There’s been a lot of fuss in recent years about carbohydrates, and their possible contribution to weight gain. Whether or not they’re actually a major culprit in America’s increased level of fatness is up for debate, but it’s still worthwhile for people to know what’s in their food. Whether you’re on a reduced carb diet or you’re just interested in knowing the carbohydrate content of what you eat, you should learn about which foods are heavy in this macronutrient and which aren’t, so you’ll be able to make smart decisions. Here’s a list of some of the most common high carbohydrate foods.
First, you’ll need to understand the types of carbohydrates. Simple carbs are things like refined starches and sugars. They metabolize relatively quickly, offering a fast burst of energy, and causing havoc in the systems of people with unusual insulin responses. Complex carbs are less quickly metabolized, and are more likely to be present in whole grains and in legumes like beans. These two different kinds of carbs may be treated differently in low carb diets. Make sure you understand their basic characteristics.
The highest carbohydrate foods are things like breakfast cereal (between twenty-five and sixty grams of carbohydrates per serving), bagels (forty to fifty grams in a medium one), potatoes (mashed, they have forty-two grams of carbohydrates per cup) and white rice (rice pudding with raisins contains around a fifty grams per cup). Generally, you’ll find the most carbs in refined grains, starches and sweets, so baked goods, potatoes and other starchy roots, and sugary foods have the highest concentration, as well as the strongest glycemic response.
Pasta has about ninety grams of carbohydrates in just four ounces (dry) and packaged commercial foods can have a lot, too – Pop Tarts contain forty grams per serving. Fig Newtons and other fruit bars have about fifteen grams per cookie. A single slice of white bread has about fourteen grams, as does one frozen waffle. One cup of bread stuffing may also contain about twenty grams. There are forty-five grams of carbohydrates in a quarter cup of raisins (mostly fruit sugars) and twenty-five in a large bran muffin (thirty if the muffin is a sweeter type, like blueberry).
Foods you don’t think about s being carb heavy may contain a lot, too. For instance, three quarters of a cup of sweetened yogurt can contain about twenty-five grams of carbohydrates, as can a half cup of kidney beans. Lima beans and garbanzo beans are high carb, too, with about thirty grams per half cup each. There are thirteen grams in a single cup of skim milk (mostly from milk sugar) and twenty-six in a cup of oatmeal.
Does that mean that these foods are bad? Even if you’re on a low carbohydrate diet, they aren’t necessarily. They just have to be eaten in moderation. If you’re not on a diet of this kind, and you need energy fast, complex carbohydrates like those found in beans and whole grains are an excellent choice. On the other hand, diabetics need to carefully watch their carbohydrate intake. It all depends on your goals and your situation. Either way, knowing the carb content of major foods can be a very good idea.