Carbohydrates are one of the biggest food groups out there, and as a result, high carb foods are definitely not hard to find. They’re one of the main macronutrients and are found in just about anything in some way or another. They’re not always the healthiest of foods, but if you can find the right ones, they can do amazing things for your health, your energy and your performance all at the same time, without being full of empty calories like sweet foods have in them (since sugar is a form of simple carbohydrate).
We’re passionate about giving you a nudge in the right direction at exercise.co.uk, and to help you do it, we’ve put together 10 of our favourite high carbohydrate food sources that’ll help you find what you need without all of these added extras. Just before we do though, it’s a good time to note that some of these carbohydrates are available as simple and as complex carbs depending on whether they’re organic whole grain products, like brown pasta, or more refined carbs like the lighter and more standard alternatives.
Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.
First up on the list has to be pasta. It’s probably the most famous (and arguably the best) carbohydrate out there. You can do just about anything with it, and if you mix it with the right things, it can keep you feeling full and energised for the whole day, no matter what you need it to do. In case you couldn’t guess, we love it.
A close relative of pasta, noodles are just as awesome and just as diverse as pasta, but they have their own unique take on things. Again, they come in a lot of different varieties like egg noodles and rice noodles, but no matter which route you go down, you’ve got the solid groundwork for an awesomely healthy meal full of high carb foods (but avoid instant noodles, they definitely don’t count…).
Another staple high carb food of the world is rice. It’s famous all over the globe, and it’s one of the easiest things you could choose to cook. Again, it goes with just about anything, too, which means it’s great for creating a combination of nutrients that can help you reach any goal. It’s incredibly filling also. That makes you much less likely to snack, so it’s great to keep you on track with your fitness goal.
Quinoa is a grain that’s very up and coming in the healthy food world. It’s another awesome source of carbohydrate and may even be one to rival more typically refined carbs like pasta, or rice even. It’s a much lighter variant, and again, you can add it to almost thing. It may be an acquired taste to you at first, but stick with it, and you’ll reap the rewards.
Next up on the list: chickpeas. They’re a great way to mix things up again, and they’re actually another item that’s only getting more popular as time goes on. As healthy alternatives are growing, chickpeas are finding their place in popular foods like hummus, falafel, and even types of flour that you can cook with. Awesome, and still a great carbohydrate.
Bread is one of the simplest yet most diverse food groups out there. It comes in more forms than most of us know about, and all of them are carb centric. It’s a great way to get more carbs into meals that usually struggle like lunch, and it’s extremely accessible, which means you can get it from anywhere without much trouble. Remember though; it can be seen as more of a bad carb if it’s white bread due to sugar content and a lack of nutrients though, so choose wisely.
Potatoes are one of the best vegetables on earth. No matter what you do with them, they are almost 100% carbohydrates. It’s better to have them as organically and fat-free as possible to keep them nice and healthy, i.e. in a potato salad, or boiled, but they’re still great no matter what you do with them. The only concern they really pose is how easy they are to make fatty with added oils since they can be dry. Experiment and see what works.
Fruits are one of the healthiest ways to get simple carbs in your diet. Because of their carbohydrate and fibre content, they still keep you fuller for longer than most other sugary foods while getting a boatload of other nutrients like essential vitamins and minerals too. What more could you ask for from a healthy snack!
In the same league but minus the sugar are vegetables. This might come as a surprise, but greens especially are a huge source of carbohydrates and can be a great way to diversify your diet, maximise your nutritious intake and minimise calorie consumption. There’s a reason everyone tells you to eat more of them, and you definitely should be listening!
A slight wildcard to the list is gnocchi since it’s not massively famous, but it is an awesome high carb food. It’s like a pasta dumpling combo, and they can be made into one of the tastiest things you could find. If they aren’t a part of your regular diet already, make some space…
Last but not least, we have oats. It doesn’t really matter in what format as they’re hard to get wrong. Organic is the best way to have them, like in porridge or cereals rather than sugary snacks, but no matter what you do with them, they’re a great high carbohydrate food, and full of fibre too. Try not to be tempted into adding sugar but do use them as a way to start your day and keep you energised for longer!
That’s all 11 of our awesome high carb food sources, with both simple and complex carbs coming together to give you what you need. They all work differently, but you can have at least one of them in practically every meal of the day, so you have no reason to be missing out. Find your favourite, avoid too much sugar, and see what you’re left with!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.