Carb Choices


1 carbohydrate choice = 15 grams carbohydrate


Food Serving Size
Bagel ¼ large bagel (1 oz.)
Biscuit 1 biscuit (2½ inches across)
Bread, reduced-calorie, light 2 slices (1½ oz.)
Cornbread 1¾ inch cube (1½ oz.)
English muffin ½ muffin
Hot dog or hamburger bun ½ bun (¾ oz.)
Naan, chapati, or roti 1 oz.
Pancake 1 pancake (4 inches across, ¼ inch thick)
Pita (6 inches across) ½ pita
Tortilla, corn 1 small tortilla (6 inches across)
Tortilla, flour (white or whole-wheat) 1 small tortilla (6 inches across) or 13 large tortilla (10 inches across)
Waffle 1 waffle (4-inch square or 4 inches across)


Cereals and Grains* (Including Pasta and Rice)

cereals and grains
Food Serving Size
Barley, couscous, millet, pasta (white or whole-wheat, all shapes and sizes), polenta,
quinoa (all colors), or rice (white, brown, and other colors and types)
13 cup
Bran cereal (twigs, buds, or flakes), shredded wheat (plain), or sugar-coated cereal ½ cup
Bulgur, kasha, tabbouleh (tabouli), or wild rice ½ cup
Granola cereal ¼ cup
Hot cereal (oats, oatmeal, grits) ½ cup
Unsweetened, ready-to-eat cereal ¾ cup

*Serving sizes for all grains and pasta measure cooked foods.


Starchy Vegetables*

Starchy Vegetables
Food Serving Size
Cassava, dasheen, or plantain 13 cup
Corn, green peas, mixed vegetables, or parsnips ½ cup
Marinara, pasta, or spaghetti sauce ½ cup
Mixed vegetables (with corn or peas) 1 cup
Potato, baked with skin ¼ large (3 oz.)
Potato, French-fried (oven-baked) 1 cup (2 oz.)
Potato, mashed with milk and fat ½ cup
Squash, winter (acorn, butternut) 1 cup
Yam or sweet potato, plain ½ cup (3½ oz.)

*Serving sizes for all starchy vegetable measure cooked vegetables.


Crackers and Snacks

Crackers and Snacks
Food Serving Size
Crackers, animal 8 crackers
Crackers, graham 3 crackers (2½ inch squares)
Crackers, saltine or round butter-type 6 crackers
Granola or snack bar 1 bar (¾ oz.)
Popcorn 3 cups, popped
Pretzels ¾ oz.
Rice cakes 2 cakes (4 inches across)
Snack chips, baked (potato, pita) About 8 chips (¾ oz.)
Snack chips, regular (tortilla, potato) About 13 chips (1 oz.)


Beans and Lentils

Beans and Lentils
Food Serving Size
Baked Beans 13 cup
Beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, lima, navy, pinto, white),
lentils (any color), or peas (black-eyed and split), cooked or canned,
drained and rinsed
½ cup


1 carbohydrate choice = 15 grams carbohydrate
NOTE: the weights listed include skin, core, and seeds.

Food Serving Size
Applesauce, unsweetened ½ cup
Banana 1 extra-small banana, about 4-inches long (4 oz.)
Blueberries ¾ cup
Dried fruits (blueberries, cherries, cranberries, mixed fruit, raisins) 2 Tbsp.
Fruit, canned ½ cup
Fruit, whole, small (apple) 1 small fruit (4 oz.)
Fruit, whole, medium (nectarine, orange, pear, tangerine) 1 medium fruit (6 oz.)
Fruit juice, unsweetened ½ cup
Grapes 17 small grapes (3 oz.)
Melon, diced 1 cup
Strawberries, whole 1¼ cup


Milk and Milk Substitutes
1 carbohydrate choice = 12 grams carbohydrate

Milk and Milk Substitutes
Food Serving Size
Milk (nonfat, 1%, 2%, whole) 1 cup
Rice drink, plain, fat-free 1 cup
Yogurt (including Greek), plain or sweetened with an artificial sweetener* 23 cup (6 oz.)

