If you’re having difficulty figuring out what has carbohydrates and what doesn’t, and which ones are good to pick for your Type 2 Diabetes, here they are. Everything you need to learn about the 8 major sources of carbs
Get the most bang for your buck by opting for whole-grain, high-fiber options, which not only help you feel full but also help prevent a fast rise in blood sugar because they take longer to digest.
Whole-grain cereals are a great way to start your day, but they can be high in carbohydrates. In general:
- 1/2 cup of cooked plain oatmeal or other cooked cereal contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- They provide a good amount of protein, fiber and fat, as well as a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. This makes oats an excellent choice for a healthy breakfast.
- In addition, studies have shown that oats can help you lose weight, reduce your blood sugar levels and lower your risk of heart disease.
Yet even though they are one of the healthiest foods and an excellent addition to your diet, they are also high in starch.
- One cup of oats contains 46.9 grams of starch or 57.9% by weight.
Overall, however, oats are an excellent breakfast choice and contain a great variety of vitamins and minerals.
For dry cereal, you’ll get about 15 grams of carbs in a 3/4-cup serving.
Always read the nutrition panel and the ingredients list on the package and choose brands low in sugar or better yet with no added sugar at all.
Milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are good sources of calcium and other nutrients, but you’ve got to count the carbs they bring to the table.
- One cup of milk or low-fat yogurt has about 15 grams of carbohydrates.
- Carb counts go up from there for sweet fruity yogurts, so the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends reading labels carefully.
- If you want to trim off a few carbs, opt for plain, nonfat Greek yogurt as it has about half as many carbs per 100-gram serving than traditional yogurt — and it packs more protein, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- And cheese, believe it or not, has minimal carb counts.
So many of the starches people eat today are highly refined. They can actually cause your blood sugar levels to spike rapidly. That’s because highly refined starches have been stripped of nearly all their nutrients and fiber.
Simply put, they contain empty calories and provide little nutritional benefit.
And of course, you know that many studies have also shown that eating a diet rich in refined starches is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.
Here are some examples of cereals to avoid at all costs if you’re concerned about carbohydrates in your diet:
Cornmeal -Although cornmeal contains some nutrients, it is very high in carbs and starch.
- One cup of cornmeal (159 grams) contains 126 grams of carbs, of which 117 grams (74%) is starch
Rice Krispies are a popular cereal made of crisped rice. This is simply a combination of puffed rice and sugar paste that is formed into the crispy rice shapes.
- They are often fortified with vitamins and minerals. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving contains over a third of your daily needs for thiamine, riboflavin, folate, iron, and vitamins B6 and B12.
However, that being said:
- Rice Krispies are highly processed and incredibly high in starch. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving contains 20.2 grams of starch or 72.1% by weight
If Rice Krispies are a staple in your household, consider choosing a healthier breakfast alternative.
Snacks are always found on the list of the 8 major sources of carbs, especially because they can sneak up on you. Whether you crave salty, crunchy snacks like pretzels or chips or a sweet choice like a cookie, you may need to reconsider your options for a more satisfying portion.
- A mere 3/4 ounces of pretzels, 15 potato chips, or two packaged cookies contain 15 grams of carbohydrates each, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- A standard serving of 10 pretzel twists contain 42.8 grams of starch or 71.4% by weight
- Pretzels are often made with refined wheat flour. This type of flour may cause fast blood sugar spikes and leave you fatigued and hungry.
More importantly, frequent blood sugar spikes can reduce your body’s ability to lower your blood sugar effectively on its own.
- Instead, snack on low-carb vegetables or fruits, a slice of cheddar cheese (0.4 gram of carbs), or 1/4 cup of shelled walnuts (3.4 grams of carbs), as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Saltine or soda crackers are made with refined wheat flour, yeast, and baking soda.
- For instance, a standard serving of five saltine crackers contains 11 grams of starch or 67.8% by weight.
- If you enjoy crackers, opt for ones that are made with 100% whole grains and seeds.
Flours are versatile baking ingredients and a pantry staple.
They come in many different varieties, such as sorghum, millet, wheat, and refined wheat flour. They are also generally high in starch.
Sorghum Flour is a nutritious ancient grain that is ground to make sorghum flour.
- One cup of sorghum flour contains 82 grams of starch, or 68% by weight. Although it is high in starch, sorghum flour is a much better choice than most types of flour.
That’s because it is gluten-free and an excellent source of protein and fiber.
- One cup contains 10.2 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.
