5 High Carb Foods That Are Actually Healthy

5 High Carb Foods That Are Actually Healthy

Post Date: Feb 28, 2024

Carbs can sometimes get a bad reputation, especially with the rise of low-carb weight loss trends. But carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Carbohydrates (also called carbs) are a type of macronutrient found in certain foods and drinks. Sugars, starches and fiber are carbohydrates.”

Sugars are the building blocks of energy in your body, but there’s a big nutritional difference between healthy high-carb foods and options like refined sugar and processed white pasta. Here are a few healthy options to fill your plate with the 45% to 65% carbohydrates recommended for a healthy diet.


Fruits do have natural sugars, it’s true. But those natural sugars interact with your body a bit differently than the kind found in Halloween candy, for instance. Fruit is also packed full of vitamins and fiber that your body needs to regulate digestion and your body’s other processes. Where you can, choose whole fruits over fruit juice, since they’re higher in fiber and lower in sugar.


Ever since you were told to eat your vegetables as a kid, it has been obvious that vegetables are good for you (even if you didn’t always enjoy the experience of eating them). They’re also an important source of carbs and fiber, and they belong in most healthy, balanced diets. For high-carb vegetables, fill your plate with ingredients like carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, and peas.

Whole Grains

Whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa and other whole grains like oats are all a source of filling nutrients while also being a healthy high-carb option to include in your diet. Opt for whole wheat pasta, add some veggies and sauce, and you’re in for a healthy meal. When you check the ingredient list on a loaf of whole wheat bread, for example, look for the words “whole grain” at the beginning of the list.

That’s a good way to tell if you’re really getting whole grains and not just clever marketing. You can also look for the whole-grain stamp. That’s because some food companies might use confusing labels to make you think their products are whole grain when they’re not.

Dairy products

Dairy products like milk and yogurt can be higher in carbs, and they can also provide essential nutrients like calcium, vitamins A, D, and B12, zinc and magnesium. You’ll find higher carbs in sweetened yogurt than in unsweetened Greek yogurt, for instance. That makes sense because the extra sugar is a carb too. Take a look at the ingredient list when you’re shopping, and see if you can avoid added sugar for a healthier option.


Beans and other legumes like chickpeas are a hearty source of protein and fiber, as well as being a healthy carbohydrate. Garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas) have about 60 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams. Pinto beans and white beans aren’t far behind. Black beans have 40.8 grams of carbohydrates per cup. Beans are a great option for adding healthy carbs to your diet.

When you’re thinking of changing your diet, it can help to talk to your primary care provider for guidance. They can help you make sure you’re making changes that will benefit your overall health, keeping you feeling good for the long term. Make an appointmentwith your primary care provider at one of the CHP clinics in Bozeman, Belgrade, or Livingston, and stay on top of preventative care items like maintaining a healthy diet.