High carb foods come in all shapes and sizes — from the obvious breaded this and sugar filled that, to root vegetables, legumes, and some fruit varieties.
That’s right my friends, high carb foods have wiggled their way into most meals and live on almost every grocery list. So whether you’re on a low carb meal plan, vegan, or you’re just trying to get a better understanding of what a carb is, here’s you ultimate guide!
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Complete Guide to High Carb Foods
Those who are new to a low carb meal plan may find this list of high carbs foods overwhelming — which I understand and can relate. But once you get this list down and find the right swaps, you’ll forget these high carb foods every existed!
But before we dive in, I wanted to share the two types of carbs we’ll discuss throughout the article:
Examples of Carbohydrates
These two examples of carbohydrates are net vs total carbs. Total carbs are exactly what they sound like, the total number of carbs in any given food. Net carbs are the total carbs minus sugar alcohol and fiber.
This is important to mention so you can figure out what works best for your meal plan.
Now, here are all the high carb foods, broken into examples of carbohydrates food groups:
High Carb Fruits
Fruits, owe their natural sweetness to fructose, glucose and sucrose (i.e. sugar). Here are some high carb fruits, and their total carb count, based on a 100 gram serving size:
- Mango: 14.98 g
- Pear: 15.2 3 g
- Dates: 75.03 g
- Raisins: 78.47 g
- Bananas: 22.84 g
- Oranges: 25 g
- Blueberries: 14.49 g
- Grapefruit: 10.66 g
- Apples: 13.81 g
- Pineapple: 13.12 g
- Watermelon: 7.55 g
- Grapes: 17.15 g
- Cantaloupe: 8.16 g
- Plums: 11.42 g
- Goji berries: 77.06 g
That said, there are ways to incorporate these good carbs into a low carb eating plan: Focus on sticking to a portion size of the carbs in fruit you’re eating — according to the Mayo Clinic, that’s 15 grams of carbs (this may be lower based on your goals/dietary restrictions).
You can get more bang for your low carb buck by sticking to low carb fruits. Also, consider balancing the sugars in these high carb foods with high fat or high protein foods.
Typically, vegetables grown above ground are considered low carb vegetables, while root veggies (grown below the surface) are often high carb vegetables.
A Harvard article on starchy vegetables states that “they’re more like grains than greens” when it comes to carb count, despite the fact that many consider these healthy high carb foods.
Here’s the carb count, again, based on total carbs:
- Corn: 1 cup = 123.27 g
- Sweet Potatoes: 1 cup, cubed = 26.76 g
- Beetroots: 100g = 10.83 g
- Potato: 100g = 17.49 g
- Yam: 1 cup, cubed = 41.82 g
- Beets: 100g = 9.56 g
I hate to call these vegetables, but the processed/fried variation of potatoes also belong in this high carb foods category:
- French Fries: 1 Medium Serving = 48.48 g
- Chips: 1 bag = 122.19 g
High Carb Foods: Beans + Legumes
There are an awful lot of carbs in beans and legumes — although many of these carb are fiber. Depending on your eating plan, there may be a place for these healthy carbohydrate foods:
- Lentils: 1 cup = 121.63 g
- Peas: 100g = 7.55 g
- Beans: 1 cup = 7.54 g
High Carb Foods: Grains
Grains are one of the ultimate high carb foods to be leery of, because they’re everywhereee. Here’s the carb breakdown for this category:
- White Bread : 1 slice = 12.36 g
- Wheat Bread: 1 slice = 13.79 g
- Pasta: 100g = 24.93 g
- Buckwheat: 1 cup = 121.55 g
- Oats: 1 cup = 25.05 g
- Quinoa: 1 cup = 39.41 g
- Cereal: 1 cup = 29.92 g
- White Rice: 1 cup = 44.51 g
- Brown Rice: 1 cup = 51.67 g
- Couscous: 1 cup = 36.46 g
- Wheat Flour: 1 cup = 86.36 g
- Bagels: 1 pc = 47.91 g
Low Carb Foods Alternatives For Grains
This is the food group I get the most recipe requests for, so I wanted to take a beat and share some great news for us low carb-ers: there are TONS of low carb recipes to replace these high carb foods with!
