While the amount of total carbohydrates a diabetic should have per day is dependent on certain variables, a good starting point is 45 to 60 grams per meal, according to the American Diabetes Association. Since variables include physical activity and medication, a health care team can help with a determination.
Carbohydrates can be calculated by referencing nutrition facts labels. The total amount of carbohydrates listed on the food label is specific to the serving size indicated. Understanding serving sizes and the correlating carbohydrate content can be helpful when estimating the amount of carbohydrates in food that do not provide labels.