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

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

Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients required by the body for proper functioning and good health. The main function of carbohydrates is to provide energy to the body including the brain, which also runs on glucose.

Healthy high carb foods like whole grains, plus fruits and vegetables (which are also classed as carbohydrates) are an essential part of a balanced diet and eating plenty of these foods reduces the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, type II diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. On the other hand, excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates like sugar or corn syrup, can increase our risk of the same diseases.

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 include whole grains, beans, vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds. The daily value (%DV) for carbohydrates is 300 grams. For more healthy high carbohydrate choices see the list of healthy high carb foods.

Below is a list of foods highest in carbohydrates, for more see the extended list of carb rich restaurant foods.


Top 10 High Carb Foods to Avoid

Pancakes

#1: Fast Foods (Hot Cakes with Syrup)

Carbs
per 3 Pancakes
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
101.8g
(34% DV)
46.1g
(15% DV)
33.9g
(11% DV)
See the full list of fast foods high in carbs.
Soft Pretzels

#2: Soft Pretzels

Carbs
in 1 Large
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
101.6g
(34% DV)
71g
(24% DV)
41.2g
(14% DV)

Other Refined Bread Products High in Carbs

  • 72g (24% DV) in a slice of French bread
  • 49g (16% DV) in a pice of naan bread
  • 25g (8% DV) in a hamburger roll
  • 25g (8% DV) in a hotdog roll
  • 25g (8% DV) in a flour tortilla
A bowl granola

#3: Ready to Eat Cereals (Familia)

Carbs
per Cup
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
90g
(30% DV)
73.8g
(25% DV)
38g
(13% DV)
See the full list of 200 cereals high in carbs.
An ice cream sunday

#4: Milkshakes

Carbs
per 12oz Cup
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
86.1g
(29% DV)
25.6g
(9% DV)
30.2g
(10% DV)

More Unhealthy Dairy Foods High in Carbohydrates

  • 168g (56% DV) per cup of dulce de leche
  • 69g (23% DV) per serving of soft-serv ice-cream
  • 33g (11% DV) per ice-cream sandwich
  • 27g (9% DV) in a cup of hot cocoa
  • 20g (7% DV) in a cup of eggnog
See the complete list of dairy foods high in carbohydrates.
Granola bars

#5: Cereal Bars (Nutri-Grain)

Carbs
per Bar
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
84.4g
(28% DV)
72.8g
(24% DV)
39.4g
(13% DV)

Other Cereal Bars High in Carbs

  • 45g (15% DV) in a Quaker Oatmeal Bar
  • 39g (13% DV) in a Mars Marathon Protein Performance Bar
  • 39g (13% DV) in a South Beach Protein Bar
  • 33g (11% DV) in a Slim Fast Omptima Meal Bar
  • 30g (10% DV) in a Snicker's Marathon Bar
  • Note: There are some healthy cereal bars available if you check the ingredients and choose wisely. Look for bars made of whole grains such as oats, and bars containing nuts, seeds, dried fruit. Be sure there are no added sugars, sweeteners, or chemical additives.

A slice of chocolate cake

#6: Cake with Frosting

Carbs
per Slice
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
79.7g
(27% DV)
55.4g
(18% DV)
29.2g
(10% DV)

More Baked Confections High in Carbs

  • 71g (24% DV) per slice of white cake with coconut frosting
  • 43g (15% DV) per slice of blueberry pie
  • 39g (13% DV) per chocolate cookie
  • 36g (12% DV) per piece of gingerbread
  • 36g (12% DV) in a small muffin
See the list of baked foods high in carbohydrates.
Canned Fruit

#7: Canned Fruits (Sweetened Peaches)

Carbs
per Cup
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
67.2g
(22% DV)
25.3g
(8% DV)
52.1g
(17% DV)

More Canned Fruits High in Carbs

  • 65g (22% DV) per cup of prunes canned in heavy syrup
  • 54g (18% DV) per cup of sweetened canned apricots
  • 54g (18% DV) per cup of sweetened canned blueberries

Note: Look for fruits canned in fruit juice instead and eat fresh fruit whenever possible.

A can of soda

#8: Sugary Drinks (Cream Soda)

Carbs
per 16oz Bottle
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
65.7g
(22% DV)
13.3g
(4% DV)
52.2g
(17% DV)

Other Sugary Drinks High in Carbs

  • 66g (22% DV) per 16oz glass of orange juice
  • 60g (20% DV) per 16oz bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Pomegranate.
  • 60g (20% DV) per 16oz glass of sweetened lemon black tea
  • 60g (20% DV) per 16oz glass of V-8 V-Fusion Strawberry Banana
  • 60g (20% DV) per 16oz bottle of orange soda
  • 51g (17% DV) per 16oz glass of cola soft drink
  • 51g (17% DV) per 16oz glass of root beer
  • 42g (14% DV) per 16oz glass of ginger ale
See the complete list of drinks high in carbohydrates.
Extruded corn chips

#9: Snacks (Corn Chips)

Carbs
per Cup
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
50.5g
(17% DV)
57.4g
(19% DV)
20.6g
(7% DV)

Other Snacks High in Carbs

  • 46g (15% DV) per cup of tortilla chips
  • 36g (12% DV) per 2oz bag of Utz Veggie Chips
  • 36g (12% DV) per 1.9oz bag of kettle chips
See the complete list of high carbohydrate snacks.
Colorful candies

#10: Candies (Jelly Gumdrops)

Carbs
per 10 Pieces
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
35.6g
(12% DV)
98.9g
(33% DV)
49.9g
(17% DV)
See the full list of sweets and candies high in carbs.

Printable One Page Sheet

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

Restaurant Foods High in Carbs

FoodServingCarbs
#1 Sweet and Sour Chicken
(Source)
per order56% DV
(168.5g)
#2 Vegetable Lo Mein
(Source)
per order50% DV
(149.4g)
#3 Fast Foods (Applebees Onion Rings)
(Source)
per order47% DV
(140.6g)
#4 Fast Foods (Hot Cakes with Syrup)
(Source)
per 3 pancakes34% DV
(101.8g)
#5 Carrabbas Italian Grill Spaghetti With Pomodoro Sauce
(Source)
per order30% DV
(91.1g)
#6 Olive Garden Spaghetti With Meat Sauce
(Source)
per order30% DV
(90.2g)
#7 McDonalds McFlurry With Oreo Cookies
(Source)
per 12oz shake29% DV
(86.1g)
#8 Taco Bell Taco Salad
(Source)
per order27% DV
(80.5g)
#9 TGI Fridays French Fries
(Source)
per order23% DV
(67.9g)
#10 Dennys Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
(Source)
per order21% DV
(62.1g)

View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.
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Data Sources and References

  1. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central

MyFoodData provides nutrition data tools and articles to help you organize and understand the foods you eat. Read more...