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Quick Facts

C A R B O H Y D R A T E S


What is a carbohydrate?

Carbohydrates are any of a large group of sugars, starches, cellulose and gums that are similar because they contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in similar proportions. Your body uses carbohydrates by converting them into glucose, a simple sugar, for fuel. Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram.


What foods contain carbohydrates?

Simple carbohydrates, also called simple sugars, are found in processed and refined sugars including table sugar, honey and candy, and in fruits, vegetables, and milk products. Simple carbohydrates are more easily digested by the body than complex carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates, which are basically long chains of simple carbohydrates, are combinations of starch and fiber. Any food with starch contains complex carbohydrates: Examples are bread, cereals, pasta, rice, and starchy vegetables like potatoes.


Are some carbohydrates better for you than others?

Complex carbohydrates, because they contain fiber and some minerals, will do more for your body than simple carbohydrates. However, when comparing sugars for health value, the sugar in an apple isn't any better or worse for you than honey, or table sugar for that matter. Your body digests it and uses it the same way regardless of where it came from.


Is eating too many carbohydrates bad for you?

Nutritionists suggest that 55 to 60 percent of our daily calories come from carbohydrates; when eaten in normal amounts, they are not bad for you. And this goes for simple carbohydrates too -- a 1986 FDA Report of Sugars Task Force found that sugar, when consumed in normal quantities, cannot be linked to any disease, nor does it create a dependency.

If you eat too much of any sugar, including the sugar found in dried fruits, you may develop cavities, and you could become obese. But no scientific study has linked sugar to hyperactivity in children, and some have found that sugar may actually have a calming effect on both children and adults.



Some foods high in carbohydrates

BREADS:
ITEM SERVING CALOR. FAT FIBER CARB.
IRISH SODA 1 slice
174
3g
1.5g
33.5g
PUMPKIN 1 slice
198.5
7.5g
n/a
30.5g
CORNBREAD, DRY MIX (Prepared) 1 piece (60oz)
188.5
6g
1.5g
29g
EGG BREAD 1 slice
115
2.5g
1g
19g
WHEAT, BRAN 1 slice
89.5
1g
1.5g
17g
DRY CEREALS:
ITEM SERVING CALOR. FAT FIBER CARB.
LOW FAT GRANOLA W/O RAISINS (K) 1 cup
427
6.5g
6.5g
88.5g
100& NATURAL, LOW FAT, CRISPY WHOLEGRAIN W/RAISINS (Q) 1 cup
389
5.5g
6g
80.5g
HEARTLAND NATURAL 1 cup
499
17.5g
7g
78.5g
SUN COUNTRY - GRANOLA W/ALMONDS (Q) 1 cup
532.5
20.5g
6g
76.5g
HEARTLAND NATURAL W/RAISINS 1 cup
467.5
15.5g
6g
76g
100% NATURAL W/RAISINS & DATES 1 cup
496
20.5g
7.5g
72.5g
BRAN BUDS (K) 1 cup
248.5
2g
36g
72g
PASTA:
ITEM SERVING CALOR. FAT FIBER CARB.
CORN, COOKED 1 cup
176.5
1g
6.5g
39g
RICE:
ITEM SERVING CALOR. FAT FIBER CARB.
WHITE, SHORT-GRAIN, COOKED 1 cup
242
0.5g
n/a
53.5g
WHITE, MED.-GRAIN, COOKED 1 cup
242
0.5g
0.5g
53g
BROWN, MED.-GRAIN, COOKED 1 cup
218.5
1.5g
3.5g
46g
BROWN, LONG-GRAIN, COOKED 1 cup
216.5
2g
3.5g
45g
WHITE, LONG-GRAIN, COOKED 1 cup
205.5
0.5g
0.5g
44.5g
Source: USDA - Nutrient Data Lab (Sept. 1996) - all data rounded to nearest 0.5

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