Are carbohydrates and sugar both counted together for each meal and snack or only carbohydrates? I have type 2 diabetes, take no meds and manage only with diet and exercise. I check my blood sugar in the morning before I eat anything and it is anywhere between 135-160. Sometimes it will be below 130, but not often.

Amy Campbell


Great question! Sugar is a type of carbohydrate, so it’s included in your total carbohydrate count for a meal or a snack. If you look at a Nutrition Facts food label, you’ll notice that listed right under the “Total Carbohydrate” grams are dietary fiber grams and sugar grams. Both fiber and sugar are forms of carbohydrate, so they are included in the Total Carbohydrate amount. Therefore, you only need to count grams of total carbohydrate. However, keep in mind that foods that contain a lot of sugar (like desserts and other sweets) are high in carbohydrate, as well as calories and fat. So it’s wise to limit your intake of sugary foods – save them for an occasional treat. In terms of your morning blood glucose, the target for most people (before they eat anything) is 70 to 130 mg/dl. Your blood glucose is running above this target. I’d suggest that you speak with your healthcare provider about this. It may also be helpful to check your blood glucose at other times of the day, such as before lunch and dinner, and two hours after a meal. You can alternate the times that you check. Keep a record of your blood glucose results and take them with you to your next appointment with your healthcare provider.

November 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm