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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:

Grains 1 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 6
Dry cereal, unsweetened 3/4 cup
English muffin 1/2 of a small
Hot cereal (oatmeal, grits, etc.) 1/2 cup cooked
Macaroni, noodles, pasta or spaghetti 1/3 cup cooked
Pancakes and waffles 1 (4-inch diameter)
Pizza crust, thin 1/8 of a 12-inch pizza
Rice (white or brown) 1/3 cup cooked
Beans & Legumes 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Baked beans 1/3 cup cooked
Beans (navy, black, pinto, red, etc.) 1/2 cup cooked
Lentils 1/2 cup cooked
Starchy Vegetables 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Baked potato (regular or sweet) 1/2 medium (4 inches long)
Corn 1/2 cup cooked
French fries, regular cut 10-15 fries
Peas 1/2 cup cooked
Winter squash (acorn, butternut, etc.) 1 cup cooked
Vegetable soup 1 cup
Fruits 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Apple 1 small
Banana 1/2 medium
Blackberries/Blueberries 3/4 cup
Canned fruit (in light syrup or juice) 1/2 cup
Cantaloupe 1 cup cubed
Cherries 12 to 15
Grapefruit 1/2 large
Grapes 17 small
Honeydew melon 1 cup
Orange 1 small
Peach 1 small
Pear 1 small
Raspberries 1 cup
Strawberries 1 1/2 cup whole
Watermelon 1 1/4 cup cubed
100% Fruit Juices 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Apple juice 1/2 cup
Cranberry juice 1/3 cup
Grape juice 1/3 cup
Grapefruit juice 1/2 cup
Orange juice 1/2 cup
Pineapple juice 1/2 cup
Dairy Products 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Milk (skim or 1% fat) 1 cup
Yogurt (plain, light or sugar-free) 1 cup
Sweets & Snacks 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Cookies 2 small
Chips 0.75 oz
Frozen yogurt, regular 1/2 cup
Ice cream (light) 1/2 cup
Popcorn (plain or air-popped) 3 cups
Pretzels 0.75 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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Member Comments

  • SALIMLONE
    White v whole grain bread - I think the chart is misleading in that it gives carb values but does not differentiate between white and whole grain bread. This is a 2009 article, and I think there has been some new thinking on how to manage the carbs.
  • This chart will be invaluable to me. I will put it on the fridge and have instant information when making a meal and plating it.

    Thank you so much,
  • FARMERSWIFE16
    My only thing is I was told to stay away from all cereals period.
  • Thank You for a great article.
  • Thank you for the chart. Very helpful!
  • I wish I could have a weekly menu to help me distribute these carbs over the day and over the week. I am eating the "right stuff" but my portions are too large. And I am frequently "out and about" on errands and would like to know some good portable snacks.
  • Nice to have the carbs chart for quick reference.
  • Frozen meals have all the information right on the package; look at the salt content You will be surprise. You can look up the nutrition value on google Just type in i.e Nutrion information on carrots. Hope this helps
  • Very helpful chart.
  • I eat Lean Cuisine's at Supper, I also have 1 or 2 green vegetables & a fresh fruit. How do I count this as for as carbs. I'm thinking the fruit would be one carb & the vegetables would be 0 carbs. But how do you count the Lean Cuisine? This one might be easy, it's a Chicken Breast, white rice, tarragon sauce, and green beans. Chicken Breast is 0 carbs & green beans is 0 carbs again. But Monday Night
    I'm having Spaghetti with Meatballs. It has Spaghetti Sauce, I'm thinking that has 0 carbs, because
    there's not that much of it. What do ya' all think? I hope you have a Blessed Day on the Lord's Day! LYL!
  • This is helpful information, but difficult to read. Is it possible to reformat the chart itself to print only that information in a larger font, or to save it as a separate file so that one could tweak font type and boldness and size to the level we need? Thanks!
  • Not diabetic, but the chart is helpful just for carb counting!
  • this chart is very helpful. I will be printing it off and keeping it handy.
  • 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.

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.

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