Top 20 Diabetes Questions
How Many Carbs Should I Eat a Day?
Q: How many grams of carbohydrates should a person with diabetes consume each day?
A: Generally, women need fewer grams of carbohydrates each day than men. The amount of carbohydrates you need as an individual depends on many factors, including your size, weight, age, activity level, need and/or desire to lose weight, and food preferences. There isn't a one-size-fits-all amount of carbohydrates for all women. Everyone is different and has diverse nutritional needs.
Factors that help determine individual needs:
* Weight. Are you currently underweight, normal weight, or overweight?
* Activity level. Are you sedentary, moderately active, or highly active?
* Gender. Generally, men require more calories, and thus more carbohydrates, than women. Pregnant women and those who are breast-feeding require more as well.
Most adults need between 6 to 11 servings of carbs per day, depending on the factors listed above.
The general starting point for a moderate-size, normal-weight woman is 45-60 grams of carbohydrates at each meal; for a moderate-size, normal-weight man is 60-75 grams of carbs per meal. Most people with diabetes don't need to eat snacks. However, if you enjoy eating a snack, use some of your daily allotted carb grams-15-30 grams.per snack.
Find and work with a registered dietitian to learn more about your carbohydrate needs and controlling your blood glucose. Find a diabetes education program recognized by the American Diabetes Association in your area. http://professional.diabetes.org/erp_zip_search.aspx
Jeannette Jordan, M.S., RD, CDE, is the American Dietetic Association's national spokesperson for African-American nutrition issues and oversees nutrition education at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Virginia Zamudio Lange, R.N., M.S.N., CDE, is a member of Diabetic Living's editorial advisory board and an independent diabetes consultant.