Surprising foods that have more carbs than a piece of bread

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be well aware of the flack that carbs get on the reg.

But let me tell you, carbs are not the devil. I repeat: carbs are not innately bad! Let me break it down for you.

What are carbs?

Carbohydrates are a macronutrient – along with protein and fat, carbs provide energy. The energy from carbs is actually super important, because our brains heavily rely on it. Not to mention, if you choose the right type of carbs, you’ll have long-lasting energy to power you through your day and keep you feeling satisfied.

But ‘what’s that right type of carbs?’ I hear you ask.

Foods like wholegrains, dairy, legumes, sweet potato and fruit are the type of carbs you want in your diet. Not only do these foods contain carbs – they’re packed with a range of other nutrients, too.

Wholegrains, for example, are a great source of gut-friendly fibre and b-vitamins. Dairy is an excellent source of calcium for strong bones, and fruit and veggies are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. So, if you cut out carbs, you’re also cutting out these wholesome, nutritious foods, which could be detrimental to your health. Capiche?

Which carbs are ‘bad’?

The type of carbs you want to limit are those that are refined – think white bread and biscuits. Not only do these foods usually have a high GI (meaning you’ll get a quick spike in blood sugar and won’t feel as satisfied), they can also come with lots of added sugar, fat and sodium.

Now, I’m not saying you can never eat these foods. After all, who would want to live in a world without cake? All I’m saying is that you should keep these foods for special occasions, and enjoy healthier, low GI carbs day-to-day.

How much carbs can you actually eat?

For the general population, it’s suggested that carbohydrates make up 45-65% of your energy intake. That’ll help to reduce disease risk and allow you to meet your nutrient targets. Of course, the quality of those carbs is paramount.

For the average 8,700 kilojoule intake, this equates to roughly 230 to 333 grams of carbohydrates a day. Keep in mind, that’s only an estimation and your personal requirements depend on factors like your body size and level of activity.

To put that into perspective, a slice of grainy, wholemeal bread has about 15 grams of carbs. Now that I’ve convinced you that all carbs aren’t bad (and what’s more important is the quality), here’s a handful of healthy foods that actually have more carbs than a slice of bread:

  • One apple = 20g carbohydrates
  • Half a small sweet potato = 19g carbohydrates
  • Half a cup of uncooked pasta = 28g
  • One cup of canned chickpeas = 23g carbohydrates
  • Three quarters of a cup of reduced fat Greek yoghurt = 16g carbohydrates

And of course, some less-healthy foods that have more than that, too:

  • One 45g packet of plain chips = 26g carbohydrates
  • 375mL can of Coca-Cola = 40g carbohydrates
  • One croissant = 24g carbohydrates
  • One plain iced doughnut = 22g carbohydrates
  • Two Tim Tams = 23g carbohydrates
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Zac Zacharia (Managing Director) has been assisting clients to create wealth and secure their futures for over 14 years.

He is also an accomplished presenter and educator

Co-authoring the popular investment book, Property vs Shares.