Which Foods are High In Carbohydrates?

Man peeling potato
Howard George/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Carbohydrates fall roughly into two categories: sugars and starches. Foods high in carbohydrate include the following foods.

High-Sugar Foods

1) Sugary beverages, which includes everything from soft drinks to flavored coffee drinks to bottled iced tea. Also, cocktails can have a LOT of sugar.

2) Desserts, candy, and other sweet foods.

3) Foods with added sugar, molasses, honey, and any of these ingredients, especially if near the top of the ingredients list on a food's nutrition label or if there is more than one in any one food. Sugars are added to many foods.

4) Fruits that are naturally high in sugar, such as ripe bananas and figs, or dried fruit, which often has sugar added or is so concentrated that it contains a lot of sugar.

  • Low-Carb Fruit List, with fruits listed from low to high in sugar and links to more nutritional information

High-Starch Foods

Starches are basically long strands of glucose, so they all break down to sugars in the body. High-starch foods include:

1) Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cornĀ are examples of high carb, starchy vegetables.

    2) Flour - Any food made with flour, including bread, crackers, donuts, cakes, cookies, pastries, etc. This is true of whole grain flours as well, but not true of flours made from nuts or seeds such as almond flour.

    3) Whole Grains - Rice, barley, oats, quinoa, etc, are high in starch

    4) Legumes (beans and peas) are high in starch, but it is more slowly digested, especially if the beans aren't canned or pureed.

    The Worst of the Worst

    The worst high-carb foods you can eat are the ones that are highly processed. This includes most breakfast cereals, which will shoot your blood sugar up faster than almost anything else. Also, anything made with white flour, or other so-called refined carbohydrates. It is far better to get your carbs from whole foods than from something manufactured, partly because processed foods aren't nearly as good for us, and partly because they have been manufactured to hook our taste buds and brains into wanting more.

    Continue Reading