Topic Overview

Foods containing carbohydrate are grouped into the following categories. The carbohydrate content is listed in grams (g). If you eat a larger portion, count it as more than one serving.

One serving of carbohydrate has 15 grams of carbohydrate. Of course, not all foods contain exactly 15 grams of carbohydrate. Typically if a food has 8 to 22 grams of carbohydrate, that is equal to 1 carbohydrate serving.

Bread, cereal, rice, pasta, beans and legumes, and starchy vegetables: 15 g of carbohydrate per serving (1 carbohydrate serving)

  • 1 slice bread (1 oz)
  • 1/4 large bagel
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) crispy rice cereal
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) cooked wheat cereal
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked pasta
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked beans, lentils, or peas
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked corn
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) mashed potatoes

Vegetables: 15 g or less of carbohydrate per serving

  • 1 cup (250 mL) raw leafy vegetables
  • 1 cup (250 mL) other vegetables, cooked or chopped raw
  • 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable juice

Fruits: 15 g of carbohydrate per serving

  • 1 small apple or medium orange
  • 1/2 large banana
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) apple, grapefruit, orange, or cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons (18 g) raisins

Milk and yogurt: 15 g of carbohydrate per serving

These are also good sources of calcium.

  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) plain yogurt. (Food with added sugar will contain more carbohydrate, so check the label.)


The carbohydrate content of sweets varies according to the ingredients. Talk with a registered dietitian about how to work these foods into your meal plan.

For a complete listing of foods containing carbohydrate, visit the Canadian Diabetes Association's webpage Beyond the Basics at

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Other Places To Get Help


Canadian Diabetes Association


Other Works Consulted

  • Canadian Diabetes Association (2005). Longer Lists of foods to be used with the "Beyond the Basics: Meal Planning for Healthy Eating, Diabetes Prevention and Management." Available online:


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator

Current as ofMay 22, 2015