Calories measure the amount of energy in food. A carbohydrate is one of three macronutrients making up those calories. You may be concerned with calorie and carbohydrate content of food if you have diabetes. People with diabetes need to control their carbohydrate intake to help maintain good blood sugar, according to MayoClinic.com. Calories are also important for the person with diabetes because eating too many calories can cause weight gain making blood sugar management more difficult.
Starches contain calories and carbohydrate. The diabetes exchange list is a tool you can use to help you control your calorie and carbohydrate intake. A serving of starch on the diabetes exchange list provides about 80 calories and 15g of carbohydrate. Foods and serving sizes include one slice of bread, 1 oz. bagel, 1/2 of a hamburger or hot dog roll, 1/3 cup of rice or pasta, 1/2 cup cooked bulgur, 1/2 cup cooked hot cereal such as oatmeal or farina, 3/4 cup unsweetened cold cereal, 1/2 cup corn, peas or mashed potatoes, eight animal crackers, two rice cakes and six saltine crackers.
Fruits also contain calories and carbohydrates. While all foods contain calories, not all foods have carbohydrates, according to the American Diabetes Association, like non-starchy vegetables and meats. According to the diabetes exchange list a serving of fruit provides 60 calories and 15g of carbohydrate. A fruit serving is equal to one small apple, four apricots, 12 cherries, 17 grapes, one medium peach, one small orange, 1/2 of a large pear, 1 1/4 cup strawberries, 2 tbsp. dried raisins, three prunes, 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup unsweetened canned fruit, 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/3 cup of prune juice.
The calories in milk vary depending on the fat content, but the carbohydrate content stays the same. One cup of skim milk contains 90 calories and 12g of carbohydrate. One cup of 2 percent fat milk contains 120 calories and 12g of carbohydrate. One cup of whole milk contains 150 calories and 12g of carbohydrate.
Yogurt also contains calories and carbohydrate. An 8 oz. serving of low-fat yogurt with fruit contains about 230 calories and 43g of carbohydrate, according to "Krause's Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy." A 6 oz. container of nonfat light yogurt sweetened with sugar substitute contains 100 calories and 12 g of carbohydrate.
- MayoClinic.com: Your Diabetes Eating Plan: Exchange Lists
- MayoClinic: Carbohydrate Counting and Diabetes: Looking Beyond Carbs
- American Diabetes Association: Carbohydrate Counting
- "Krause's Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy"; L. Kathleen Mahan, Sylvia Escott-Stump; 1996