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Blood Sugar Control
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Guide to Predictable Blood Sugars
Weight Control
Carb Counting 101
• What is Carb Counting?
• Foods with Carbohydrates
• How Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
• You Can Have Sweets
• Factors Affecting Blood Sugar
• Reading Food labels
• How Many Calories Do I Need?
• How Do I Maintain My Weight?
• Sticking With It
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Foods with Carbohydrates

You may be wondering, how can I count carbohydrates when I don't know what they are? Carbohydrates are found in a variety of food groups or categories. The basic thing to remember when it comes to carbohydrate counting is that 1 serving of carbohydrate is equal to 15 gms of carbohydrate.

1 Starch =15 grams carbohydrate= 1 carb
1 Fruit =15 grams carbohydrate= 1 carb
1 Vegetable =5 grams carbohydrate= 1/3 carb
1 Milk =12 grams carbohydrate= 1 carb
1 Protein =0 grams carbohydrate 
1 Fat =0 grams carbohydrate 

As you can see, vegetables also contain some carbohydrate but a lesser degree. When planning a meal with vegetables, it would take a total of three servings to equal 15 gms carbohydrate. Because of the high fiber content of vegetables, the carbohydrate consumed in 1 or 2 servings does not have to be counted.

Protein and fat do not contain any carbohydrate, however, it is important to include food selections from these categories on a daily basis as well.

Carbohydrates are found in a variety of food groups or categories.
The following is a list of carbohydrate containing foods and the portion size for one serving (15 gms) of carbohydrate. (Note: The portion size for one serving of vegetables is equal to 5 gms of carbohydrate)

Starches 1 slice bread
½ c. cooked pasta
1 c. flake type cereal
½ c. corn
½ c. peas
1 small baked potato
6 saltine crackers
Fruit & Fruit Juices 1 small orange
1 small banana
1 small apple
17 small grapes
½ c. apple juice
½ c. orange juice
Vegetables 1 medium tomato
½ c. cooked green beans
1 c. lettuce
1 c. raw onions
½ c. cooked beets
1 c. raw carrots
Milk 1 c. milk
1 c. nonfat fruit-flavored yogurt sweetened with aspartame or a non-nutritive sweetener.
Other Carbohydrates 2 in. square of unfrosted cake
2 small cookies
½ c. ice cream
1 c. regular pudding

What if the serving size on the label for carbohydrate is greater than 15 gms per serving?
Many times the number of carbohydrates listed for a food item on a label will exceed 15 gms/serving. The following information can be used as a reference in helping you determine how many servings of carbohydrate you are getting per serving of a particular food item:

Range of Carbs on Food LabelEqual To
0-5 gmsFree
6-10 gms½ carb
11-20 gms1 carb
21-25 gms1 ½ carb
26-35 gms2 carb

Meal planning with carbohydrates
If your goal is to eat 60 grams of carbohydrate at lunch, you could use either of the following examples to meet that goal:

Lunch #1
Food Amount Grams of Carb
Sandwich: Bread 2 slices 30
Meat 3 oz. 0
Fruit 1 small banana 15
1% Milk 1c. 12
  Total Grams: 57
Lunch #2
Chicken noodle soup 1 c. 15
Dinner roll 1 small 15
Tossed salad ½ c free
w/ fat free dressing 2 Tbsp. 7.5
Low fat fruited yogurt ½ c 22.5
  Total Grams: 60

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