The carbohydrates your physique makes use of for power fall roughly into two classes: sugars and starches. As soon as they hit your bloodstream, each sugar and starch get damaged down into easy sugars. Whereas fiber can be a carbohydrate, it’s not damaged down throughout digestion (one purpose why it retains you feeling fuller longer and is useful to intestine well being).

Even when you aren’t following a low-carb weight loss program, it’s useful to decide on meals that include complicated carbohydrates, heart-healthy fiber, and little to no added sugar. Easy or refined carbohydrates which can be primarily from sugar will not be useful to your well being.

Whereas they’re simple to digest, they lack the important vitamins complicated carbs have and infrequently include excessive quantities of added sugar. Extreme consumption of refined carbohydrates can be related to an elevated threat of weight problems, kind 2 diabetes, and coronary heart illness.


8 Fast Ideas for Avoiding Excessive-Carb Meals

In the event you’re following a low-carb consuming plan, you’ll possible wish to in the reduction of in your consumption of sugary and starchy meals. Whereas most meals and drinks can match right into a wholesome, balanced weight loss program, it is true that some are extra nutritious than others. Think about limiting these high-carb meals, and selecting substitutions for fashionable carb-rich picks.

Sugary Drinks

Meals excessive in sugar are damaged down rapidly, giving your physique a quick power enhance. Nonetheless, this additionally quickly impacts your blood sugar ranges. Whereas apparent sources of sugar, like sweet, are recognized to offer a fast power burst (and maybe a crash), many meals include added sugars as properly.

Soda, Espresso, and Tea

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Tender drinks, flavored espresso drinks, and bottled iced tea are high-sugar drinks that additionally add energy. These drinks additionally add carbs to your each day consumption.

  • A 12-ounce can of standard Coke has 140 energy and 39 grams of carbs (all of which come from added sugar).
  • A 16-ounce (grande) Starbucks latte with complete milk has 230 energy, 19 grams of carbs, and 16 grams of sugar. In case you have pumps of flavored syrup added, pay attention to the carb depend for every taste. For instance, 1 pump of mocha syrup provides round 27 energy, 6 grams of carbs, and almost 5 grams of sugar.
  • One bottle of Teavana Glowing Blackberry Lime Inexperienced Tea has 80 energy, 20 grams of carbs, and 19 grams of sugar (all of that are added sugars).

Fruit Juice

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Whereas usually touted as a wholesome selection, most fruit juices are very excessive in sugar and should not have a lot dietary worth in comparison with complete fruits, as a result of they lack fiber.

For instance, one 8-ounce cup of Mott’s 100% Apple Juice has 120 energy, 29 grams of carbs, 28 grams of added sugar, and no fiber. One medium apple has 95 energy, 25 grams of carbs, about 19 grams of sugar, and simply over 4 grams of fiber.

Different high-carb, high-sugar fruit juices embody:

  • Orange juice: 27 grams of carbs and 20 grams of sugar per cup
  • Cranberry juice: 31 grams of carbs per cup, all of which come from sugar
  • Grape juice: 37 grams of carbs per cup and almost 36 grams of sugar

Uncover the Finest Excessive-Fiber Meals That Are Low on Carbs


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In the event you devour alcohol, remember the fact that fashionable drinks embody energy and infrequently carbs or sugar—particularly blended drinks made with soda, concentrated juice, liqueurs, or syrups.

A shot of most spirits straight or on the rocks gained’t add any carbs. However once you add mixers, you add carbs. A rum and Coke, for instance, has almost 18 grams of carbs, about 17 of which come from sugar.

Liqueurs are one other high-carb add-on to alcoholic drinks. Amaretto has about 19 grams of carbs per 1-ounce serving (2 tablespoons). Nonetheless, amaretto is one style you possibly can obtain utilizing sugar-free syrups (comparable to these manufactured by Torani).

Cocktails may also be very excessive in sugar and subsequently carbs. Swapping conventional mixers for low-carb, sugar-free alternate options might help scale back the drink’s carb content material. For instance, as a substitute of utilizing peppermint schnapps for vacation cocktails, add a drop or two of peppermint extract.

Whereas the carbs in a bottle of beer will fluctuate by model, the typical for many beers is round 10 to 12 grams per bottle. As a normal rule, the heavier the beer, the extra carbs it has (comparable to stouts, porters, and black lagers).

