Top 10 Healthy High Carb Foods

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
Powered by USDA Nutrition Data
Top 10 Healthy High Carb Foods

Carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet, however, some popular diets have unfortunately given 'carbs' a bad reputation and even lead to a 'fear' of carbohydrate foods in recent years.

A balanced diet should always include the three major food groups (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats).

Carbohydrate-rich foods are the body's main source of energy, giving you the fuel you need to carry out your daily activities. The brain also runs on carbohydrates, so this includes mental, as well as physical, energy. Healthy carbohydrate food sources like whole grains and vegetables are also a key dietary source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Choosing the right type of carbohydrate is important; the ones that should be avoided are the refined carbs, including white bread, white rice, white flour products and anything with added sugar.

Healthy high carb foods include sweet potatoes, brown rice, navy beans, chestnuts, lentils, bananas, oatmeal, milk, raisins, and healthy snacks like brown rice cakes. The current daily value (%DV) for carbs is 300 grams.

The following is a list of the top 10 healthy sources of carbohydrates to include in your diet, click here for a list of high carb foods to avoid.


List of Healthy High Carb Foods

Sweet Potatoes

#1: Sweet Potatoes

Carbs
per Cup Mashed
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
59.1g
(20% DV)
23.2g
(8% DV)
45.9g
(15% DV)

More Vegetables High in Carbs (%DV per cup)

Pea Sprouts (11% DV), Acorn Squash (10%), Sweet Corn (9%), and Green Peas (8%).
See all vegetables high in carbs.
Brown Rice

#2: Brown Rice

Carbs
per Cup
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
51.7g
(17% DV)
25.6g
(9% DV)
41.6g
(14% DV)

More Alternative Grains high in Carbohydrates (%DV per cup)

Spelt (17% DV), Kamut (16%), Amaranth (15%), Pearled Barley (15%), Millet (14%), Quinoa (13%), and Wild Rice (12%).
See all grains high in carbohydrates.
Navy Beans

#3: Navy Beans

Carbs
per Cup
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
47.4g
(16% DV)
26.1g
(9% DV)
37.2g
(12% DV)
Chestnuts

#4: Chestnuts

Carbs
per oz(~3 Chestnuts)
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
44.5g
(15% DV)
53g
(18% DV)
43.2g
(14% DV)
Lentils

#5: Lentils

Carbs
per Cup
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
39.9g
(13% DV)
20.1g
(7% DV)
34.7g
(12% DV)
Bananas

#6: Bananas

Carbs
per Cup Sliced
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
34.3g
(11% DV)
22.8g
(8% DV)
51.3g
(17% DV)
A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries

#7: Oatmeal

Carbs
per Cup
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
28.1g
(9% DV)
12g
(4% DV)
33.8g
(11% DV)
Glass of milk

#8: Milk

Carbs
per 16oz Glass
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
24.4g
(8% DV)
5g
(2% DV)
23.8g
(8% DV)
Plain Yogurt provides 6% DV (11g) of carbs per cup. Sweetened Fruit Yogurt provides 16% DV per cup, but careful of added sugars.
See all dairy products high in carbs.
Raisins

#9: Raisins

Carbs
per Oz
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
22.5g
(7% DV)
79.2g
(26% DV)
53g
(18% DV)

Other dried fruit high in Carbs (%DV per oz ~handful)

Dates (7% DV), Currants (7%), Dried Pears (7%), Dried Apples (6%), Prunes and Dried Figs (6%), Dried Apricots (6%), and Dried Peaches (6%).
*Dried Fruit is high in natural fruit sugars, so should be eaten in moderation. A small handful is a sensible portion size.
Crackers

#10: Brown Rice Cakes

Carbs
per 2 Cakes
Carbs
per 100g
Carbs
per 200 Calories
14.7g
(5% DV)
81.5g
(27% DV)
41.6g
(14% DV)
A wafer of rye crispbread provides 3%DV carbs.

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Data Sources and References

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

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