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Top 10 Foods Highest in Carbohydrates (To Limit or Avoid)

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
Powered by USDA Nutrition Data
Top 10 Foods Highest in Carbohydrates (To Limit or Avoid)

Carbohydrates are found in almost all living things and play a critical role in the proper functioning of the immune system, fertilization, blood clotting, and human development.

A deficiency of carbohydrates can lead to impaired functioning of all these systems, however, in the Western world, deficiency is rare.

Excessive consumption of carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates like sugar or corn syrup, can lead to obesity, type II diabetes, and cancer.

Unhealthy high carbohydrate foods include pancakes, soft pretzels, bread products, ready to eat cereals, milkshakes, ice-cream, cereal bars, cake, pies, muffins, sweetened canned fruits, sugary drinks, fruit juices, corn chips, potato chips, and candies. Healthy high carbohydrate foods includes whole grains, beans, vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds. The daily value (%DV) for carbohydrates is 300 grams.

Below is a list of foods highest in carbohydrates, for more see the list of carb rich restaurant foods. For more healthy high carbohydrate choices see the list of healthy high carb foods.

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Top 10 High Carb Foods to Avoid

1Fast Foods (Hot Cakes with Syrup)
See the full list of fast foods high in carbs.
2Soft Pretzels
Soft Pretzels

Other Bread Products High in Carbs (%DV per piece)

French Bread (24% DV), Bagels (17%), Naan Bread (26%), Hamburger Rolls (8%), and Hotdog Rolls (8%).
3Ready to Eat Cereals (Familia)
A bowl granola
See the full list of 200 cereals high in carbs.
An ice cream sunday
Light Soft Serve Ice-Cream contains 23% (69g) of the DV for carbs.
An average ice-cream sandwich contains 11% DV (33g) carbs.
5Cereal Bars (Nutri-Grain)
Granola bars

Other Cereal Bars High in Carbs (%DV per bar)

Quaker Oatmeal Bar (15% DV), Clif Bar (15%), Mars Marathon Protein Performance Bar (13%), South Beach Protein Bar (13%), Slim Fast Optima Meal Bar (11%DV), Kellog\'s Low Fat Granola Bar (10%), and Snickers Marathon Bar (10%).
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6Cake with Frosting
A slice of chocolate cake

More Baked Confections High in Carbs (%DV per Slice or Piece)

White Cake with Coconut Frosting (24% DV), Blueberry Pie (15%), Cookies (13%), Gingerbread Cake (12%), and Muffins (12%).
7Canned Fruits (Sweetened Peaches)
Canned Fruit
Sweetened Canned Prunes (22% DV), Sweetened Canned Apricots (18%), and Sweetened Canned Blueberries (18%).
8Sugary Drinks (Cream Soda)
A can of soda

Other Sugary Drinks High in Carbs (%DV per 2 cup (16oz serving)

Orange Juice Drink (22%), Ocean Spray Cran Pomegranate (20%), Sweetened Lemon Black (20%), Tea V-8 V-Fusion Strawberry Banana (20%), Orange Soda (20% DV), Cola Soft Drinks (17%), Root Beer (17%), and Ginger Ale (14%).
9Snacks (Corn Chips)
Extruded corn chips

Other Snacks High in Carbs (%DV per cup)

Light Low-Oil Tortilla Chips (15%), and Low-Fat Potato Chips (8%).
10Candies (Jelly Gumdrops)
Colorful candies
See the full list of sweets and candies high in carbs.
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Printable One Page Sheet

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A printable list of the top 10 foods highest in carbs to avoid.

Restaurant Foods High in Carbs

#1 Sweet and Sour Chicken56% DV (168.5g) in per order
#2 Vegetable Lo Mein50% DV (149.4g) in per order
#3 Applebees Crunchy Onion Rings47% DV (140.6g) in per order
#4 McDonalds Hot Cakes34% DV (101.8g) in per order
#5 Carrabbas Italian Grill Spaghetti With Pomodoro Sauce30% DV (91.1g) in per order
#6 Olive Garden Spaghetti With Meat Sauce30% DV (90.2g) in per order
#7 McDonalds McFlurry With Oreo Cookies29% DV (86.1g) in per 12oz shake
#8 Taco Bell Taco Salad27% DV (80.5g) in per order
#9 TGI Fridays French Fries23% DV (67.9g) in per order
#10 Dennys Mozzarella Cheese Sticks21% DV (62.1g) in per order

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View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
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