Low-Carb Options

Whereas plain water is your best option to remain hydrated, you can too search for sugar-free drinks like flavored glowing water. Or, attempt including sliced citrus, recent berries, or sprigs of mint to your water bottle to offer nonetheless water a flavorful kick.

Some lower-carb choices for juice embody these produced from low-carb root greens, comparable to celery. One 8-ounce cup of celery juice has about 7 grams of carbs.

Moreover, some bottled fruit and vegetable juices, such because the V8 model, may also be decrease in carbs when you keep on with the 8-ounce serving dimension. One small cup of V8 has 10 grams of carbs and is decrease in sugar than different manufacturers of bottled juice.

Nonetheless, this selection may also be excessive in salt. In the event you’re on a low-sodium weight loss program, you may wish to skip V8 or search for the low-sodium model.

The right way to Make Flavored Water Recipes With Fewer Energy

Excessive-Sugar Fruit

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Fruit is a part of a nutritious diet. Whether or not recent or frozen, it incorporates useful fiber, nutritional vitamins, and minerals. In the event you’re watching your sugar and carb consumption, give attention to together with low-carb fruits (comparable to berries and summer time fruits, like peaches) in your weight loss program.

Nonetheless, many fruits, comparable to ripe bananas and figs, are naturally excessive in sugar. The sugar content material may also be influenced by how the fruit is packaged and ready.

Dried Fruit

Whereas dried fruit incorporates pure sugar, it’s very concentrated, which is why it is a sensible thought to watch your portion dimension. Dates, for instance, include 120 grams of carbohydrate per cup and 101 grams of sugar. However a single date has solely 6 grams of carbs and 5 grams of sugar.

Dried fruits with essentially the most carbs embody:

  • ​​Apricots: 81 grams of carbs and 69 grams of sugar per cup
  • Prunes: 102 grams of carbs and 61 grams of sugar per cup
  • Raisins: 127 grams of carbs and 104 grams of sugar per cup

Many dried fruits have added sugar—particularly when a part of granola bars and path combine.

Canned Fruit

One other potential supply of carbs is canned fruit and fruit cocktail cups. These cups are sometimes packed in a sugar syrup (together with high-fructose corn syrup), although you possibly can normally get varieties that aren’t.

  • Del Monte Pear Halves: 15 grams of carbs and 15 grams of sugar per serving
  • Dole Diced Pears in 100% Juice: 18 grams of carbs and 14 grams of sugar per serving
  • Nice Worth Cherry Blended Fruit: 17 grams of carbs and 16 grams of sugar per serving

Think about making your individual fruit cups, salads, and parfaits at residence.

Dairy Merchandise

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Milk, whether or not complete, low-fat, or nonfat, has about 12 grams of carbs and sugar per cup. The sugar in milk is primarily within the type of lactose. Until you’re lactose illiberal, this pure sugar is okay to incorporate in your weight loss program and is really useful by diet specialists.

With different dairy merchandise, comparable to sweetened yogurt, flavored milk, and ice cream, pay attention to added sugars, which might affect the whole carb depend. 

  • Ben & Jerry’s Phish Meals Ice Cream: 52 grams of carbs and 39 grams of sugar per 2/3 cup serving
  • Dannon Fruit on the Backside Strawberry Yogurt: 25 grams of carbs and 21 grams of sugar per serving
  • TruMoo Chocolate Milk: 24 grams of carbs and 23 grams of sugar per cup

Remember the fact that when ice cream is marketed as “wholesome” or yogurts are labeled “low-fat” and “fat-free,” these merchandise will typically have added sugar to switch the style and consistency offered by fats.

In the event you’re attempting to scale back your carb consumption, you’ll have to stability the dietary advantages of milk merchandise (comparable to being an awesome supply of calcium) with their carb load. In the event you’re lactose illiberal or choose non-dairy alternate options comparable to almond and coconut milk, make sure you select unsweetened varieties.

Why Counting Carbs in Yogurt Isn't So Simple


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Cake, ice cream, sweet, and different sweets are apparent sources of sugar. Since sweets style good however aren’t particularly filling (or don’t fulfill your starvation for very lengthy), it’s simple to lose sight of parts, and subsequently, carbs.

