1 1/4 cup cubed
100% Fruit Juices1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Apple juice1/2 cup
Cranberry juice1/3 cup
Grape juice1/3 cup
Grapefruit juice1/2 cup
Orange juice1/2 cup
Pineapple juice1/2 cup
Dairy Products1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Milk (skim or 1% fat)1 cup
Yogurt (plain, light or sugar-free)1 cup
Sweets & Snacks1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Cookies2 small
Chips0.75 oz
Frozen yogurt, regular
1/2 cup
Ice cream (light)1/2 cup
Popcorn (plain or air-popped)3 cups
Pretzels0.75 oz
Pudding (sugar-free)1/2 cup

For more information about eating with Type 2 diabetes, click here
For more specific information or help, talk to your health care provider. The American Diabetes Association's National Call Center also offers live advice from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday at 1-800-DIABETES or 1-800-342-2383.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Amy Poetker, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.


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by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:16 PM
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