Bulletin #4370, Diabetes, Carbohydrates and You: Using Food Labels With Diabetes

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Developed by the UMaine Cooperative Extension Diabetes Education Committee, including Nellie Hedstrom, nutrition specialist, UMaine Cooperative Extension; Patricia Pierson, Extension educator, UMaine Cooperative Extension; Susan Henner, Extension nutrition aide, UMaine Cooperative Extension; Cheryl Paul, Extension nutrition aide, UMaine Cooperative Extension; and Lucinda Hale, Diabetes Prevention & Control Program, Maine Department of Human Services.

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Food Labels Help

Nutrition Label for 6-Cup Yield Convenience MixThe nutrition labels on food packages give you information you need for carbohydrate counting. Look at the label and find what it tells you.

Serving Size

Note that the serving size on this label is one cup. All the information on the label is based on this portion. If you eat double the serving size, or two cups, you will eat double the carbohydrates, other nutrients, and calories.

Servings Per Container

The number of servings in the package is six.

Total Carbohydrate

The total amount of carbohydrate in one serving of this food is 84 grams. Use total carbohydrate when counting carbohydrate choices. Eating one serving of the food in this package equals 5 1/2 carbohydrate choices.

Remember: Carbohydrate grams = Carbohydrate choices

  • 15 grams = 1 choice
  • 30 grams = 2 choices
  • 45 grams = 3 choices

Food Label Quiz

Use the label! What does the label tell you that will help you plan meals for a person with diabetes?

1. What is the serving size of this food? _____

2. How many servings are in this package? _____

3. How many grams of carbohydrate does one serving of this food contain? _____

4. One serving of this food counts as how many carbohydrate choices? _____

For more information, contact your UMaine Extension county office.

Answers below.

Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

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Answers to quiz: (1) 1 cup, (2) 6 servings, (3) 84 grams, (4) 5 1/2 carbohydrate choices