  • Brach’s Traditional Jelly Beans: 30 grams of carbs (all of that are sugar) per 14 items
  • Authentic Klondike Bar: 29 grams of carbs and 23 grams of sugar
  • Skittles: 56 grams of carbs and 47 grams of sugar per 2.17-ounce bag
  • Wegmans Peanut Butter Crammed Chocolate Cupcake: 76 grams of carbs and 62 grams of sugar
  • Yellow cake with chocolate frosting: 36 grams of carbs and 25 grams of sugar per slice of an 18-ounce cake

You don’t need to fully keep away from your favourite treats, even on a low-carb weight loss program. Along with maintaining a tally of parts and having fun with sweets carefully, there are many recipes and swaps you should use for low-carb desserts.

Sweet Bars and Snacks

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In the event you’re on the lookout for one thing fast, inexpensive, and handy to seize once you’re at work or on the street, you may be tempted to achieve for a sweet bar or granola bar. Whereas some are marketed as wholesome, all sweet bars are inherently excessive in sugar—even these sweetened with dried fruit and made with complete grains.

  • Cherry Pie LÄRABAR: 28 grams of carbs and 20 grams of sugar
  • Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Luna Bar: 26 grams of carbs and 9 grams of sugar
  • Type Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Protein Bars: 28 grams of carbs and 10 grams of sugar per pack
  • Package Kat: 27 grams of carbs and 22 grams of sugar per bar
  • Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Clif Bar: 43 grams of carbs and 21 grams of sugar
  • Snickers Bar: 35 grams of carbs and 29 grams of sugar
  • York Peppermint Patties: 34 grams of carbs and 27 grams of sugar per patty

The right way to Discover Low-Carb Snacks Anyplace You Go

Processed Meals

Producers know that many individuals are naturally inclined to seek out sweet-tasting meals extra pleasing to their palates. Merchandise you wouldn’t essentially consider as being candy typically have sugar added to them—all the pieces from breakfast cereal to ketchup and salad dressings.

Whenever you’re procuring or consuming out, it’s essential to know that the meals trade has give you many artistic methods to say “sugar.” In the event you’re attempting to chop down on sugar, verify the diet label on all the pieces you purchase. Added sugars are generally hidden sugars—that’s, sugar by one other identify.

If components like molasses, honey, agave, barley malt, or maltodextrin seem on a meals label, the product incorporates sugar.  

Learn Vitamin Labels

In the event you’re watching your carbs, take notice when sugar-containing components are discovered close to the highest of the checklist on a meals’s diet label or if there’s multiple. If both (or each) is true, you’ll know the meals is excessive in carbs in addition to sugar.

Extremely processed meals, like most breakfast cereals and meals made with white flour or different refined carbohydrates, are among the many most prevalent sources of sugar. These meals additionally are typically excessive in components, preservatives, and different synthetic components that don’t provide any of the dietary advantages of complete meals.

Manufactured components and components could even have unfavourable well being results, notably in youngsters. Some folks expertise fuel and bloating because of sugar substitutes like aspartame.

Processed Meals and Digestive Issues

Breakfast Cereals

Whereas merchandise like fruity breakfast cereals marketed to children are apparent sources of sugar, many seemingly wholesome manufacturers are comparatively high-carb—particularly when you’ve overestimated portion dimension.

  • Frosted Mini Wheats: 47 grams of carbs and 11 grams of carbs per half-cup serving
  • Grape Nuts: 47 grams of carbs and 5 grams of sugar per cup
  • Honey Bunches of Oats: 24 grams of carbs and 6 grams of sugar per 3/4-cup serving
  • Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes: 53 grams of carbs and 31 grams of sugar per half-cup serving
  • Kellogg’s Raisin Bran: 46 grams of carbs and 18 grams of sugar per cup


Condiments, together with salad dressing, may also be excessive in carbs and sugar.

  • Brianna’s Blush Wine French dressing: 11 grams of carbs and 9 grams of sugar per 2-tablespoon serving
  • Heinz Ketchup: 5 grams of carbs and 4 grams of sugar per 2-tablespoon serving
  • Newman’s Personal Honey Dijon Mustard Dressing: 7 grams of carbs and 5 grams of sugar per 2-tablespoon serving
  • Candy Child Ray’s Barbecue Sauce: 18 grams of carbs and 16 grams of sugar per 2-tablespoon serving

Maintaining a tally of portion dimension helps, however one of the simplest ways to keep away from added energy, carbs, and sugar is to make your individual dressing. Selfmade dressing additionally offers you extra management over the components and parts, and you’ll simply preserve your pantry stocked with low-carb condiments.

