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Carbohydrates are present in all types of vegetables, fruits and grains. The percentage of carbohydrates present in each food item is taken into consideration while planning a diet. Carbohydrates are considered bad or as 'the thing to avoid to lose weight'. This has given rise to a whole lot of diets from low carb diet to no carbohydrate diet! But the fact is that we need carbohydrates for proper functioning of the body and for acquiring energy needed for every physical activity. The carbohydrate chart presented below describes the amount of carbohydrates present in different food items.

Simple Vs. Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are classified into two groups, simple and complex carbohydrates. Both types of carbs can be included in your diet, but in correct proportion; if you want to maintain good weight and optimum health. Simple carbs are made up of basic sugar while complex carbs are made up of starches. Simple carbs or sugars break down into glucose immediately and offer instant energy to different parts of your body through blood. Complex carbs require more time for breaking down into energy and so are able to supply constant energy for a longer period.

Carbohydrates can also be classified as refined and unrefined carbohydrates. Highly processed food contains refined carbs that are low in the natural nutrients like fibers, vitamins and minerals. Refined products are generally devoid of all nutrients and fiber, so it is better to avoid such products. Various artificial chemicals and sugars are often added to them. Therefore, limited consumption of refined carbs is advised. Carbohydrates that are in their natural state (in fruits and vegetables) are called unrefined carbohydrates. You should consume more unrefined carbs, because they contain all the naturally occurring nutrients that are essential for proper body metabolism. Fiber helps prevent severe fluctuations of blood sugar levels. It improves the digestive health of the person. You should consume about 20 to 45 grams of dietary fiber every day. To get the required amount of fiber, you need to consume unrefined carbohydrates. Brown rice, beans, barley, bran cereal, lentils, millet, couscous, wheat/whole grain bread and cereals, vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, herbs, lamb, poultry and other whole grain products contain complex/unrefined carbs. Low fat dairy products can also be included in the list of healthy carbs.

Simple sugars are present in milk, molasses, fruits, refined sugar while complex starches are present in whole grain products. Simple carbs get stored while complex carbs do not get stored over a period of time. Moreover, when not burned adequately, simple carbs can lead to serious health problems. As 'generating energy' is an important carbohydrates function, you should have enough carbs in your diet.

Carbohydrates in Vegetables

Vegetables Serving Carbs
Artichoke 1 13.4 g
Asparagus 6 spears 3.8 g
Beans 1/2 cup 4.9 g
Broccoli 1/2 cup 3.9 g
Cabbage 1/2 cup 1.9 g
Cauliflower 6 florets 4.4 g
Carrot 1 medium 7.3 g
Cucumber 1/2 small 2.5 g
Collards 4 oz 7.3 g
Celery 1 stalk 1.5 g
Eggplant 1/2 cup 3.3 g
Endive 1/2 cup 1.8 g
Leek 1 12.6 g
Lettuce Butterhead 1 cup 1.3 g
Lettuce Romaine 1 cup 1.3 g
Mushroom Portobello 1/2 cup 1.4 g
Onion 1 9.5 g
Peas 1/2 cup 9.9 g
Peppers 1 4.8 g
Potato Sweet 1/2 cup 22.4 g
Potato White 1/2 cup 15.4 g
Pumpkin 1/2 cup 9.9 g
Spinach 1/2 cup 1.1 g
Squash 1/2 cup 10.8 g
Tomato 1 small 4.2 g
Zucchini 1 small 5.7 g

Carbohydrates in Fruits

Fruits Serving Carbs
Apple 1 medium 21 g
Apple sauce 1/4 cup 6.9 g
Apricot 1 3.9 g
Avocado 1 14.9 g
Banana 1 small 23.7 g
Blueberries 1/4 cup 5.1 g
Cantaloupe 1/4 cup 3.3 g
Cherries 1/4 cup 4.8 g
Fig 1 9.6 g
Grapes 1/4 cup 7.1 g
Lemon juice 1 tbsp 1.3 g
Orange juice 1/2 cup 13.4 g
Kiwi 1 11.3 g
Mango 1/4 cup 7 g
Peach 1 medium 10.9 g
Pear 1 medium 25.1 g
Pineapple 1/4 cup 4.8 g
Plum 1 8.6 g
Raspberries 1/4 cup 3.6 g
Strawberries 1/4 cup 2.7 g
Tangerine 1 7.8 g
Watermelon 1/4 cup 2.8 g

A diabetic diet is a low-carb diet, so a diabetic carbohydrate chart will obviously contain low carb foods only. Consumption of simple carbs or high carb foods may lead to severe fluctuations in blood sugar levels. So, if you are diabetic, you should avoid such foods.

The above charts are beneficial for those who wish to maintain their weight. A diet that does not contain carbohydrate can cause muscle breakdown, ketosis and dehydration. Remember, complex carbs that provide you the necessary vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber should be incorporated in a healthy diet. You may consult your physician and undergo certain tests before determining the daily carbohydrate intake for you.