Carbohydrates provide your body with energy and should make up the largest portion of your daily diet.

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Foods that contain carbohydrates raise your blood glucose more quickly than those with protein or fat, but they are part of a healthy diet. Talk with your doctor and your dietitian about whether you need to adjust your medication or increase your physical activity when you eat more carbohydrates. To avoid raising your blood glucose levels, you will also need to delay the time between eating foods that are rich in carbohydrates. If you eat a food that has a lot of carbohydrates, such as a bagel, wait a few hours before you eat another carbohydrate-heavy food, such as cereal.

Talk with your doctor or diabetes educator about checking your blood glucose after eating carbohydrates to see how your body reacts to them. Check one to two hours after the start of a meal. Your after-meal blood glucose should be no higher than 180 mg/dL.

Carbohydrates are found in:

  • beans and peas
  • milk and yogurt
  • fruits
  • starchy foods, such as potatoes, corn or breads
  • vegetables
  • whole grains

Suggested Servings of Carbs Per Day
(based on daily calorie ranges)

If your maximum daily calories =

Then recommended servings =

1,200 to 1,600

1,600 to 2,000

2,000 to 2,400

Starches (pasta, rice, breads, etc.)

6

8

10

Vegetables

3

4

4

Fruits

2

3

3

Milk and yogurt

2

2

2