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Counting Carbohydrates

The basis for the diabetic diet is the control of carbohydrates in all their forms. Simple carbohydrates - "pure" sugar for example (glucose) - can raise blood sugar very quickly, and keep it high for a while, depending on how much sugar is eaten. Complex carbohydrates take a period of time to be broken down into sugars, and will slowly raise blood sugar, but to a lower level than "pure" sugar.

"Counting Carbs" is a simple way of controlling the amount of simple and complex carbohydrates taken in, and is one of the ways that diabetics can use to control their blood sugar without medication.

A "carb" is equivalent to 15 grams of carbohydrate, and one of the easiest ways to remember a "Carb" is that a "carb" is a single slice of white bread - "1 carb".

Though you will find different recommendations from different organizations, a reasonable amount of "carbs per day" in diabetic patients is 12 carbs for men and 10 carbs for women.

This handout gives a series of example foods, their "carb" content, and always uses the single slice of white bread for the standard "carb".

A good webside for looking up carbs - carb-counter.net

So start counting!


Orange - 1 carb
Apple - 1.5 carb
Peach/Nectarine - 1 carb
Banana - 2 carbs
Slice of Bread - 1 carb
2 Plums - 1 carb
Pear - 0.75 carb
Six strawberrys - 1 carb
Three prunes - 1 carb

Milk 8oz - 1 carb
Orange Juice 8oz - 2 carbs
Apple Juice 8oz - 2 carbs
Regular Coke - 5 carbs
Slice of Bread - 1 carb
Diet Coke - 0 carbs
Flavored Water - 0 carbs
Gin & Tonic - 0 carbs
Brewed Coffee - 0 carb

Big Mac - 3 carbs
Chili Dog - 2 carbs
Burger Protein Style - 0.8 carbs
Corn Dog - 1.5 carbs
Slice of Bread - 1 carb
Burrito Supreme - 4 carbs
Crunchy taco - 1 carb
Whopper - 3 carbs
Large French Fries - 4 carbs

2 Eggs, bacon - 1 carb
Cream of Rice/Wheat - 2 carbs
French toast - 1.2 carbs
Pancakes - 4 carbs
Slice of Bread - 1 carb
Waffles - 4 carbs
Biscuits and Gravy - 1.5 carbs
Corn flakes - 2 carbs
Grapenuts flakes - 6 carbs

Grilled Steak - 0 carbs
Baked Fish - 0 carbs
Baked Chicken - 0 carbs
Grilled Pork - ~0 carbs
Slice of Bread - 1 carb
Roasted Turkey - 0 carbs
Fried Chicken - 0.5 carbs
Fried Fish - 0.5 carbs
Chicken Fried Steak - ~1 carb

Corn (1 cup) - 2 carbs
Peas (1 cup) - 1 carb
Corn on the cob - ~2 carbs
Broccoli (1 cup) - 0.5 carbs
Slice of Bread - 1 carb
Cauliflower (1 cup) - ~0 carbs
Carrots (1 cup) - 0.5 carbs
Green Beans (1 cup) - ~0 carbs
Asparagus (4 spears) - ~0 carbs

Lettuce (100g) - .2 carbs
Celery (100g) - .2 carbs
Cabbage (100g) - .2 carbs
Spinach (100g) - .2 carbs
Slice of Bread - 1 carb
Kale (100g) - .5 carbs
Green Salad - ~.3 carbs
Coleslaw (100g) .6 carbs
Hi Calorie Salad - ~ .5 carbs