white bread thumb Life with diabetes can seem complicated with glucose levels to monitor, medications to remember, and meals to plan. It can feel like your condition consumes your whole life. Complicated meal planning strategies only add to the confusion. But a simpler meal planning solution may work for you. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) considers counting carbohydrates (carbs) to be a key strategy for meeting glucose level goals.

When you eat foods that contain carbs your blood glucose levels increase. By eating the right amount of the right kind of carbs, you can keep your glucose levels in your desired range. Carbs come in three varieties: starches, sugars, and fiber.

Knowing the number of carbs you need to eat each day is very important to make carb-counting work for you. It will be based on several factors, including your activity level and any medications you take to control your glucose levels. Work with your doctor or dietitian to learn how many carbs you need to eat at each meal and snack. For example, you may have a goal of eating about 45-60 grams of carbs at each meal.