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Carbohydrate Chart for Diabetics

A Single-Serving Reference
-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian

Carbohydrates are your body's main energy source. During digestion, sugar (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood sugar (glucose). Sometimes during pregnancy, the body is not able to maintain proper levels of glucose, which results in gestational diabetes. Monitoring your carbohydrate intake is a key to blood sugar control, as outlined in a plan by your doctor or dietitian.

Carbohydrates are found in lots of different foods. But the healthiest carbohydrate choices include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, and low-fat dairy products. The chart below shows a single serving of carbohydrate-containing foods, which equals 15 grams:

Grains 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Bagel (white or whole wheat) 1/2 of a small
Bread (white or whole wheat) 1 slice (1 ounce)
Bun (white or whole wheat) 1/2 of a small
Crackers 4 to 5
Dry cereal, unsweetened 3/4 cup
English muffin 1/2 of a small
Hot cereal (oatmeal, grits, etc.) 1/2 cup cooked
Macaroni, noodles, pasta or spaghetti 1/3 cup cooked
Pancakes and waffles 1 (4-inch diameter)
Pizza crust, thin 1/8 of medium pizza
Rice (white or brown) 1/3 cup cooked
Beans & Legumes 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Beans (baked, black, pinto, red, etc.) 1/2 cup cooked
Lentils 1/2 cup cooked
Starchy Vegetables 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Baked potato (regular or sweet) 1/2 medium (4 inches long)
Corn 1/2 cup cooked
French fries, regular cut 10-15 fries
Peas 1/2 cup cooked
Winter squash (acorn, butternut, etc.) 1 cup cooked
Vegetable soup 1 cup
Fruits 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Apple 1 small
Banana 1/2 medium
Berries (any type) 1 cup
Canned fruit (in light syrup or juice) 1/2 cup
Cantaloupe 1 cup
Cherries 12 to 15
Grapefruit 1/2 medium
Grapes 12 to 15
Honeydew melon 1 cup
Orange 1 small
Peach 1 small
Pear 1 small
Watermelon 1 cup
100% Fruit Juices 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Apple juice 1/3 cup
Cranberry juice 1/3 cup
Grape juice 1/3 cup
Grapefruit juice 1/2 cup
Orange juice 1/2 cup
Pineapple juice 1/3 cup
Dairy Products 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Milk (skim or 1% fat) 1 cup
Yogurt (plain, light or sugar-free) 1 cup
Sweets & Snacks 1 Serving = 15 g carbs
Cookies 2 small
Chips 1 ounce (snack size bag)
Frozen yogurt 1/2 cup
Ice cream (low-fat) 1/2 cup
Popcorn (plain or air-popped) 3 cups
Pretzels 1 ounce (snack size bag)
Pudding (sugar-free) 1/2 cup

For more information about gestational diabetes, click here.

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Member Comments About this Article
"You should NEVER completely cut out carbs... especially in pregnancy. Carbs are your babies main energy source and feed their little brain. Carbs are very very important. The point of tracking is to keep your blood sugar at a stable level and not go up and down to drastically throughout the day. Carbs, especially things like fruits and whole grains, are very good for you... but if you have blood sugar issues you just have to be careful with them.

It is true that in our society we tend to over..." -- JOYTHEIABABY
"Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy products, foods made from grain products, and sweeteners such as sugar, honey, molasses, and corn syrup. Unrefined carbohydrates found in whole grain products, brown rice, and bran cereals are digested slowly, contain vitamins, minerals and fiber to promote health. Fiber and nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits and beans have many important functions for the body. Including the appropriate amount and type of carbohydrate food is the correct..." -- TONKA_14
"is it possible/safe to cut out all carbs (breads/pasta/rice) and replace them with the appropriate amount of veggie carbs during pregnancy?

is there any benefit to eating these carb products at all?" -- TATINICO
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About The Author
Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. She teaches prenatal classes and counsels individuals, helping women eat right and stay fit before, during and after their pregnancies.
Becky Hand

 


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