Carbohydrate Counting

Carbohydrate counting is a way of controlling your diabetes.
You can also control your diabetes with insulin or pills, no doubt, but if you still haven't reached that point, you better start counting your carbohydrates.
But how can carbohydrate counting affect our diabetes control?
You can achieve a good control of your diabetes by balancing your blood glucose levels.
Carbohydrate naturally increases your blood sugar level. Eating large amounts of carbohydrates at one time can raise your blood sugar to a high level.
That's the reason why you have to learn the technique of carbohydrate counting by calculating the sum of the carbohydrates in each meal of yours.

Eating consistent amounts of carbohydrates every day helps you balance your blood glucose level.
We can find carbohydrates in starches (breads, cereals, starchy vegetables, and beans), fruit, milk and sweets.
Protein and fat are other nutrients that are found in foods, but these nutrients do not have the same effect as carbohydrates on your blood sugar. To keep track of your blood sugar levels, you should test your blood sugar regularly.

carbohydrate counting

You can start your carbohydrate counting with your dietitian or diabetes educator who will help you develop a healthy meal plan that works best for you.
Your dietitian or diabetes educator will tell you how much carbohydrates you should eat or drink during each meal and snack. Your meal plan will be based on several types of information.
This information may include your age, weight, usual food intake, physical activity level, blood sugar levels, and diabetes medicine.
Once you know how much carbohydrates you should eat, you can decide what type of carbohydrate you want to eat.

How do I count carbohydrates?
Well, there are two ways of carbohydrate counting.
  1. The first way is to get from your dietitian or diabetes educator the exact amount of carbohydrates to consume for each meal in the day.
    For example, if your dietitian or diabetes educator estimates that you need 75 grams of carbohydrates in your breakfast each day, then this can be one option for your breakfast:

    1 slice wheat bread toast - 15 gr.
    1 teaspoon margarine
    3/4 cup cornflakes - 18 gr.
    1 small banana - 15 gr.
    1/2 cup orange juice - 15 gr.
    1 cup black coffee
    1 cup low fat milk - 12 gr.

    Total carbs - 75 gr.

  2. The second way of carbohydrate counting is to match your insulin dose to the amount of carbohydrate you eat.
    You will need to work with your dietitian or diabetes educator to determine your ratio of carbohydrate to insulin.
In both ways of carbohydrate counting, however, knowing serving sizes and reading food labels are both necessary in order to count carbohydrates.
Below you have a chart of the common foods with their typical serving sizes and their carbohydrate amounts in grams.



Argula1/2 cup17.7
Artichoke1 medium13
Asparagus4 spears2.1
Beans, Green, Fresh1/2 cup4.9
Beans, Green, Canned1/2 cup5.1
Beans, Black, Canned1/2 cup17
Beans, Kidney, Canned1/2 cup19
Beans, White, Canned1/2 cup19
Beans, Lima, Cooked/Boiled1/2 cup20.1
Beans, Navy, Cooked1/2 cup24
Beets1/2 cup6.8
Broccoli1/2 cup2.3
Cabbage1/2 cup1.9
Carrots1 medium6
Celery1 medium stalk1
Corn1 cup29.3
Lettuce1 head0.4
Mushrooms1/2 cup4
Onions1 medium9
Peas, Green1/2 cup10
Potato, Baked1 medium36.7
Potato, Sweet, Baked1 medium31.6
Pumpkin1/2 cup10.1
Peppers, Red7 ounce Jar4
Tomato1 medium6


Apple, Raw1 medium21.1
Apricot3 medium11.8
Banana1 medium26.7
Cantaloupe1/2 medium22.3
Cherries1/2 cup12
Dates1 date6
Grapefruit1/2 medium16
Grapes1 cup15.8
Kiwi1 medium11.3
Lemon1 medium5.4
Mango1 medium35.2
Orange, Raw1 medium15.4
Papaya1 medium29.8
Peach1 medium9.7
Pear1 medium25.1
Pineapple1 slice - 3/4" thick10.4
Plum1 ounce3.7
Prunes10 each52.7
Raisins1/2 cup57.5
Watermelon1/2 cup5.7


Spaghetti2 ounce dry42.6
Ravioli (meat)2 ounce dry 42.6
Fettuccini (egg)2 ounce dry 42.6
Spiral Pasta2 ounce dry 42.6
Capellini2 ounce dry 42.6
Linguine2 ounce dry 42.6
Macaroni2 ounce dry 42.6
Rice Vermicelli1 cup79.4


Biscuit, Chocolate20 gr.16
Bran, Wheat8 gr.2.5
Bread, All types1 slice15
Bagel1 bagel71
Blueberry Muffin1 muffin27
Cake, Fruit60 gr.35
Cake, Sponge60 gr.32
Doughnut40 gr.20
Graham Crackers2 crackers24
Kellogg's Cornflakes1 cup24
Melba Toast1 round3
Scone30 gr.18
Pancake75 gr.27
Pita Bread1 pita – 6.5"28
Pizza, Cheese & Tomato150 gr.38
Rye Crispbread1 each0
Wheat Biscuit35 gr.25
Whole Wheat Bread1 slice13
Eggroll Wrapper1 eggroll4.5


Barley1 cup135
Bulgur1 cup cooked33.8
Couscous1 cup cooked41.6
Noodles (instant)1 cup25.9
Rice, Wild1 cup cooked35
Rice, Brown1 cup cooked44.8
Rice, White, Long Grain1 cup cooked35.1


Cheese, Cottage, Regular1/2 cup4
Cheese, Cream, Regular1 ounce0.8
Cheese, Feta1 ounce1.2
Cheese, Mozzarella, Skim1 ounce0.8
Cheese, Parmesan1 ounce0.9
Cheese, Swiss1 ounce1
Milk (whole)1 cup11.4
Milk (skimmed) 1 cup 11.9
Milk (chocolate flavored) 1 cup 26
Ice Cream (whole)60 gr. 15
Ice cream (low-fat) 60 gr. 15
Yogurt (low-fat) 1 cup 16
Soy milk banana1 cup 4.3
Soy beverage chocolate1 cup 4.3
Tofu , Raw1/2 cup 2.3


Almonds1 cup20
Cashews1 cup45
Chocolate Bar1 ounce17
Caramel50 gr.39
Jelly Beans100 gr.90
Peanuts1 ounce5
Popcorn (no oil)1 ounce20
Pistachios1 cup32
Tahini1 tbsp4
Walnuts1 cup19


Corn Syrup, Light2 tbsp0
Honey1 tbsp16
Jam100 gr.69
Peanut Butter100 gr.13
Marmalade100 gr.70
Maple Syrup2 tbsp0
Sugar100 gr.100


Apple Juice, Raw6 ounce21.7
Beer12 Oz can12
Cola100 gr.11
Grapefruit Juice, Raw6 ounce17
Orange Soft Drink6 ounce18.4
Orange Juice, Raw1/2 cup13
Lemon Juice, Raw1/2 cup10.5
Pineapple Soft Drink6 ounce25.8
Wine1 glass (4 ounce)1.7

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