On the flip side, excess carbohydrate intake has also been linked to obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes. This is because the excess glucose that is released from the metabolism of carbohydrates is stored in the body in the form of glycogen.
The glycogen reserves are in turn stored in the liver and muscles in the form of fat. A diet that contains excess of carbohydrate food can tip the sugar balance in the body, leaving an individual exhausted and irritated.
Carbohydrates are divided into simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. The difference lies in the molecular structure and the time needed for the breakdown of these molecules. Simple carbohydrates are made of one or two sugar molecules and are easily digested. They are rapidly absorbed by the blood and converted into glucose. This leads to a spike in the blood glucose levels. Although this is good for instant energy, it can lead to storage of the fats, especially when it is not utilized. Cakes, chocolates, white bread, biscuits, molasses, honey, soft drinks, and maple syrup are some common simple carbohydrate food sources.
As opposed to this, complex carbohydrates are made of a long molecular chain that takes some time to be broken down. Thus, there is regulated release of glucose in the blood, and the fat storage is much less in this case. This is further divided into starchy complex carbohydrates and dietary fibers. Starchy complex carbohydrates present in pasta, potatoes, cereal, and rice should be avoided by people with diabetes, since it is broken down into sugar. Dietary fibers in dry beans, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are good for the body, as they provide the essential carbohydrates without raising the sugar levels.
|Bread Products||Portion Size||Carbohydrate (gm)|
|Pita Bread||1 large||30 to 45|
|Pancake||Average size 6"||30|
|Hamburger Bun||1 regular size||25 to 30|
|Croissant||1 medium size||25|
|White Bread||1 slice||20 to 23|
|Grains and Cereals||Portion Size||Carbohydrate (gm)|
|Cooked Pasta||1 cup||45|
|Cooked Rice||1 cup||45|
|Refried Beans||Half cup||18 to 20|
|Vegetable||Portion Size||Carbohydrate (gm)|
|Sweet Potatoes, Cooked||10 oz. baked||60|
|Baked Potato Wendy||10 oz.||60|
|Squash||1 cup||10 to 30|
|Fruits and Dry Fruits||Portion Size||Carbohydrate (gm)|
|Dried Apricots||¼ cup||28|
|Bananas||1 medium size||30|
|Apples||4 to 8 oz.||20 to 30|
|Pineapples||1 cup diced||20|
|Dairy Products||Portion Size||Carbohydrate (gm)|
|Fruit Yogurt||1 serving||28|
|Plain Rice Milk||1 cup||20|
|Beans and Lentils||Portion Size||Carbohydrate (gm)|
|Lima Beans||½ cup frozen||30|
|Garbanzo Beans||½ cup frozen||30|
|Kidney Beans||½ cup||25|
|Baked Products||Portion Size||Carbohydrate (gm)|
|Two Layer Cake||4" square||80|
|Apple Crispies||½ cup||75|
|Bakery Muffins||1 whole||70|
|Fruit Pie||1/8 part of 9"||60|
|Snack Foods||Portion Size||Carbohydrate (gm)|
|French Fries||1 large||60|
|Jellied Cranberry Sauce||½ cup||30|
|Other Foods||Portion Size||Carbohydrate (gm)|
|Lasagna||1 serving||60 to 70|
|Beans and Cheese Burrito||6 oz. serving||45 to 60|
|Macaroni and Cheese||1 cup||50|
|Red Beans and Rice||1 cup||45|
|Pot Pie||1 cup||30|
Apart from the foods that are extremely high carbohydrates, there are also some foods with moderate levels of carbohydrates of around fifteen to twenty grams per portion.
As you can see, most of the high carbohydrate foods contain simple carbohydrates and should ideally be avoided. This is because, simple carb foods like snacks, baked products, and white bread, whether they contain high or moderate carbs, do nothing for the body other than introduce blank calories. These blank calories only give a short burst of energy for a short period of time, and over-consumption leads to weight gain, tooth decay, and many other health problems. On the other hand, complex carbs release more energy for a longer duration, and have an important role to play in the body's metabolism, digestion, muscular and central nervous system activities. Some high carbohydrate foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, oatmeal, and whole wheat grains provide adequate nutrition along with vitamins, minerals, and fibers, that are essential for physical fitness and overall health. So include as many of these as you can in your daily diet, and follow a regular exercise regime to stay fit and healthy.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by a medical professional.