Here are some low carb foods variations to try:
- Almond flour bread
- Oopsie bread
- Zucchini noodles
- Broccoli rice
- Low carb oatmeal
- Low carb granola
- Low carb cereal
- Keto spaghetti squash
High Carb Foods: Sweeteners
You know it, I know it, sugar and most sweeteners belong on this high carb foods list — even natural sugars like honey and maple syrup are high carb foods.
- White sugar: 1 cup = 199.96 g
- Corn Syrup: 1 cup = 235.6 g
- Brown Sugar: 100 g = 98.09 g
- Honey: 1 cup = 279.34 g
- Agave nectar: 1 Tbsp = 16 g
Nearly No Carb Foods Sweetener
For those interested in low carb / keto sweeteners, my favorite option is erythritol. It looks, tastes, and bakes just like regular sugar, and is one of the nearly no carb foods I can’t live without. Grab a bag on Amazon to save some dough.
High Carb Foods: Condiments + Sauces
At this point in the article, it should come as no surprise that condiments and sauces are often seriously high carb foods — sugar and cornstarch are the most common additions.
Here’s what to watch out for:
- BBQ sauce: 1 cup = 58.3 g
- Maple syrup: 1 tbsp = 13.41 g
- Jam: 1 tbsp = 13.77 g
- Ketchup: 1 Tbsp = 5 g
Sauce Alternatives For Your Low Carb Meal Plan
Wanna sauce up your low carb meal plan? Here are some tasty keto recipes worth adding to your repertoire:
- Low carb BBQ sauce
- Low carb ketchup
- Keto ranch dressing
- Sugar free chocolate syrup
- Low carb honey mustard
High Carb Foods: Drinks
As you know, many drinks are loaded with carbs and sugar, making them the perfect addition to our high carb foods list.
The carb counts of each drink listed below will vary, depending on the brand/size/additions/etc. — here’s the breakdown to give you a general idea:
- Beer: 1 can = 12.64 g
- Orange Juice: 240 ml = 27 g
- Sweetened Iced Tea: 355 ml = 18 g
- Milk: 237 g = 41 g
- Soda: 240 ml = 28.99 g
- Gatorade: 1 bottle = 26.01 g
- Cafe Latte: 330 ml = 20 g
- Coconut Water: 1 cup = 8.9 g
- Frapps: 474 ml = 62 g
- Smoothie: 474 ml = 69.01 g
- Red Bull: 1 can = 26.39 g
Low Carb Drinks Alternatives
If you’re craving a cocktail, be sure to check out my guide to low carb alcohol!
High Carb Foods: Desserts
Pretty much all desserts fall into the high carb foods category. The nutritional breakdown of each of the foods below will vary with every recipe, use this list for a general idea:
- Sweetened Yogurt: 227 g = 27.99 g
- Jellybeans: 100 g = 93.55 g
- Ice Cream: 1/2 cup = 23.6 g
- Cookies: 1 cookie = 40 g
- White Chocolate: 1pc = 23 g
- Milk Shake: 11 oz = 55.56 g
- Cake: 28.35 g = 17.1 g
- Pancakes: 100 g = 57.32 g
Close To Zero Carb Foods Dessert Alternatives
I already told you how much I LOVE erythritol, so as you can imagine, I use this ingredients to whip up all sorts of tasty low carb desserts. It’s awesome to add to zero carb foods to help curb cravings!
Here are some low carb dessert ideas:
Low Carb Food List Printable
It may be easier to check out the long list of foods you CAN enjoy instead of the overwhelming high carb foods to avoid? Check out my low carb food list printable! It’s a printer friendly guide to bring with you along your low carb journey.
I’ve also created a few other resources you may find useful:
- High protein low carb foods
- High fat low carb foods
- High fiber low carb foods
I hope this list of high carb foods answered some questions you may have about various carb counts! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.