I am very confused about how many carbs to eat daily. One doctor told me 45 carbs per meal, a diabetic teaching group told me to limit my carbs to 90 per day, and then I read other articles which are all over the place. Just what is the answer and how do I count the fiber in a recipe? Again, I was told by one doctor to deduct all the fiber from the carbs in the recipe and another told me to deduct only half the carbs. I am a Type 2 diabetic and struggling to lose weight.

Amy Campbell


While carb goals can certainly vary from person to person, I’d suggest that you listen to the doctor who recommended 45 grams of carb per meal. Following a low carb eating plan (e.g., 90 grams of carb per day) is one option, but it can also be difficult to restrict your carbs to this extent. It’s important to remember that you still need carbohydrate in your eating plan, even if you have diabetes. The key is to choose healthy carbs (like whole grains, fruits, beans and lower-fat dairy) and to watch your portions. Forty-five grams of carb per meal is a reasonable amount that will provide you with the energy, vitamins and minerals that you need to stay healthy. As far as fiber goes, if you are taking insulin and basing your insulin dose on the amount of carbohydrate that you eat, you can subtract the fiber from the total carbohydrate grams. However, this is not necessary to do if you are not taking any type of diabetes medicine or if you take diabetes pills. But be sure to choose foods that contain fiber, such as whole grain cereals, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, fruits, vegetables and beans. Fiber can help you manage your blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and can also help you feel more full, which is a good thing when you’re trying to lose weight.

January 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm

5 replies

dszl 2015-01-14 16:52:47 -0600 Report

robbiestahl has a lot to say but it amounts to nothing if the doctor that is advising you is an endocrinologist. My endocrinologist knows the disease of diabetes and the way to eat for it, as does his dietitian and nutritionist. All three agree that 45 grams of carbs per meal is the right amount for type 2 diabetics. When I eat correctly and restrict my carbs to that amount, not only can I get my A1c down in the 5.4 range but I can also lose weight successfully. If you are not a nutritionist and an MD perhaps you should not bet telling diabetics how much to eat . You sound like someone from the Biggest Loser (which I love, but it is not for me in my stage of life).

loffy 2014-07-20 00:53:48 -0500 Report

i wonder i am a type 2 diabetic and on metaphormin as well.Can i take equate weight loss shakes?i noticed they have 16 in sugar!

robbiestahl 2014-07-19 14:19:56 -0500 Report

Seriously, 45g of carbs per meal for type 2 diabetics? No! Absolutely not unless you just hiked Mt Everest or are about to which most likely if you are Type 2 is not going to happen. I'm under 40 years old, weigh 195lbs, and have 6% bodyfat - that's how many carbs I would eat.
The majority of medical doctors get 1 week of training in nutrition during their education. yes you read that correctly - 1 week! Even Ivy league schools such as Harvard only give their Medical Doctors 1 week of nutrition education. Do they understand and know the body from a dysfunctional and medicinal standpoint - yes most exceptionally well. Although the one thing most MD's are not is a health optimization expert. If they were experts in optimizing health we wouldn't have the huge health crisis and rapidly growing lifestyle diseases that we have in the developed nations today. As an exercise scientist and nutrition expert I've reversed clients metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes for the last 17 years.
The solution that most wont follow but you'll reverse insulin resistance / type 2 diabetes if you do is:
No alcohol, no saturated fats, no processed sugars or processed carbs of any type. Only enough carbs to get through your day with a little extra before and after exercise. Enough to get through your day will be somewhere in the range of 50 - 70 for women and 65 - 90 for men. The little extra you will add for physical activity is .2g per lb of lean mass (that's point / decimal 2 not the whole number 2). Most type 2's have bodyfat far over 30% so this would equate to .2 grams per about 50-65% of your bodyweight - (200lb person X .65) X .2 = 26grams of additional carbs for exercise over 30 minutes. Of course this can adjust based on exercise duration and intensity but this will be more than sufficient for most. Daily high protein (1g per lb of lean body mass with .2g extra for that same exercise immediately following the exercise), large variety / 5-7 cups of veggies, moderate intake / 3-4 cups low GI (under 50) fruits mostly pre or post anaerobic exercise. Last but not least exercise every day progressing weekly by 5% in duration and intensity and varying form of exercise every 8-10 weeks starting with 25% lower duration and intensity in the new workout form. Reach single digit bodyfat and oh wow what do you know?! No more diabetes! Quit playing the game and get on track for health, life, energy, and all the physical greatness you could ever ask for. Does it sound like a lot of work - probably yes from where your at now. The reality is once you make it a habit it's a heck of a lot easier than dealing with a horrible disease like diabetes and all of the other related diseases that come with type 2 diabetes! I can be reached for further details and to answer any of your questions at robbie@medicallysupervisedfitness.com small

evaziem 2014-06-07 12:31:30 -0500 Report

"…healthy carbs (like whole grains, fruits, beans and lower-fat dairy)…"
What happened to vegetables? Not good?