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High-carb foods: what are they and list of foods

Foods rich in carbs, such as bread, cereals, rice and all kinds of pasta, are an important form of energy for the body. However, when we eat too many carbs, they increase the amount of body fat stored in the body, so it is important not to overeat this type of food.

The recommended amount is only 200 to 300 grams of carbs a day, which is easily achieved by eating rice at lunch and dinner, a French bread roll and biscuits throughout the day.

High-carb foods: what are they and list of foods

List of foods rich in carbohydrates

FoodsAmount of carbohydrates in 100 gEnergy in 100 g
Corn flakes81,1 g374 calories
Maize Biscuit72,0 g436 calories

Whole-grain toast

62,6 g364 calories
Water biscuit61,6 g451 calories
French bread roll57,3 g289 calories
Rye Bread56,4 g263 calories
Rice28,0 g127 calories
Spaghetti19,9 g101 calories
Boiled Potato18,5 g85 calories
Peas18,1 g63 calories
Chickpeas16,7 g121 calories
Lentils16,7 g108 calories
Beans14,0 g91 calories
Soy beans7,5 g40 calories

The foods listed in this table are just some of the ones that have higher levels of carbohydrates, but other foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, pumpkin, beetroot, carrot, apple or pear, for example, also have carbohydrates, but in smaller amounts. Another carb-rich food is cassava flour, widely used to make seasoned cassava flour.

What are carbs?

Carbohydrates are molecules made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, and are also called carbs, glycide or sugar. Their main function is to provide fast energy because they are easily digested and boost moods soon after consumption, but when this energy is not burnt, it ends up being stored in the body as fat.

All vegetables have carbohydrates and the only animal-derived food that has carbohydrates is honey. The total daily consumption should not be more than 60%, however, there are different classifications, which is why foods rich in carbs can be known as "simple carbohydrates" or "complex carbohydrates".

1. Simple carbohydrates

Foods rich in simple carbohydrates are considered the sweetest foods, like refined sugar, French bread, honey, fruit jams, watermelon, raisins, cereals, white rice, cooked pasta, popcorn and sodas.

This type of carbohydrate is digested and absorbed very quickly by the body and so makes you feel hungry again more quickly. They are considered foods with a high or moderate glycemic index, because their sugar quickly gets into the blood and so should be avoided by people with diabetes or those trying to lose weight.

2. Complex carbohydrates

Foods rich in complex carbohydrates are less sweet, some examples being rice and whole-grain pasta, as well as whole grain cereal, lentils, chickpeas, carrots, or peanuts.

Foods with complex carbohydrates have a slower digestion rate and, so, reach the blood more slowly, making you feel fuller for longer. That is why they are also classified as foods with low or moderate glycemic index.

They are ideal foods for people with diabetes or those who are trying to lose weight. They are, in general, richer in B vitamins, iron, fiber and minerals.

Foods rich in simple carbohydrates
Foods rich in simple carbohydrates
Foods rich in complex carbohyrates
Foods rich in complex carbohyrates

What are good carbs?

Although all sources of carbohydrates are good, choosing healthy carbohydrates like whole-grain processed products as well as fruits and vegetables, is a better option for those who want to lose weight or improve exercise results.

So, good sources of carbohydrates are:

  • Fruits rich in carbohydrates and fibers: plum, papaya, fig;
  • Whole-grain foods: brown rice, rice with beans, whole-grain pasta, whole-grain bread or bread with seeds;
  • Vegetables: beets, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower;
  • Grains: beans, lentils, chickpeas;
  • Tubers: sweet potatoes with peel, yams.

Foods rich in sugar, and consequently carbs, such as cakes, cookies, cereal bars, popcorn, sweets and desserts, in general, should not be eaten by those who want to lose weight or increase muscle mass.

How to use carbs to gain muscle mass

To gain muscle mass, it is important to eat complex carbohydrates throughout the day and before exercising, because they provide adequate energy for exercise, and it is recommended you eat some protein-rich food, such as yoghurt, up to 1 hour after exercising to facilitate muscular hypertrophy.

Bibliography >

  • COZZOLINO Silvia. Biodisponibilidade de nutrientes. 4º. Brasil: Manole Ltda, 2012. 193-226.
  • PLATAFORMA PORTUGUESA DE INFORMAÇÃO ALIMENTAR . Composição de Alimentos. Available on: <http://portfir.insa.pt/foodcomp/food?713>. Access in 26 Aug 2019
  • MAHAN, L. Kathleen et al. Krause: Alimentos, Nutrição e Dietoterapia. 13.ed. São Paulo: Elsevier Editora, 2013. 33-39.
  • NELSON David y COX Michael. Lehninger Principios de Bioquímica. 7º. São Paulo, Brasil: Artmed, 2019. 241-272.
  • UNIVERSIDADE ESTADUAL DE CAMPINAS . Tabela Brasileira de Composição de Alimentos – TACO. 2011. Available on: <http://www.nepa.unicamp.br/taco/contar/taco_4_edicao_ampliada_e_revisada.pdf?arquivo=taco_4_versao_ampliada_e_revisada.pdf>. Access in 25 Sep 2019
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