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Counting Carbohydrates

The following foods each contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates in the serving size listed.

Milk Group

1 cup = 8 fluid ounces

  • 1 cup milk — nonfat, 1 percent fat, 2 percent fat, whole
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 2/3 cup yogurt with artificial sweetner

Starch Group

Measured after cooking.

  • 1 slice of bread (weighing 1 ounce)
  • 1/4 large bagel
  • 1/2 hamburger bun, hot-dog bun, pita bread, English muffin
  • 1/3 cup rice, noodles, millet, couscous, quinoa, polenta, stuffing
  • 1/2 cup beans (pinto, kidney, garbanzo), lentils or split peas
  • 1/2 cup starchy vegetable (corn, peas, potato, sweet potato, yam)
  • 1/2 cup bulgur, grits, kasha, oatmeal
  • 1 small tortilla (flour or corn, 6-inch size)
  • 6 saltine crackers
  • 3 graham cracker squares
  • 3 cups popcorn

Fruit Group

  • 1 small apple, orange, peach, pear, or nectarine (1/2 if large fruit)
  • 1 small banana (1/2 of average banana)
  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or mango
  • 3/4 cup fresh pineapple chunks, blueberries or blackberries
  • 17 grapes
  • 3 prunes or dates
  • 1-1/4 cups strawberries or watermelon
  • 1 cup cantaloupe, honeydew or papaya
  • 1 large kiwi
  • 2 small tangerines or plums
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/2 cup orange, apple or grapefruit juice

Non-Starchy Vegetables

These vegetables contain about 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving size of 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw.

Artichokes

Hearts of palm

Asparagus

Jicama

Bamboo shoots

Kohlrabi

Bean sprouts

Leeks

Beans (green, wax, Italian)

Mushrooms

Beets

Okra

Bitter melon

Onions

Bok choy

Pea pods

Broccoli

Peppers

Brussels sprouts

Radish

Cabbage

Rutabaga

Carrots

Snap peas

Cauliflower

Spinach

Celery

Summer squash and zucchini

Chayote

Swiss chard

Cucumber

Tomatoes and tomato sauce

Eggplant

Turnips

Greens (kale, mustard, turnip)

Water chestnuts

Meats, Proteins and Fats

The following meats, protein foods, and fats contain little or no carbohydrates.

  • Avocado and guacamole
  • Butter and margarine
  • Cheese including cottage and cream cheese
  • Chicken
  • Cream and half-and-half
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Mayonnaise
  • Meat (beef, lamb, pork)
  • Nuts
  • Oil
  • Olives
  • Peanut butter
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey)
  • Seafood (fish, shellfish)
  • Seeds
  • Vegetable oils (all types including sprays)

Carbohydrate-Free Foods

The following foods are low in calories and free of carbohydrates.

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Broth
  • Coffee
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Hot sauce
  • Lemons and limes
  • Lettuce
  • Mineral water
  • Spices
  • Sugar-free drinks, such as diet soda, Crystal Light and Diet Snapple
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Sugar-free Jell-o
  • Tea

 

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Diabetes Clinic at Mount Zion
2200 Post St., Suite C-418
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 885–3868
Fax: (415) 885–7724

Diabetes Clinic at Parnassus
400 Parnassus Ave., Suite A-550
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353–2350
Fax: (415) 353–2337

Diabetes Teaching Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Suite A-550
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353–2266
Fax: (415) 353–2337

Nutrition Counseling Clinic at Mount Zion
1701 Divisadero St., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143-0310
Appointments: (415) 353-4174
Office: (415) 353-2291
Fax: (415) 353-2648

Condition Information