How Many Carbs Should People with Type 2 Diabetes Eat Daily? A Guide
Read on to learn more about how carbs fit into eating plans for type 2 diabetes.
- your age
- your weight
- your activity level
Ask your doctor for guidance on more specific goals for you.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) also recommends eating carbs throughout the day as opposed to lots of carbs in one sitting. This helps keep your blood sugar from spiking.
Read some expert advice about eating with diabetes.
Carbs are nutrients that are broken down by the body into glucose, or blood sugar. Foods that contain carbs include:
- grains, such as:
- fruit and fruit juices
- starchy vegetables, such as corn and potatoes
- dairy foods, such as milk and yogurt
- sweets, such as:
- snack foods, such as potato chips
To find the carb content of a food, check the amount of total carbohydrates on the food label. Be sure to look at the serving amount as well. If you’re eating twice as much as the listed serving, you’ll need to double the total carbs you’re consuming.
You can find the carb content of foods that don’t have labels online or in carb-counting apps. With time, you’ll learn how many carbs are in your favorite foods.
When carbs break down in the body, they
Also, you may be able to enhance blood sugar management by restricting carbs and maintaining a moderate weight. A
People with diabetes need to be more careful about their eating than those without the condition. Your doctor or a registered dietitian can help you choose the best method based on your preferences and needs.
Learn more about possible benefits and risks of a low carb diet.
Below are three techniques for planning meals that can help you get the right amount of carbs:
- Carb counting: This method is the most straightforward. You and your doctor or a registered dietitian will work together to set a limit for how many carbs you’ll consume at each meal. Then you track the grams of carbs in the foods you eat.
- Exchange lists: This method categorizes foods into groups, such as carbohydrates, meat or meat alternatives, and fats. The plan outlines how many servings you can have from each group at a meal. The plan specifies how much of each food equals one serving within each group based on its nutrient content. You can exchange one food serving for another within the same group.
- Glycemic index (GI): This method lets you refine carb counting. It considers the quantity of carbs in the foods you eat and the quality. Foods with a high GI value raise blood sugar more than those with a low GI. The goal is to choose your carbs from foods with a lower GI value, such as:
- many whole-grain foods
- most fruits
- nonstarchy vegetables
- dried beans and peas
If you need some diabetes-friendly recipe ideas, check out the Diabetes Food Hub at the ADA.
Learn 6 things to know about carb counting for diabetes.
Although carbohydrates are part of a healthy diet, they also raise blood sugar. If you have type 2 diabetes, you need to aim for a balanced carb intake.
Carbs are found in many foods. You can check food labels to find the carb content or use a website, app, or book to help you.
There are several methods to help you plan meals, including carb counting, exchange lists, and the glycemic index.
Your doctor or a registered dietitian can help you determine how many carbs you should eat daily and what your eating plans should look like.