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A Truly Brilliant List of High Carbohydrate Foods

List of High Carbohydrate Foods
Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy for our bodies, and are mainly sourced from plants and dairy products. Here is a list of high carbohydrate foods, which you can include in your diet to reap numerous health benefits.
Reshma Jirage
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2018
The human body needs a certain amount of carbohydrate intake so that it can be broken down into glucose and converted into energy. This energy is the fuel that helps us in physical activity and keeps our organs in proper functioning order. Inadequate consumption of carbohydrates can lead to fatigue, weakness, nausea, muscle pain, and decreased resistance to diseases.
On the flip side, excess carbohydrate intake has also been linked to obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes. This is because the excess glucose that is released from the metabolism of carbohydrates is stored in the body in the form of glycogen.
The glycogen reserves are in turn stored in the liver and muscles in the form of fat. A diet that contains excess of carbohydrate food can tip the sugar balance in the body, leaving an individual exhausted and irritated.
Understanding Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are divided into simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. The difference lies in the molecular structure and the time needed for the breakdown of these molecules. Simple carbohydrates are made of one or two sugar molecules and are easily digested. They are rapidly absorbed by the blood and converted into glucose. This leads to a spike in the blood glucose levels. Although this is good for instant energy, it can lead to storage of the fats, especially when it is not utilized. Cakes, chocolates, white bread, biscuits, molasses, honey, soft drinks, and maple syrup are some common simple carbohydrate food sources.
As opposed to this, complex carbohydrates are made of a long molecular chain that takes some time to be broken down. Thus, there is regulated release of glucose in the blood, and the fat storage is much less in this case. This is further divided into starchy complex carbohydrates and dietary fibers. Starchy complex carbohydrates present in pasta, potatoes, cereal, and rice should be avoided by people with diabetes, since it is broken down into sugar. Dietary fibers in dry beans, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are good for the body, as they provide the essential carbohydrates without raising the sugar levels.
Foods High in Carbohydrates
Bread Products Portion Size Carbohydrate (gm)
Bagel 1 plain 60
Pita Bread 1 large 30 to 45
Muffin 1 whole 30
Pancake Average size 6" 30
Hamburger Bun 1 regular size 25 to 30
Croissant 1 medium size 25
White Bread 1 slice 20 to 23
Grains and Cereals Portion Size Carbohydrate (gm)
Cooked Pasta 1 cup 45
Cooked Rice 1 cup 45
Refried Beans Half cup 18 to 20
Vegetable Portion Size Carbohydrate (gm)
Sweet Potatoes, Cooked 10 oz. baked 60
Baked Potato Wendy 10 oz. 60
Corn Cob 6" 30
Squash 1 cup 10 to 30
Fruits and Dry Fruits Portion Size Carbohydrate (gm)
Raisins ½ cup 45
Dried Apricots ¼ cup 28
Bananas 1 medium size 30
Apples 4 to 8 oz. 20 to 30
Pears 6 oz. 20
Pineapples 1 cup diced 20
Dairy Products Portion Size Carbohydrate (gm)
Fruit Yogurt 1 serving 28
Plain Rice Milk 1 cup 20
Beans and Lentils Portion Size Carbohydrate (gm)
Lima Beans ½ cup frozen 30
Garbanzo Beans ½ cup frozen 30
Kidney Beans ½ cup 25
Lentils ½ cup 20
Baked Products Portion Size Carbohydrate (gm)
Two Layer Cake 4" square 80
Apple Crispies ½ cup 75
Bakery Muffins 1 whole 70
Brownie 1 large 70
Fruit Pie 1/8 part of 9" 60
Danish 1 large 45
Frosted Cupcakes 1 30
Snack Foods Portion Size Carbohydrate (gm)
French Fries 1 large 60
Granola ½ cup 45
Jellied Cranberry Sauce ½ cup 30
Pudding 1 pack 30
Sherbet ½ cup 30
Sorbet ½ cup 30
Other Foods Portion Size Carbohydrate (gm)
Pizza 1 whole 75
Lasagna 1 serving 60 to 70
Beans and Cheese Burrito 6 oz. serving 45 to 60
Macaroni and Cheese 1 cup 50
Red Beans and Rice 1 cup 45
Pot Pie 1 cup 30

Moderate Carbohydrate Foods
Apart from the foods that are extremely high carbohydrates, there are also some foods with moderate levels of carbohydrates of around fifteen to twenty grams per portion.

  • Corn Bread
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Waffles
  • Cooked Corn
  • Peas
  • Mashed Potatoes
Dairy Products
  • Cow Milk
  • Yogurt (plain)
  • Plain Soy Milk
Snack Foods
  • Popcorn
  • Potato Chips
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Tortilla Chips
Fruits and Dry Fruits
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Orange
  • Prune (dried)
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon
Cereals and Grains
  • Cooked Oatmeal
  • Dry Cornmeal
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Hummus

As you can see, most of the high carbohydrate foods contain simple carbohydrates and should ideally be avoided. This is because, simple carb foods like snacks, baked products, and white bread, whether they contain high or moderate carbs, do nothing for the body other than introduce blank calories. These blank calories only give a short burst of energy for a short period of time, and over-consumption leads to weight gain, tooth decay, and many other health problems. On the other hand, complex carbs release more energy for a longer duration, and have an important role to play in the body's metabolism, digestion, muscular and central nervous system activities. Some high carbohydrate foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, oatmeal, and whole wheat grains provide adequate nutrition along with vitamins, minerals, and fibers, that are essential for physical fitness and overall health. So include as many of these as you can in your daily diet, and follow a regular exercise regime to stay fit and healthy.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by a medical professional.
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