What Foods Contain The Highest Amount Of Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the three macronutrients that must be present in our diet because each one of them fulfills important functions in our body. In this article, I will tell you about which foods contain more carbohydrates so that you are very clear about how to keep this macronutrient in mind in your diet.
Types Of Carbohydrates
In general, we can say that carbohydrates are classified as follows:
- Simple sugars: monosaccharides, such as glucose, fructose, galactose, and ribose, and disaccharides, such as sucrose, lactose, and maltose.
- Oligosaccharides: such as maltodextrin, fructans, and Galatians (which act as fiber)
- Polysaccharides: such as starch, glycogen, and dietary fiber.
- Hydrogenated carbohydrates or polyols: such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and erythritol
The best-known function of this macronutrient is to provide energy since 1g of carbohydrates provides 4 kcal, the same as 1g of protein. However, carbohydrates are also essential in maintaining our muscle glycogen, which is key to good athletic performance.
Although carbohydrates are not considered essential, as is the case with some types of proteins and fats, they do fulfill specific functions in our body:
- For example, ribose is necessary to form our cellular DNA and RNA.
- Galactose is part of cerebrosides, gangliosides, and mucoproteins, which are important constituents of the nerve cell membrane.
- Fiber, for its part, is the main food for our microbiota and is associated with a lower prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, cancer, and even premature aging.
The Role Of Fiber Present In Carbohydrates
In whole grains such as oats, nuts, seeds, legumes, and some fruits and vegetables, we can highlight their soluble fiber, which retains water and slows digestion and absorption of nutrients, favoring satiety. Beta-glucans, for example, would be a type of soluble fiber.
On the other hand, in foods such as wheat bran, some vegetables, and whole grains, we find insoluble fiber, which adds volume to the stool, favoring evacuation.
What Foods Contain More Carbohydrates?
In these tables, we can find foods according to their carbohydrate content. However, the quantity is just as important as the quality of the same and the needs of each individual.
Foods with more than 50% carbohydrate content
|SWEETENED COCOA POWDER||80%|
|SUGARY BREAKFAST CEREALS||between 70 and 80%|
|CONCENTRATED SPORTS GELS||Between 50 and 70%|
|HONEY AND SYRUPS||75%|
|MARIA OR CHOCOLATE BISCUITS||between 60 and 70%|
|DRIED FRUITS (raisins, dates, dried apricots)||between 55 and 70%|
|POTATO CHIPS AND QUICOS||Between 50 and 60%|
|BREAKFASTS AND FLOURS||Between 65 and 75%|
|SUGARIZED DRIED FRUIT CREAMS||60%|
|CONDENSED MILK and JAM||Between 55 and 65%|
|WHITE BAGUETTE BREAD||55%|
Foods with less than 50% carbohydrate content
|INTEGRAL AND MOLDED BREAD||Between 45 and 50%|
|COOKED RICE AND COOKED PASTA||Between 25 and 30%|
|COOKED VEGETABLES and COOKED OATS||Between 12 and 18%|
|COOKED POTATO AND SWEET POTATO||Between 20 and 25%|
|DAIRY DESSERTS (puddings, custards…)||between 15-30%|
|JUICES, SOFT DRINKS, KETCHUP||Between 10-20%|
|ALL THE FRUITS||Between 5-20%|
|ALL THE VEGETABLES||between 5-15%|
|CASHEW NUTS AND CHESTNUTS||30%|
|REST OF NUTS||Between 5 and 10%|
|MILK AND NATURAL YOGURT||5%|
Do Carbohydrates “Make You Fat”?
What are the carbohydrates that make you fat? If we look at these tables and bear in mind the scientific evidence, we can say that the foods that are most associated with being overweight and obese are those that have added sugar.
Ultra-processed foods are usually very caloric, due to the presence of added sugars, refined flours, and also due to their low-quality fats. Due to its high palatability, it is easy to fall into excessive consumption. On the other hand, the consumption of fruits and vegetables, as well as legumes, tubers, and whole grains are related to a correct body composition and a healthy weight.
There are foods that provide us with very feared carbohydrates, such as the example of bananas carbohydrates, but these only provide 20% carbohydrates. That is, a banana of about 90g only provides about 80 kcal, the same as a medium apple. For this reason, it can be included in any type of diet, even for weight loss. The banana stands out for its richness in vitamin B6 and Potassium. And like all fruits, it also has vitamin C, antioxidant polyphenols, and more than 2% fiber.
Being overweight and obesity is actually associated with the habitual consumption of ultra-processed foods, and the frequent use of fried foods, batters, and sauces. If day after day we consume excess calories, whether from fat, protein, or carbohydrates, the body will accumulate body fat. In these cases, it is necessary to visit a dietitian-nutritionist, who will teach you to have good eating habits, without prohibiting food groups.
Fad diets bring many problems for physical and mental health, so working with scientific evidence, as the Nutriendo Project of the Nutrition Academy does, is essential for the health of the population.
The Introduction Of Carbohydrates From Childhood
Breast milk is the first food with carbohydrates that we consume since it contains lactose, which is a disaccharide that, when hydrolyzed, provides us with glucose and galactose.
Breast milk also contains oligosaccharides that feed the baby’s microbiota and allow proper intestinal and immune function.
From 6 months of life is when we should consume other types of foods that contain carbohydrates
Throughout our lives, carbohydrates should provide about 50% of the daily energy we need, and these carbohydrates should come mainly from minimally processed foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, tubers, and whole grains.
Carbohydrates In Cases Of Type I Diabetes
In this case, carbohydrates must be accurately counted and it is considered that a portion of carbohydrates is equivalent to the portion of food capable of providing 10g of them. So, for example, 1 serving of carbohydrates is equivalent to 200 ccs of milk or natural yogurt.
People with type 1 diabetes learn how much insulin to take based on their blood glucose levels and carbohydrate servings.
About The Absorption Of Short-Chain Carbohydrates (FODMAPs)
FODMAPs are carbohydrates easily fermentable by intestinal bacteria, which can cause gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.
Certain people may be more sensitive to fructans in wheat or onions, Galatians in legumes, fructose in honey or fruit, and sugar alcohols in pears or mushrooms.
In these cases, it is also the dietitian-nutritionist who can help you improve your symptoms and identify the causes of your sensitivity.
Talking about carbohydrates in isolation can guide us, but the ideal is always to talk about the food as a whole:
As an example, and as you have seen in the last table, fruit can provide us with the same amount of carbohydrates as commercial juice, but the impact on our health will be completely different because fruit is a complete food, with plenty of fiber. , vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant polyphenols.
Finally, although carbohydrates are not considered essential for survival, continued carbohydrate deprivation increases cortisol levels, decreases immunity, and can affect our proper hormonal function.