Top 10 Healthy High Carb Foods

Photo of Daisy Whitbread Written by Daisy Whitbread
BSc (Hons) MSc DipION
Photo of Dr. Patricia Shelton Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Patricia Shelton
Evidence Based. References sourced from PubMed.
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Top 10 Healthy High Carb Foods

Carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet. However, some popular diets have given carbs a bad reputation and have even led to a fear of carbohydrates in recent years.

A balanced diet should always include the three major food groups: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. (1)

Carbohydrate-rich foods are the body's main source of energy, giving you the fuel you need to carry out your daily activities. The brain also runs on carbohydrates, so this includes mental, as well as physical, energy. (1) Healthy carbohydrate sources like whole grains and vegetables also provide key nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. (2)

Choosing the right type of carbohydrate is important. Carbohydrates that should be limited or avoided include refined carbs like white bread, white rice, white flour products, and anything with added sugar. (2)

Healthy high-carb foods include sweet potatoes, brown rice, navy beans, chestnuts, lentils, bananas, oatmeal, milk, raisins, and healthy snacks like brown rice cakes. The current daily value (DV) for carbs is 275 grams. (3)

The following is a list of the top 10 healthy sources of carbohydrates to include in your diet. Click here for a list of high carb foods to avoid.

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A printable list of healthy high carb foods.

The daily value (%DV) for carbohydrates is 275g and is a general target intended for most people. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) shows specific targets by age and gender. The RDA for carbohydrates is between 60g - 130g for most people.

Life StageRDA
0-6 months old*60g
7-12 months old*95g
1-3 years old130g
4-8 years old130g
9+ years old130g
9+ years old130g
14-50 years old175g
14-50 years old210g

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Data Sources and References

  1. Qi X, Tester RF. Physiology, Carbohydrates Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2019 Oct;33:18-28. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2019.07.004. Epub 2019 Jul 19. 31451258
  2. Perler BK, Friedman ES, Wu GD. The Burden of Carbohydrates in Health and Disease Annu Rev Physiol. 2023 Feb 10;85:449-468. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physiol-031522-092054. Epub 2022 Nov 14. 36375468
  3. U.S.FDA - Daily Value on the New Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels
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