What is counting carbohydrates?

Counting Carbohydrates

What is one serving of carbohydrates?

One serving of carbohydrate food has about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Typically if a food has 8 to 22 grams of carbohydrates per serving, it is considered to be 1 serving of carbohydrates.

Foods that contain carbohydrates are grouped into the following categories. The carbohydrate content is listed in grams (g). If you eat a larger portion, count it as more than one serving.

The carbohydrate content of sweets varies according to the ingredients. Talk with a registered dietitian about how to work desserts and other sugary foods into your meal plan.
Carbohydrate foods

Type of food

Grams (g) per serving

One serving equals:

Bread, cereal, rice, pasta, beans

15

  • 1 slice bread (1 oz)
  • 1/4 bagel
  • 3/4 cup dry cereal
  • 1/2 cup cooked cereal
  • 1/3 cup cooked rice or pasta

Starchy vegetables

15

  • 1/2 cup cooked beans, lentils, or peas
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes

Fruits

15

  • 1 small apple or orange
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
  • 1/2 cup fruit juice
  • 2 Tbsp dried fruit

Milk and yogurt

15

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) plain yogurt

Non-starchy vegetables

5

  • 1 cup raw vegetables
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1/2 cup vegetable juice

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