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Counting Carbohydrate Grams or Servings

Topic Overview

Your doctor, registered dietitian, or certified diabetes educator may suggest that you use one of two ways to count carbohydrate in your diet. For both, 15 grams of carbohydrate equals one serving. Use the method that is easiest for you.

  • Counting grams of carbohydrate. For example, if you want to eat 45 grams of carbohydrate, you would choose three servings (3 servings x 15 grams per serving = 45 grams). So for breakfast, you could choose three servings of different foods (such as oatmeal, milk, and half of a banana) or three servings of the same food (such as a larger serving of oatmeal).
  • Counting servings of carbohydrate. In this system, 15 grams equals 1 carbohydrate serving. Instead of counting 45 grams of carbohydrate at breakfast, you would count 3 carbohydrate servings.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last Revised June 24, 2013

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