Balsamic French dressing you may make at residence solely has about one gram of carb per tablespoon.

Excessive-Starch Meals

Starches are lengthy strands of glucose the physique breaks down into sugar. Many meals excessive in starch have low-carb alternate options or substitutions you possibly can incorporate into your weight loss program. 

Starchy Greens

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Greens are full of diet and are a great supply of fiber, so you need to embody them in your weight loss program. Concentrate on selecting low-carb greens and thoughts your parts when together with starchy ones. 

Potatoes, candy potatoes, beets, and corn are examples of excessive carb, starchy greens. A simple solution to consider how starchy a vegetable is to contemplate it from the foundation up.

Root greens and seeds have essentially the most starch, adopted by the fruits of the plant, with stems and leaves having the least.


Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Meals made with white or complete wheat flour, comparable to bread, pasta, breakfast cereal, pretzels, bagels, crackers, donuts, truffles, cookies, and pastries, are excessive in starch.

  • Auntie Anne’s Authentic Tender Pretzel: 65 grams of carbs
  • Challah bread: 21 grams of carbs per thick slice
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Glazed Donut: 33 grams of carbs
  • Panera Bread plain croissant: 27 grams of carbs per serving
  • Spaghetti: 40 grams of carbs per cup (cooked, plain)
  • Starbucks Plain Bagel: 56 grams of carbs
  • Wheat Thins crackers: 32 grams per small (45 grams) single-bag serving

For lower-carb flour alternate options for baked items, use these produced from nuts or seeds, comparable to almond flour. Baked items made with complete grains could be a wholesome selection as properly.

Carbs in Flour

107 grams


86 grams


24 grams

Per cup

Entire Grains

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Rice, barley, oats, quinoa, and different complete grains are excessive in starch. Even these with well being advantages, comparable to oatmeal, nonetheless add carbs. Nonetheless, these choices even have extra fiber, making them a more sensible choice than processed grains. Specialists advocate together with nutrient-rich complete grains as a part of a wholesome, balanced weight loss program.

  • Cinnamon roll oatmeal: 50 grams of carbs per serving
  • Lengthy grain brown rice: 52 grams of carbs per cup, cooked
  • Oats: 26 grams of carbs per cup, cooked with water
  • Pearled barley: 44 grams of carbs per cup, cooked
  • Quinoa: 39 grams of carbs per cup, cooked
  • White rice: 53 grams of carbs per cup, cooked

The easiest way to keep away from overloading your carb consumption is to look at your portion dimension and embody these meals thoughtfully in your meal planning. The U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) recommends making at the least half of your grain consumption complete grains.

Variations Between Entire Grains and Refined Grains


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Beans and peas are excessive in carbs, however your physique digests this sort of starch extra slowly—particularly when the beans haven’t been canned or pureed. These resistant starches provide help to really feel full and gained’t trigger spikes in blood sugar.

Frequent beans and legumes which can be increased in carbs embody:

  • Adzuki beans: 28 grams of carbs per half-cup serving
  • Garbanzo beans/chickpeas: 17 grams of carbs per half-cup serving
  • Navy beans: 24 grams of carbs per half-cup serving
  • Pinto beans: 22 grams of carbs per half-cup serving
  • White beans: 19 grams grams of carbs per half-cup serving

In the event you’re listening to the glycemic index (GI) of the meals you eat, legumes are an awesome low-GI meals and are loaded with essential nutritional vitamins and minerals.

A Phrase From Verywell

In the event you’re following a low-carb weight loss program for well being causes or to drop some weight, it is essential to familiarize your self with each high-carb and low-carb meals to assist preserve your weight loss program balanced. You don’t essentially wish to remove meals which can be additionally excessive in dietary worth, however you might want to look at your parts, particularly in case you are managing your blood sugar for a medical situation like diabetes.

In the event you’re serious about attempting a low-carb weight loss program however aren’t positive the place to start, seek the advice of your doctor or a registered dietitian. They might help you develop a sensible, well-balanced consuming plan that ensures you get sufficient important vitamins. Every time doable, get your carbs from complete meals sources wealthy in fiber, nutritional vitamins, and minerals, comparable to complete grains, legumes, non-starchy greens, and fruit.

Vitamin for Weight Loss