Which Foods and Beverages Have Carbs?


Quick Answer

There are many foods and drinks that contain carbohydrates, which fall into one of three categories: starch, sugar and fiber. Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrate, whereas starch and fiber are more complex carbohydrates, consisting of chains of simple sugars that take much longer to be broken down.

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Full Answer

Fructose, sucrose and lactose are the three main types of simple carbohydrates. Fructose is the type of sugar found in all fruits to some degree. It is also found in some vegetables, honey, syrups and most other liquid sweeteners. Sucrose is found in table sugar, which is used to sweeten most desserts. It's also found in sweet drinks, candy, pasta sauces and other savory items. The third type of sugar is lactose, which is found in all dairy products.

All grains and legumes contain high levels of starch, as do starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn. As flour is made from grain, any item made with flour, including breads, pasta, crackers and many desserts, also contains high levels of carbohydrates. Fiber is the third type of carbohydrate, and it is found in many of the same foods that contain either sugar or starch, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.

Each of the foods in these categories contain varying amounts of carbohydrates, and this level is classified according to the glycemic index, which rates the food's ability to raise a person's blood sugar.

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