How Much Carbs Should You Eat Per Day When You Have Diabetes?

The question, “What is the effect of carbs on diabetes?” is often asked in the health and wellness world. Well Carbs consist of sugar and sugar is the cause of diabetes. So, there is certain effect of carbs on diabetes but if taken in right amounts, it will cause no harm.


Diabetes is a medical condition that occurs when your blood sugar or glucose is too high as to the normal levels of the blood sugar. It generally happens when the blood sugar doesn’t reach the cells in the body. The reason behind this is the low level of Insulin in the body. Insulin is a pancreatic hormone which helps the glucose to get into the cells, from the food we eat. But when our body doesn’t produce enough insulin, all the glucose remains in our blood, which is harmful.

Types of Diabetes

There are different types of diabetes:
·        Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, it is found in children and young adults also. In this case, the insulin-making cells of the pancreas are attacked by the immune system. Thus the body is unable to make insulin. Type 1 diabetes patients have to take insulin every day.

·        Type 2 Diabetes
This type of diabetes isn’t much common among children. It generally occurs in overweight and obese people. In this case, also the pancreas doesn’t produce much insulin, due to which high sugar amount stay in the bloodstream.
·        Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes develops in some women during pregnancy or the gestational period. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, there is a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Food and Blood sugar

Food is one of the greatest factors affecting diabetes. But the major nutrient to be controlled during diabetes is carbs. Carbohydrates are sugar-based molecules found in many foods, from cookies to cantaloupes.

If you have diabetes, planning your carb intake—and sticking to the plan—is critical to keep blood sugar on an even keel and to cut your risk of diabetes-related problems like heart disease and stroke. Carbs from the refined sources and healthy sources, both affect the sugar levels. Eating a high amount of carbs during diabetes surges the sugar and thus high doses of insulin and medications are required to treat it. Therefore high carb foods should be avoided namely:

Bread, muffins
Pasta, corn, rice
Milk and sweetened yoghurt
Most fruits except berries
Juice, soda, beer etc.

How many carbs allowed per day?

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that people with diabetes get about 45% of calories from carbs. But ADA also recommends and promotes a personalized approach for the ideal carb intake according to every individual’s dietary preferences and goals. Therefore, you need to figure out how many carbs you need to intake per day. But it requires some testing and evaluation to find the best for you.

To determine the ideal carb intake

Measure your blood sugar with blood glucose meter before a meal and again in an hour or two after eating. The maximum blood sugar level should be 130 mg/dl. So, to achieve your blood sugar goals you need to restrict your carb intake to less than 10 g, 15g or 25g per meal.
But the bottom line is that people with diabetes should roughly have 45-65 grams of carbs per meal and 15-35 grams for snacks. While snacks are key for people with diabetes who use insulin or pills that increase insulin production, they aren’t essential for non-insulin users.
The goal for anyone with diabetes, whether or not they use insulin, is to keep their blood sugar as steady as possible and to maximize their intake of nutritious carbs and minimize consumption of less healthy ones.

Below are some of the categories of carbs intake, find the appropriate category for yourself, and choose the best for you:

Category 1: A woman who wants to maintain weight
If you are a woman with a moderate to large structure and a healthy weight, then your daily calorie range should be 1600-1900; carbs per day 180-300 grams; carbs per meal 60- 100 grams.

Category 2: A woman who wants to lose weight
A woman with a small stature and gets limited exercise is recommended to have:
Daily calories: 1200-1400
Carbs per day: 130-225 grams
Carbs per meal: 45-75 grams

Category 3: A Man Who Wants to Maintain Weight
If you are a man with a moderate to large structure and a healthy weight, then your daily calorie range should be 2300-2800; carbs per day 250-450 grams; carbs per meal 85-150 grams.

Category 4: A man who wants to lose weight
A man with a small stature and gets limited exercise is recommended to have:
Daily calories: 1600-1900
Carbs per day: 180-300 grams
Carbs per meal: 60-100 grams

So choose out your category and watch your carbs intake according to that. Ensure that your sugar levels do not surge too much. So stay healthy and stay fit.