Carb Counting Chart

Feeling healthy and feeling good about yourself is not a luxury – it’s an absolute necessity.

Carb Counting Chart

Carbohydrates are one of a group of essential nutrients, needed in large quantities daily. Its primary role is to provide energy to your body. There are two categories of carbohydrate: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates, such as fruit juice, provide quick energy while complex carbohydrates, offer more slowly released energy. All carbohydrate is broken down, absorbed and transported in the bloodstream (as glucose). Glucose may be used immediately or stored in the liver for future use. Your blood sugars, and, consequently, your insulin levels, increase after eating carbohydrates.

Particularly for individuals with type 2 diabetes, consuming too much carbohydrate at one time may cause drastic increases in blood sugar. This occurs when insulin production is insufficient, ineffective or cells have become insulin – resistant.

Monitoring carbohydrate intake is essential for controlling blood sugar. The usual recommended diet plan involves counting your carbohydrate intake (in grams) or ‘carb counting.’ Many foods contain carbohydrate, though main sources include starches, such as baked goods, breads, pasta and potatoes; fruits and fruit juices; vegetables and legumes; milk and sweets. With carb counting, you are usually given a carbohydrate limit (in grams) for the day based upon your calorie level.

For a 2,000-calorie diet, you might be allotted 250 grams. Divide them evenly among meals and snacks. A single ‘unit’ of carbohydrate-containing food provides 15 g carbohydrate. The chart below provides food examples and portions to equal 15 g. If you choose two foods, you are taking in 30 g carbohydrate, etc. Foods often provide an odd number of carbohydrates per serving. For those foods, you must ‘count’ the grams toward your meal/daily totals. Note: non-starchy vegetables typically provide less than 8 g carbohydrate per serving (exceptions with portions provided).

Basic Carb Counting Chart

Grains/Starches1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Bagel (plain); hamburger or hot dog bun1/2 (small)
Bread (wheat or white)1 oz. slice
English muffin1/2 muffin
Crackers (small, butter-type) or plain melba  rounds6 – 7 each
Unsweetened, dry cereal3/4 cup
Hot cereal (farina, oatmeal)1/2 cup, cooked
Graham crackers (honey/plain)1.5 large rectangles
Pasta (noodles, macaroni, spaghetti)1/3 cup, cooked
Pancake/Waffle (4” diameter)1 each
Pizza crust, thin1/8th of 12″
Rice (white or brown)1/3 cup, cooked
Beans & Legumes (cooked)1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Baked beans1/3 cup
Starchy beans (black, pinto, kidney, etc.)1/2 cup
Lentils/split peas1/2 cup
Edamame, from frozen1 cup
Starchy Vegetables (cooked)1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Baked potato, medium-sized (regular/sweet)1/2 (4” long)
Corn or green peas1/2 cup
French fries, regular (medium-cut)10-15
Rutabaga or winter squash1 cup, cubed
Parsnip or yam1/2 cup
Other vegetables1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Artichoke, whole1 medium
Beets, sliced1 cup, cooked
Kale, raw2 cups, chopped
Carrots, raw2 large
Pumpkin, canned3/4 cup
Fruits and 100% Fruit Juice1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Apple, orange peach, pear or nectarine1 small fruit
Banana1/2 medium
Blackberries, Blueberries or pineapple chunks3/4 cup
Canned fruit (light syrup or juice)1/2 cup
Cantaloupe or honeydew melon1 cup, cubed
Grapefruit1/2 large
Grapes17 small
Raspberries1 cup
Strawberries, whole1.5 cups
Watermelon1.25 cups, cubed
Cranberry or grape juice1/3 cup
Grapefruit, apple, pineapple or orange juice1/2 cup
Dairy Products1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Milk (non-fat or 1% fat)1 cup
Yogurt (plain or light)1 cup
Sweets & Snacks1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Vanilla wafers, plain or ginger snaps3-4 small
Chips/pretzels0.75 oz
Light ice cream or sugar-free pudding1/2 cup
Popcorn (plain/air-popped)3 cups


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