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Carbohydrate-rich foods


Foods rich in carbohydrates, such as bread, cereals, rice and all pasta, are an important form of energy for the body, as glucose is generated during digestion, which is the main source of energy for the body’s cells.

When food is consumed in large quantities, the body uses a part to generate energy and what is not used is stored as fat in the adipose tissue, favoring weight gain. Therefore, its consumption must be controlled, being recommended to eat 200 to 300 grams per day in a normocaloric diet, however this amount can vary according to the weight, age, gender and physical activity practiced by the person.

In the case of people who want to lose weight, it is important to control the type of carbohydrate consumed, as well as the portions and should prefer foods that contain fewer carbohydrates and more fiber in their composition. Here’s how to eat a low-carb diet.

List of carbohydrate-rich foods

The following table has a list of foods that have the highest amount of carbohydrates and their amount of fiber:

FoodsAmount of carbohydrates (100 g)Fibras (100 g)Energy in 100 g
Corn flakes corn cereal 81,1 g3,9 g374 calories
Cornflour75,3 g2,6 g359 calories
Wheat flour75,1 g2,3 g360 calories
Wholemeal rye flour73,3 g15,5 g336 calories
Maisena Biscuit75,2 g2,1 g443 calories
Wholemeal toast62,5 g7,4 g373 calories
Wafer type  cream cracker61,6 g3,1 g442 calories
French bread58,6 g2,3 g300 calories
Rye bread56,4 g5,8 g268 calories
White bread44,1 g2,5 g253 calories
Cooked white rice28,1 g1,6 g128 calories
Cooked whole rice25,8 g2,7 g124 calories
Cooked noodles19,9 g1,5 g102 calories
Rolled oats66,6 g9,1 g394 calories
Baked potato18,5 g1,6 g87 calories
Baked sweet potato28,3 g3 g123 calories
Cooked peas7,9 g4,8 g72 calories
Cooked chickpeas16,7 g5,1 g130 calories
Cooked lentils16,3 g7,9 g93 calories
Cooked black beans14,0 g8,4 g77 calories
Cooked Soy5,6 g5,6 g151 calories

The foods shown in this table are just some of the foods rich in carbohydrates, but there are also other foods that contain carbohydrates but in lesser quantities, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, pumpkin, beets, carrots, apples or pears, for example also have carbohydrates, but less. Another food rich in carbohydrates is cassava flour, widely used to make manioc flour. Learn how to consume manioc flour without getting fat .

What are carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, also called carbohydrates, glycides or saccharides, are molecules formed by organic compounds like carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Its main function is to provide energy quickly to the body, as they are easy to digest, however when this energy is not spent, it ends up being stored in the body as fat in the cells of adipose tissue.

All vegetables have carbohydrates and the only food of animal origin that has carbohydrates is honey. Your recommended consumption in your total daily diet should not exceed 60% of the recommended amount of calories per day.

Carbohydrates can be classified as simple and complex according to the characteristics of the molecule, with complexes and high in fiber being the most suitable to be consumed in a weight loss diet.

Foods rich in complex carbohydrates

Foods with complex carbohydrates are slower to be digested by the body, sugar being released more slowly into the blood and helping to produce a feeling of satiety for a longer period, especially if the food has a lot of fiber. Therefore, foods rich in complex carbohydrates are classified as having low or moderate glycemic index. Learn more about the glycemic index of foods.

Foods rich in complex carbohydrates are less sweet foods, such as rice and whole-grain pasta, as well as whole grains, lentils, chickpeas, carrots or peanuts.

These foods are ideal for diabetics and also to be consumed during the weight loss process, because they also have a lot of B vitamins, iron, fibers and minerals.

Foods rich in simple carbohydrates

Foods rich in simple carbohydrates are those that the body absorbs more quickly at the intestinal level to be used as energy, making the person feel hungry more quickly, unlike complex carbohydrates with high fiber content. Some examples of simple carbohydrates are refined sugar, demerara sugar, molasses, honey, fructose present in fruits and lactose, which is the sugar present in milk.

In addition, there are some processed foods that contain excess sugar such as sweets, soft drinks, marmalade, processed juices, gums and sweets.

This type of carbohydrate increases blood sugar very quickly and is therefore considered to have a high glycemic index, and should therefore be avoided by diabetics and people who want to reduce weight.

What are good carbohydrates

While all sources of carbohydrates are good, choosing the healthiest ones is not an easy task. The best option for those who want to lose weight or improve their results at the gym is to consume whole foods, in addition to fruits and vegetables. However, it is important to always check the nutritional table of foods to choose the best option, since many products have added sugar or high amounts of fat.

Thus, some good sources of carbohydrates due to their high amount of fiber are:

  • Fiber-rich fruits: plum, papaya, pear, strawberries, kiwi, mandarin, lemon, pitaya and peach; 
  • Whole foods: brown rice, rice with grains, brown pasta, brown bread or bread with seeds;
  • Vegetables:  cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower;
  • Grains: beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas;
  • Cereals: oats;
  • Tubers: sweet potatoes with skin and yams

Foods high in sugar, such as cakes, cookies, cereal bars and sweets in general should not be consumed if you want to lose weight or increase muscle mass.

How to use carbohydrates to gain muscle mass

To gain muscle mass it is recommended to consume several portions of complex carbohydrates throughout the day and before training, as they provide the energy that the body needs to perform physical activity. Up to 1 hour after training it is recommended to eat some protein-rich food, such as yogurt for example, to facilitate muscle mass gain.

However, for best results, the ideal is to consult a nutritionist to prepare a nutritional plan adapted to the individual needs of each person.

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