Examples of food portions showing grams of carbohydrates can be helpful for learning how to count carbs in diabetes care. Here we have sample plates with 20 gm carb servings per meal to help you visualize and learn portion sizes.
Does your meal plan call for 20 gm carbohydrate meals or maybe you are just trying to get a handle on how to move from your current diet to a more “carb aware” lifestyle? Here’s a page of 20 gm carb pics and examples of carbohydrates to help people new to the diabetes diet and carb counting visualize what this looks like.
Most people who are new to diabetes want to know how to include some of their favorite foods in their diet. It is much better to use complex carbs such as peas, beans, grains, sweet potatoes, etc that provide maximum nutrition- based on your health care providers recommendations. Try to use less processed and simple carbs (use less white rice, potatoes, pasta, cereal etc.)
*Please keep in mind the following information related to carb counts of non-starchy vegetables according to the American Diabetes Association – Generally, non-starchy vegetables have about 5 grams of carbohydrate in ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw. Most of the carbohydrate is fiber so unless you eat more than 1 cup of cooked or 2 cups of raw at a time, you may not need to count the carbohydrates from the non-starchy vegetables. – See more at the ADA’s article about non-starchy vegetables.Here is the ADA’s article on Carb Counting which states “Non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, and cauliflower have very little carbohydrate and minimal impact on your blood glucose.”
Measuring your food at home will help you with proper portion control when you eat out. Continue to check this page as I will be adding examples of carbohydrates and new photos often.
As always, refer to your health care provider’s recommendations regarding the proper amount of carbs you need at each meal. These pics are simply a way to visualize 20gm carb- you may need more or less carbs depending upon various factors. Carbohydrate requirements are highly individualized so you will want to work with your health care team for best results.
Checking your glucose levels after meals (per your health care provider’s recs) will provide you with the best information about specific foods to eat and foods to avoid. Carb counts are based on ADA published carb counts.
3 oz. grilled steak = 0gm carb, Salad (see above note) = 0gm carb, salad dressing- 3gm carb, 1/2 whole wheat bun = 15gm carb