I get asked a lot – what are the right amount of carbs for type 2 diabetics? And my question is always the same…it depends. Diabetes carb counting isn’t the end all be all. It’s only a piece of the puzzle for type 2 diabetes.
And for the most part, I don’t believe in a one-size-fits all solution. You need to understand how different carbs affect your blood sugar. And then it is easier to carb count.
Even some of the doctors I work with have trouble really grasping carb counting as it isn’t an exact science. So having said that, I’m going to give you some simple tips to help you count carbs.
Diabetes Carb Counting Made Simple
- Read nutritional labels if they’re available. This is usually displayed as “Nutrition Facts”
- Use a measuring cup to measure liquids and food to learn carbohydrate amounts
- In general, one cup of a starchy carb is about the size of a woman’s fist
- For type 2 diabetics, I would say try to keep your carbs between 30-40 grams per meal – and say that to give you a starting point because if you weight more you can handle more carbs (plus different types of carbs impact your blood sugar differently)
- Use a food scale to weigh food in ounces
Carbohydrates In Common Foods (Rough estimates, not exact)
- Beans, Corn, Potatoes, on average contain about 15 grams of carbs per ½ cup
- Rice, Pasta, Yuka contain about 15 grams of carbs per 1/3 cup
- Dry cereal such as oatmeal contains about 15 grams per 1/3 cup
- Fruit juice, about ½ a cup contains about 15 grams of carbs
- 1 cup of raspberries, blueberries, and pineapples contains about 15 grams of carbohdrates
- 1 large orange is about 22 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 large apple is about 30 grams of carbohydrates
- One slice of whole wheat bread is roughly 13 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 pear is about 26 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 cup of broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, lettuce, eggplant, cucumber, celery, mushrooms, onions all contain about 6 grams of carbohydrates
- Milk – 1 cup of cow’s milk, soy, or plain yogurt contains about 12 grams of carbohydrates
- Ice cream at ½ a cup contains about 12 grams of carbohydrates
- Sports drinks – 1 cup contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates
- Soda – at ½ a cup, contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates
A good resource for calorie counting on the go is “The Calorie King Calorie Fat & Carbohydrate Counter.” This book makes it easy for you to count carbs when dining out.
Prior to using this information please consult with your physician.