Susie Swen

Q:

I have type 2 diabetes. How many carbs should I eat per day? per meal? what about snacks?

Amy Campbell

A:

The amount of carbohydrate (carb) that you need each day or per meal varies from person to person. Ideally, you should meet with a dietitian who will take into account a number of factors to determine your carb goals. These factors include your age, gender, level of physical activity, weight goal, level of blood glucose control, type of diabetes medication that you take, schedule and food preferences. Ask your healthcare provider for a referral to a dietitian in your community. In the meantime, you can get started by thinking about how much carb to aim for at each of your meals and any snacks that you may eat. In general, women need about 45 to 60 grams of carb per meal and 15 grams of carb per snack. Men usually need more carb, so a starting goal is 60 to 75 grams of carb per meal and 15 to 30 grams of carb per snack. If you prefer, you can use carb servings instead of grams. One carb serving equals 15 grams of carb, so women would aim for 3 to 4 carb servings per meal and 1 carb serving per snack; men, 4 to 5 carb servings per meal and 1-2 carb servings per snack.