Meals around the world: how many carbohydrates are there on your plate?

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It isn’t always easy to know how many carbohydrates you’re getting in a meal, especially if you’re traveling abroad! Here is a quick comparison of a typical day, from breakfast to dinner, in four Western countries. A trip for your taste buds!

Breakfast

French “petit-déjeuner”

  • one croissant – 40 g – 16 g of carbohydrates
  • one piece of bread (baguette) – 16 g of carbohydrates
  • one teaspoon of jam – 10 g – 6 g of carbohydrates
  • one service size of butter – 10 g – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • one glass of orange juice – 150 ml – 14 g of carbohydrates
  • one cup of black coffee – 70 ml – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 52 g


German “Frühstück”

  • one hard boiled egg – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • cold slices of meat – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • one slice of bread – 10 g of carbohydrates
  • one bowl of muesli – 50 g – 34 g of carbohydrates
  • one glass of low fat milk – 7 g of carbohydrates
  • one slice of hard cheese – 10 g – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • one teaspoon of honey – 8 g – 7 g of carbohydrates
  • one serving size of butter – 10 g – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • one  cup of  black coffee – 70 ml – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 58 g


American breakfast

  • one scrambled egg – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • three  slices of bacon – 30 g – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • two pancakes – 50 g – 20 g of carbohydrates
  • one teaspoon of maple syrup – 13 ml – 14 g of carbohydrates
  • one glass of orange juice – 150 ml – 14 g of carbohydrates
  • one cup of  black coffee – 70 ml – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 48 g


Italian “colazione”

  • one cornetto (sweet croissant filled with cream) – 45 g – 25 g of carbohydrates
  • one glass of orange juice – 150 ml – 14 g of carbohydrates
  • one cappuccino – 70 ml – 2 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 41 g

Lunch

French “déjeuner” 

  • one portion of grated carrot – 50 g – 3 g of carbohydrates
  • one ham, butter and emmental cheese sandwich – 130 g – 40 g of carbohydrates
  • one slice of camembert cheese – 40g – 0.2 g of carbohydrates
  • one slice of apple tart – 110 g – 36 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 80 g


German “Mittagessen” 

  • one serving size of potato salad – 200 g – 22 g of carbohydrates
  • one serving size of pork shank – 100 g – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • one glass of lager – 250 ml – 7 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 29 g


American lunch 

  • one serving size of Caesar salad – 200 g – 10 g of carbohydrate
  • one serving size of vegetable soup – 200 ml – 10 g of carbohydrates
  • one can of Coca-Cola – 330 ml – 34 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 54 g


Italian “pranzo”  

  • half of a thin crust margherita pizza – 200 g – 52 g of carbohydrate (92 g of carbohydrates for deep dish)
  • one expresso – 35 ml – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 74 to 114 g

Dinner

French “dîner” 

  • one portion of beef bourguignon – 100 g – 11 g of carbohydrates
  • one portion of white rice – 100 g – 32 g of carbohydrates
  • one crème brûlée – 100 g – 16 g of carbohydrates
  • one glass of wine – 120 ml – 3 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 62 g


German “Abendessen” 

  • one slice of smoked salmon – 40 g – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • one slice of thick deli meat – 25 g – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • one slice of hard cheese – 40 g – 0 g of carbohydrates
  • sweet and sour pickles – 20 g – 1 g of carbohydrates
  • two slices of wholemeal bread – 40 g – 16 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 17 g


American dinner 

  • one cheeseburger – 150 g – 32 g of carbohydrates
  • one portion of chips – 100 g – 35 g of carbohydrates
  • one vanilla milkshake – 300 ml – 57 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 124 g


Italian “cena” 

  • marinated anchovies – 50 g – 1.3 g of carbohydrates
  • one portion of pasta with vegetables – 200 g – 47 g of carbohydrates
  • one portion of Milanese cutlet – 100 g – 16 g of carbohydrates
  • tiramisu – 100 g – 32 g of carbohydrates
  • TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES: 96 g

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