*Yogurt is highly variable in carbohydrate content, so check the food label to be sure.


Non-starchy Vegetables
1 serving = 5 grams carbohydrate

Non-starchy Vegetables
Food Serving Size
Vegetables, cooked ½ cup
Vegetables, raw 1 cup
Vegetable juice ½ cup

Non-starchy vegetables include asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, greens, (collard, dandelion, mustard, purslane, turnip), mushrooms, onions, pea pods, peppers, spinach, squash (summer, crookneck, zucchini), and tomatoes. Some vegetables, such as salad green (lettuce, romaine, spinach, and arugula), have so little carbohydrate that they are considered free foods.


Sweets and Desserts

1 carbohydrate choice = 15 grams carbohydrate

Table 1
Food Serving Size
Brownie, small, unfrosted 1 ¼-inch square, 78-inch high (about 1 oz.)
Cake, unfrosted 2-inch square (about 1 oz.)
Candy, hard 3 pieces
Ice cream, regular ½ cup
Pudding, sugar-free or sugar-and fat-free (made with fat-free milk) ½ cup
Sandwich cookie with crème filling 2 small cookies (about ¾ oz.)


2 carbohydrate choice = 30 grams carbohydrate

Table 2
Food Serving Size
Candy, chocolate, dark or milk 1¾ oz.
Cupcake, frosted 1 small cupcake (about 1¾ oz.)
Doughnut, yeast-type, glazed 1 doughnut, 3¾ inches across (2 oz.)


3 carbohydrate choices = 45 carbohydrate

Table 3
Food Serving Size
Flan 23 cup
Fruit cobbler ½ cup (3½ oz.)
Fruit pie, commercially prepared with two crusts 16 of 8-inch pie


Combination Foods

1 carbohydrate choice = 15 grams carbohydrate

Table 1
Food Serving Size
Soup (tomato, cream, broth-types) 1 cup (8 oz.)
Stew (beef/other meats and vegetables) 1 cup (8 oz.)


2 carbohydrate choices = 30 grams carbohydrate

Table 2
Food Serving Size
Casserole-type entrees (tuna noodle, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs,
chili with beans, macaroni and cheese)
1 cup (8 oz.)
Pizza, thin crust ¼ of 12-inch pizza (5 oz.)
Potato or macaroni/pasta salad ½ cup


3 carbohydrate choices – 45 grams carbohydrate

Table 3
Food Serving Size
Burrito (beef and bean) 1 burrito (5 oz.)
Dinner-type healthy frozen meal (includes dessert and is usually less than 400 calories) 1 meal (about 9-12 oz.)


Fast Foods

1 carbohydrate choice = 15 grams carbohydrate

Table 1
Food Serving Size
Chicken breast, breaded and fried 1 chicken breast (about 7 oz. with bone and skin)
Chicken nuggets or tenders 6 pieces (about 3½ oz.)
Meat, fish, or poultry stir-fried with vegetables 1 cup (about 6 oz.)
Egg roll, meat 1 egg roll (about 3 oz.)
Taco, crisp, with meat and cheese 1 small taco (about 3 oz.)


2 carbohydrate choices = 30 grams carbohydrate

Table 2
Food Serving Size
Breakfast sandwich, biscuit or English muffin variety (with egg, meat, and cheese) 1 sandwich
Hamburger, regular 1 burger (3½ oz.) with bun
Noodles and vegetables in sauce (chow mein, lo mein) 1 cup


3 carbohydrate choices = 45 grams carbohydrate

Table 3
Food Serving Size
Chicken sandwich, grilled (with lettuce, tomato, spread) 1 sandwich (about 7½ oz.)
French fries 1 medium order (about 5 oz.)
Submarine sandwich 1 6-inch sub

©2014 by the American Diabetes Association ®

Count Your Carbs

Reprinted with permission from the American Diabetes Association ®

Page last reviewed: September 20, 2022