Number of grams in 1 carbohydrate exchange

by Andrea Skoros
(College Point, NY)

I am supposed to eat 6 carb exchanges per day. I am confused when I eat various cereals how many carbs they count as. Some cereals read as little as 36 grams of carbs and some as high as 53. How do I know how many exchanges to count this as if I measure out the serving size on the box - either a cup or half of a cup? I was told 15 grams equals one carb exchange, is this true?

Thank you so much.




You ask a great question! The numbers can be so confusing!

It is true that 15 grams of carbohydrate represent 1 carb "exchange." Therefore, a cereal with 36 grams of carb per serving = 2 exchanges, and one with 53 grams of carb per serving = 3.5 exchanges.

You make a good point that serving sizes vary. If a cereal has 36 grams of carb per 1/2 cup serving, but you eat 1 cup, you need to make sure you count it as 72 grams of carb, or ~ 5 exchanges.

I'd suggest that you plan to distribute those 6 carb servings evenly throughout the day rather than eat them all (or most) in one sitting. You could eat 6 small meals per day in which you have 15 grams of carb (1 exchange) at each meal, or 3 meals per day, in which you have 60 grams (2 exchanges) per meal. Make sense?!

Good luck with it!

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