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Why is 45-60 g carb at meals the recommended amount?

My thinking is very much in line with others on this site that the amount of carbohydrate per meal should be individual based on a number of factors. However, I’m wondering why many RD CDEs recommend 45-60 g of carb at meals. What is this standard, or what appears to be a standard, based on? I’m just curious.

Community Answers
  • Shelley, TheLongPointGirl moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thank you! That is a great response.

  • Meryl Krochmal, RD, CSP, CDE, CNSC moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi TheLongPointGirl,
    The recommendation to 45-60 grams of carb stems from many professional organizations (such as: American Diabetes Association, Academy Nutrition and Dietetics) recommending a consistent carb intake at meals, typically ranging from 45-60 grams/day. However, it seems as though organizations are starting to steer away from this recommendation and focus more on the quality of carbs as wells as encourage foods that are less processed. At 45 grams/meal, the total carb intake for the day would be approximately 135 grams. The brain requires approximately 100-130 grams of glucose per day. This amount of carb would help ensure that the brain would have enough glucose (carbs get broken down by the body into glucose), however glucose can be formed from protein and small portions of fat. I hope that helps!! Thanks for your question. Take care. Meryl Krochmal, RD CDE Community Moderator.

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