A good starting point for many diabetics is 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal or 135 to 180 grams per day, according to the American Diabetes Association. However, the correct number depends on several factors, including medications and activity level.
Reading food labels to determine serving size and the number of grams of carbohydrates per serving is one way to learn to balance carbohydrates, explains the American Diabetes Association. For foods that do not have nutrition labels, learning the average grams of carbohydrate in a serving is helpful. For instance, a 4-ounce piece of fruit, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, a slice of bread or a 6-inch tortilla all contain approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates.