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Carbohydrate-Counting Chart for People with Diabetes

A Single-Serving Reference Guide

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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

  • this chart is very helpful. I will be printing it off and keeping it handy. - 5/13/2016 10:38:09 AM
  • I am on a keto low carb diet to control my diabetics . I have only been on it for 16 days and my sugar reading has gone from 250 to 180 in 2 weeks. Just by watching my carbs. - 4/18/2016 9:39:15 AM
  • Oh! Would have been perfect if you'd included soy milk - 1 cup = 15g of carbs or 1 serving. - 4/16/2016 4:04:22 PM
  • This is really helpful! I don't believe that dairy is good for diabetics (or the planet) but easy enough to copy this onto an Excel sheet and make it dairy-free. Thanks! - 4/16/2016 4:00:15 PM
  • Dry cereal, 3/4 cup?

    It depends on the cereal!! Puffed wheat or rice is so light and puffy, 3/4 of a cup would not be 15 grams, it would be less. Grape nuts, OTOH, are so very dense, we can only eat a small amount. Probably the article is referring to flakes, which would be in the middle.

    I read labels and look at the actual food. - 4/16/2016 7:16:07 AM
  • I'm trying to watch how many carbs I eat. I'm not a diabetic. My son is a type 1. So I'm always looking for chart to simplify how much is a carb. This is very helpful. Thank you. - 1/8/2016 7:57:07 AM
  • I am in the same boat. Just found an outstanding site http://www.dietdo
    ctor.com which is LCHF program. Hope it helps. - 12/17/2015 12:29:56 PM
  • I am in the same boat. Just found an outstanding site http://www.dietdo
    ctor.com which is LCHF program. Hope it helps. - 12/17/2015 12:29:56 PM
  • i am a type 2 diabetic and my a1c is 11 . I was told by my doctor i can have 15 to 20 carbs daily and i need a meal plan i need some adivice - 12/14/2015 6:49:57 PM
  • i just got told that I am pre diebetic I been a member of spark for a few years , but I am more into it this time than I was before . glad I found this page ......
    so if anyone want to spark mail me and give me info on this it would be greatly appreciated.since I been told this I have been going out walking 4-4.5 miles per day .. including little jogging in that info also ..

    looking to hear from some spark people ..
    Thanks - 10/18/2015 6:46:50 AM
  • DOTSHARP
    Good morning , I am on an Insulin pump , I had problems finding an easy to to goto chart this is it. I know it helps me to see just how much I am using and I can and from there . Most people do not understand that this is just a chart to help you add your carbs , like one slice of bread is 15 grams if you have two slices add them with what ever you put on it and EX, egg and cheese you have a sandwich= which would be about 45 grams ( estimating) . I have just learned this fact from my dietician , she loves this site . - 10/8/2015 9:00:03 AM
  • CINSCHULTE
    I like the article and the table but was also surprised to see any type of fruit juice listed. I have always been told to stay away from juice because of my diabetes. - 9/12/2015 10:35:29 PM
  • MAMACOLON7
    I always thought that beans & legumes were a form of protein but this list has them as a carb. Will have to ask the dietitian when I visit her. - 9/9/2015 10:14:34 AM
  • I'm not diabetic but I'm liking this chart. - 9/7/2015 8:20:33 PM
  • This is a wonderful guide and article for a diabetic struggling to understand - 7/21/2015 7:26:01 PM

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