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Carbohydrate-Counting Chart for People with Diabetes

A Single-Serving Reference Guide

511SHARES
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:
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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

Member Comments

  • I have been diagnosed with pre diabetes. My A1C is 6.4 I have been put on a high protein diet. Tonight , 2 hours after dinner I took a reading and it was out of sight at 181. I had green beans, steak(3 oz) and fruit. Totally freaked out. - 8/25/2014 11:33:19 PM
  • CATHYOWENSBY
    this is to all of you who are dealing with type 2 diabetes. Fatty liver disease as tigereyes mentioned is something to take VERY seriously. I was diagnosed with fatty liver disease 3.5 years ago and did not take it seriously. in fact I was trying to fool myself that the doctors must have this all wrong. I ate what I wanted and my weight stayed above #.
    well, three months, 8 days ago I had a liver transplant. yes a transplant. all this from not taking fatty liver disease SERIOUSLY.
    So,after almost losing my life, losing almost 80#'s (not from dieting but from being VERY ill!), changing my eating habits along with counting carbs and proteins, I have learned the hard way!
    tigereyes2 don't be a fool like myself. I would not wish this on my worst enemy! - 7/22/2014 6:15:06 PM
  • UTOO73
    I have added concentrated whey to my diet. If I maintain carbs and fat... protein ALWAYS falls short. I rarely exceed 1500 calories in a day and average around 1250. One of the reasons though I looked into protein was having a high glucose count upon awaking. Even though I had eaten less that 50 carbs a meal and under 20 fat. Turns out the body naturally kicks in your insulin around 3AM.. and since you are lowering carb and fat, there is nothing there to digest. So I began to fix a soy and protein shake before bed... using about 1/4 to 1/2 a serving of the whey protein. It dropped my morning blood sugar between 30 to 40 points. I almost register as normal.

    One cautionary note...if you get no exercise, you probably want to limit how much protein you add. For me... I had to learn. A good sign you are adding to much is having to urinate often...it's your body trying to shed excess.

    Anyway, that's what's working for me... - 2/24/2014 3:54:29 PM
  • Fitness barb, I am having trouble with by Blood Sugar numbers, they have been really high and I have been following the suggested SP diabetic food plan requested of me, except sometimes, going over the requested range of calories.
    I hear about other people on a 1500-1700 calorie food plan. Mine is 1700 to 2100, isn't that too many calories? What can I do about my high BS numbers, should I eliminate fruit as a snack after lunch?

    Can you please reply and advise me, i'm waiting to see a Nutritionist until next month. This is my second week in the program, and I am stuck with my weight , at a plateau, from 225-231, back and forth. I lost 92 pounds from the middle of October to the middle of December. Then the yo-yoing began. I guess my body just needs to figure out what is my set point weight. I am thinner than I have been in year, since before I got married, over almost 30 years. I am happy with my present weight loss but anxious to continue and reach that illusive goal weight. I heard on SP that your weight loss is not a race but a lifetime of changes. I still haven't completely given up sugar, that's the next step. - 2/21/2014 11:32:30 PM
  • TIGEREYES2
    I am where many of you are., I am a newly diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic, I also have NAFL (non alcohol fatty liver) I've been on this group and they insist on the low carb/high fat way of living, but I cannot bring myself to accept this as being healthy. I have seen my sugars coming down from 9.3 to an average of 5 or 6 in about 4 weeks, (diagnosed Dec 23/13) I do have some carbs, but have not seen a dietician yet. I see her in Feb. - 1/25/2014 10:19:08 PM
  • HOOLAHOOP2
    Hi,
    I am uncertain what numbers pre-meal determine diabetes. Depending on what doctor you see, the numbers vary. My numbers are over 100 now and I am beginning to get worried about being pre-diabetic. Also, how high should your numbers be post meal. - 1/9/2014 8:54:39 AM
  • HELENINCA
    how many carbs should a person consume on a 1200 calorie diet - 10/6/2013 9:33:59 AM
  • KMATEER
    oh my god! i think im going to have a melt down. Type 2 diabetis and just been put on insulin and im just getting headaches thinking bput counting carbs, i thought eating things like salads ect would have no carbs aarrgghhhhh help - 10/1/2013 5:20:58 AM
  • MHOWARD32
    How many carbs should a person with type 2 diabetes consume on a daily basis? - 9/23/2013 9:45:56 PM
  • I hope I can follow this program. It looks like it could be easier than I thought. - 5/31/2013 4:34:53 PM
  • JLKL1980
    I had to reduce my screen print size to 75% before I could see the print button on the bottom left side of article. Hope it helps everyone! - 4/16/2013 8:29:21 PM
  • DUSKIE1
    All those people asking about a print out of this chart, you must know someone that has a printer!!!! just send the page or article to them and have them PRINT it out for you.
    also I would suggest finding out where your diabetes centre is in your city , they have lots of information sheets for you... - 4/14/2013 5:14:12 PM
  • PHOLLIS-GARNER
    With all the "tips" and other articles I just don't know what is the best route. I mean, I know to count carbs and keep up with insulin levels but I just don't seem to catch on. - 4/1/2013 10:10:48 PM
  • DAVEN1969
    everybody talks about carbs and fat content. i watched these and my blood pressure went up because the sodium content in a lot of the low carb foods is outrageous - 3/26/2013 1:07:06 AM
  • Great article. Carbs are my downfall, bread especially! - 3/20/2013 7:27:27 AM

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