Carbohydrates are sugar of various types that provide our body with energy. Carbohydrates provide 4 calories for each gram of weight. There are two main types of carbohydrates:

  • Simple carbohydrates
  • Complex carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are short chains of sugars known as monosaccharides (glucose, fructose and galactose) and disaccharides (sucrose, lactose and maltose).

Foods that contains simple carbohydrates:

  • fruits (sucrose)
  • vegetables (sucrose)
  • table sugar (sucrose)
  • breast milk (lactose)
  • cow’s milk (lactose)
  • milk products (lactose)
  • wheat (maltose)
  • barley (maltose)

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are longer chains of sugars known as polysaccharides. Fiber is a very important polysaccharides that we need for our health.

Foods that contains simple carbohydrates:

  • rice
  • vegetables
  • beans
  • potatoes

Foods that are high in carbohydrates:

Food / 100g Amount (g)
Rice 80
Raisins, seedless 79
Barley, pearled, raw 78
White wheat flour, all-purpose 76
Oat bran, raw 66
White chocolate 59
Condensed milk 54
Roasted chestnuts 53
Rhubarb, frozen, cooked, with sugar 31
Spaghetti, cooked without added salt 31
Plums, dried (prunes), stewed, without added sugar 28
Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked 27
Raspberries, frozen, sweetened 26
Strawberries, frozen, sweetened 26
Egg Noodles, cooked 25
Couscous, cooked 23
Bananas 23
Red kidney beans, boiled without salt 23
Chickpeas, canned 23
Blueberries, frozen, sweetened 22
Baked potato with flesh and skin 21
Sweet potato, canned 21
Lentils, boiled without salt 21
Sweet corn 19
Canned tomato paste, without salt added 19
Asian pears 11
Papayas 10

Ideal Amounts of Carbohydrates in the Diet

Nutrients Children, 1-3 year old Children, 4-18 year old Adults
Fat 30-40% of the total energy intake 25-35% of the total energy intake 25-35% of the total energy intake
Carbohydrates 45-65% 45-65% 45-65%
Protein 5-20% 10-30% 10-35%

How Much Carbohydrates Should You Eat

Dietary reference intake (DRIs): recommended intakes for infants, children, pregnant women and breastfeeding moms.

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