Foods high in carbohydrates include sugars, breads, cereals, pastas and many processed snack foods. These foods offer little in nutritional value, consist of empty calories and cause spikes in blood sugar. High-carbohydrate foods should be consumed sparingly.
Carbohydrates are essential for balanced health, as they are used in the body as the primary source of energy. Those found in fruits and vegetables contain beneficial fiber, which protects against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Nonetheless, not all carbohydrates are healthy.
According to WebMD, American guidelines suggest a diet in which carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of total calories. In a 2000-calorie diet, this equates to about 250 to 325 grams of carbohydrates per day. However, this recommendation is for complex carbohydrates -- those found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables -- and not simple carbs, which are those with higher carbohydrate contents.
A plain white bagel for breakfast consists of 35 carbs, excluding those found in any jam, cream cheese or orange juice that is consumed with the bagel. When eating high-carbohydrate foods like white breads, it's incredibly easy to eat too many carbohydrates. In turn, a higher carb intake results in an increased caloric intake, and potentially weight gain. Moderate consumption of simple carbohydrates and including more complex carbohydrates yields greater health.