- White flour is made by stripping whole wheat of its bran and germ, which are packed with nutrients and fiber. It is generally low in nutrients and mostly contains empty calories
- In addition, white flour has a high starch content. One cup of white flour contains 81.6 grams of starch or 68% by weight. Best to stay away from that stuff.
- Compared to refined flour, whole-wheat flour is more nutritious and lower in starch. This makes it a better option in comparison
For instance, 1 cup (120 grams) of whole-wheat flour contains 69 grams of starch or 57.8% by weight.
- Although both types of flour contain a similar amount of total carbs, whole wheat has more fiber and is more nutritious. This makes it a much healthier option for your recipes.
- Whole-wheat flour is a great source of fiber and nutrients. A single cup (120 grams) contains 69 grams of starch or 57.8% by weight.
Yes, you know which ones I’m talking about…Instant noodles are a popular convenience food because they’re cheap and easy to make.
However, they are highly processed and are generally low in nutrients. In addition, they are typically high in fat and carbs.
- For instance, a single packet contains 54 grams of carbs and 13.4 grams of fat.
Most of the carbs from instant noodles come from starch. A packet contains 47.7 grams of starch or 56% by weight.
In addition, studies have shown that people who consume instant noodles more than twice per week have a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease. This appears to be especially true for women.
However, many of these products are made with refined wheat flour and have a high glycemic index score. This means they can rapidly spike your blood sugar
- English muffins are a flat, circular type of bread that is commonly toasted and served with butter.
- A regular-sized English muffin contains 23.1 grams of starch or 44.4% by weight.
Bagels are a common bread product that originated in Poland.
- They are also high in starch, providing 38.8 grams per medium-sized bagel, or 43.6% by weight.
Just like refined wheat flour, white bread is made almost exclusively from the **endosperm of wheat and has a high starch content.
➡ **The endosperm is the part of a seed that acts as a food store for the developing plant embryo, usually containing starch with protein and other nutrients.
➡ Two slices of white bread contain 20.4 grams of starch or 40.8% by weight.
➡ White bread is also low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you want to eat bread, choose a whole-grain option instead.
Bread comes in many different forms, but are generally high in starch and should be limited in your diet.
Tortillas are a type of thin, flat bread made from either corn or wheat. They originated in Mexico.
- A single tortilla contains 19.7 grams of starch or 40.2% by weight
Rice is the most commonly consumed staple food in the world.
- It contains less starch when cooked because starch molecules absorb water and break down during the cooking process.
Therefore, 3.5 ounces of cooked rice only contains 28.7% starch, because cooked rice carries a lot more water.
Pasta is a type of noodle that is typically made from durum wheat. It comes in many different forms, such as spaghetti, macaroni, and fettuccine.
- Like rice, pasta has less starch when it is cooked.
- For instance, dry spaghetti contains 62.5% starch, while cooked spaghetti contains only 26% starch.
Starchy vegetables are a different story…
The following have about 15 grams of carbs in just 1/2 cup:
- White and Sweet Potatoes
Interestingly, potatoes don’t contain as much starch as flours, baked goods or cereals, but they do contain more starch than other vegetables.
- Potatoes are an excellent part of a balanced diet because they are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and manganese.
Although potatoes are high in starch compared to most vegetables, they’re also rich in vitamins and minerals. That’s why potatoes are still an excellent part of a balanced diet.
For instance, a medium-sized baked potato (138 grams) contains 24.8 grams of starch or 18% by weight
Corn is one of the most widely consumed cereal grains. It also has the highest starch content among whole vegetables.
- For instance, 1 cup (141 grams) of corn kernels contains 25.7 grams of starch or 18.2% by weight.
- Although it is a starchy vegetable, corn is very nutritious and a great addition to your diet. It is especially rich in fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals such as folate, phosphorus, and potassium.
- One cup (141 grams) of corn kernels contains 25.7 grams of starch or 18.2% by weight.
A better choice, according to the ADA (American Diabetes Association), is these non-starchy vegetables. They contain very few carbs, so they will have little effects on your blood sugar.
These average just 5 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw, and since much of that is fiber, one to two portions will satisfy your hunger.
- Winter Squashes
- Bell Peppers
- Green Beans
- Brussel Sprouts
➡ In modern diets, foods high in starch tend to be highly refined and stripped of their fiber and nutrients. To maintain a healthy diet, aim to limit your intake of these foods.
➡ Diets high in refined starches are linked to a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.
➡ In addition, they can cause blood sugar to spike rapidly and then fall sharply.
This is especially important for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes since their bodies can’t efficiently remove sugar from the blood.
On the other hand, whole, unprocessed sources of starch such as sorghum flour, oats, potatoes and others listed above should not be avoided. They are great sources of fiber and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals.