How Many Carbs Should You Eat a Day?
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Carb Counting Basics
Of all the nutrients you take in each day, nothing affects your blood glucose more than carbohydrates. But that doesn't mean carbs are bad for you. Carbohydrates are the body's main source of fuel, so you must eat foods with carbohydrates to function. However, you should watch how many grams of carbohydrate you eat. Everyone has different carb needs:
- men vs. women
- active vs. sedentary people
- people who want to lose weight vs. people who want to maintain weight
So, where do you begin? First, identify which slide fits your needs based on your gender, lifestyle, and weight loss goals. Then, practice carb counting. By keeping track of the amount of carbohydrate (grams or number of carb choices) in your meal plan, you can achieve better control of your blood glucose.
The ranges given -- for a variety of lifestyles -- on the following slides are based on a three-meals-per-day plan, with a snack if you should need it. While everyone is different, these numbers are a great place to start. For a personalized meal plan, talk with a registered dietitian.
|Carb Choices||Grams of Carbohydrate|
You can count carbohydrate by choices or grams. One carb choice is a serving of food that contains 15 grams of carbohydrate. To help, use the conversion chart above.
All of the carbohydrate ranges on the following slides were recommended by Type 2 Diabetes Basics (International Diabetes Center, 2004), Gestational Diabetes Basics (International Diabetes Center, 2005), and Donna Kernodle, R.D., M.P.H., CDE with the Diabetes Care Center at Wake Forest University’s Baptist Medical Center.