Pediatric Endocrinology

Managing Diabetes: Estimating Carbohydrates

Sometimes foods do not have labels to let us know the amount of carbohydrates (carbs) they contain. Following are general guidelines for estimating the amount of carbs contained in many of these foods.

Food Serving Size Estimated Carbs
Bagels, fresh 1 60 g.
Bagels, frozen 1 30 g.
Beans, dry (peas, kidney, navy) 1/2 cup cooked 15 g.
Bread 1 slice or 1 ounce 15 g.
Candy bar 1 "fun size" 10–20 g.
Casseroles - noodles, rice 1 cup 30 g.
Chips - potato or corn 15 small size chips 15 g.
Coffee drinks, hot chocolate 8 oz. 15–25 g.
Corn, peas, potatoes 1/2 cup 15 g.
French fries 15 thin or small crinkle cut 15 g.
Fruit, canned - lite or no sugar added syrup 1/2 cup 15 g.
Fruit, fresh tennis ball size 15 g.
Ice cream 1/2 cup 15 g.
Juice or soda 1/2 cup 15 g.
Meat, chicken or fish, breaded 6 nuggets or 1 patty 15 g.
Muffins, bakery 1 large 60–80 g.
Muffins, homemade 1 small 15–30 g.
Pasta 1/2 cup (1/3 cup if tiny pasta) 15 g.
Pizza 1 medium slice 35 g.
Soup - noodle, tomato or cream 1 cup 15 g.
Soup - pea 1/2 cup 15 g.
Subs 1 6-inch 45 g (15g/2")
Syrup, jam, jelly 1 Tbsp. 15 g.

For most carbohydrate foods, 1/2 cup = 15 grams carbs, with the following exceptions:

  • Milk: 1 cup = 15 g.
  • Rice: 1/3 cup = 15 g.

Use blood glucose testing to help confirm how these estimates work for you.

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Division of Pediatric Endocrinology
Golisano Children's Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue
Box 777
Rochester, NY 14642
Phone: (585) 275-7744
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Fax: (585) 244-6097