Reading Nutrition Facts With Diabetes

For those with diabetes looking at the Nutrition Facts on food packaging, focus on serving size and weight, and total carbohydrate.


Reading Nutrition Facts With Diabetes

Reading food labels can be confusing, but you only need to look at a few key points on the label when carbohydrate counting. The nutrition facts can be found on the side or the back of the food package.

First, you need to look at the serving size which is listed at the top of the food label. The serving size listed on this label is 1 ounce. You may be asking yourself what does 1 ounce look like?  You can next look at this and find that the weight of 1 ounce or 28 grams is about 11 crisps. We all know that these crisps can be broken in the bag, and it may be difficult to count out 11 crisps. So, we recommend for you to use a food scale for accurate carbohydrate. If you weigh the crisps on a food scale, you can weigh it either in ounces or in grams. Remember, the weight in grams is not the grams of carbohydrate.

Once you have weighed 1 ounce of crisps, you can look further down on the food label to find the total grams of carbohydrate. The grams counted here, 1 ounce of crisps equals 23 grams of carbohydrate. This bag of crisps contains 10 servings. So, if you eat more than one serving, you are eating more than 23 grams of carbohydrate. For example, if you eat 2 ounces, you’re eating 46 grams of carbohydrate. If you double the portion size, you need to double the total carbohydrate grams.

Topics Covered: Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis-related Diabetes

Related Centers and Programs: Diabetes Center