How to Count Carbs

Two Ways to Count Carbs There are two ways to count carbohydrates, by grams or by carb choice. With either counting method used, the goal is to eat a specific amount of carbohydrates at each meal or snack, as determined by individual needs and recommendations from a healthcare provider. To count by grams, add the total grams of carbohydrates for foods eaten. For example, if 1 cup of milk and a small apple are consumed and both have 15 grams of carbohydrates, the carb count is 30 grams. To count by carb choice, add the total amount of carbohydrates grams consumed and divide that number by 15. One carb choice equals 15 grams. The table below outlines how to count carb choices depending the number of carbohydrate grams.


Steps to Count Carbs:

  1. Identify foods and drinks that have carbohydrates.
  2. Determine the number of carbohydrate grams or the carb count of a serving.
  3. Know how many servings you should eat each day.
  4. Spread carbohydrate servings over the entire day.
  5. Check your blood sugar two hours after the start of a meal. If your blood sugar is greater than 180 mg/dL, you may need to adjust your carbohydrate intake.