Read this post on Carb-Aware Eating first, to understand what this cheat sheet is all about.
This cheat sheet contains many “better choice” carbs, which are whole foods. All packaged foods come with labels and you can look at the label to determine carb content, or use an app. This is meant to be used as a learning tool until you can simply eyeball these portions.
Cooked starchy vegetables, 15 gram portions:
- 1/2 cup Acorn Squash, Cassava, Corn, Green Peas, Lima Beans, Lotus Root, Turnips, Yucca
- 2/3 cup Butternut Squash, Parsnip, Pumpkin 1 cup Beets, Carrots, Leeks, Okra, Pumpkin, Spaghetti Squash
- 1/2 medium Potato, Sweet Potato, Yam
- 1/4 Rutabaga
Fresh fruit, 15 gram portions:
- 3/4 cup unsweetened Applesauce, Pineapple
- 1 Avocado, small Apple, large Kiwi, Nectarine, Orange, Tomato
- 1/2 Banana, Papaya, Pear, Grapefruit, Mango
- 1 cup Berries, Cherries, Cranberries, Melon
- 2 Figs, Tangerines, Persimmons, Plums, Apricots, Limes
- 15 Grapes
- 3 Lemons
- 1/3 cup cooked Plantains
- 1/2 cup Pomegranate
Non-starchy veggies and fruits, don’t count:
These are usually less than 5 grams of net carbs per cup (net carbs exclude the fiber content). There are more, but this list covers the most common.
- Arugula, Asparagus, Bamboo shoots, Bean sprouts, Beet greens, Bell peppers (red, green, yellow), Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Butterbur, Cabbage, Carrots (raw), Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chives, Collard greens, Cucumber, Dandelion greens, Eggplant, Endive, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger root, Green beans, Hearts of palm, Jicama (raw), Jalapeno peppers, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lamb’s quarter, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Onions, Parsley, Peppers (sweet green, red and yellow), Radishes, Radicchio, Snap beans, Snow peas, Shallots, Spinach, Summer squash (crookneck, scallop, straight neck, zucchini), Swiss chard, Taro (leaves or shoots), Turnip greens, Watercress.
Whole beans and grains, 15 gram portions:
Most whole beans (legumes) and grains contain 15 grams of carbs in a 1/3 cup serving. This is more of a side dish amount than a whole-plate amount.
- 1/2 cup Wild Rice
- 2/3 cup Whole Oats
- 2.5 cups Popcorn
- 1/4 cup Miso
- 1/2 cup Natto
- 1 cup Soymilk, unsweetened
- 1/2 cup Tempeh
- 1 cup Tofu
Dried fruit quickly adds up to 15 grams:
- 3 rings dried Apple
- 7 halves dried Apricots
- 1 TBS dehydrated banana
- 2 TBS Zante Currants
- 2 Dates
- 1 Fig
- 2 halves Peaches
- 1/2 dried Pear
- 2 TBS Raisons
- 1/6 oz Sun-dried Tomato
Milk foods in 15 gram portions:
- 1 and 1/4 cup milk (whole, 2%, or fat-free)
- 1 and 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt
- 3/4 cup reduced-fat yogurt (reduced-fat yogurt has more carbs compared to whole milk)
Nuts, seeds, and their butters, 5 gram portions:
While nuts and seeds are high in fat and protein, they are plants, and they still contain carbohydrate. These portions contain about 5 grams of net carbs:
- Between 1/4 – 1/3 cup of Nuts or Seeds
- About 2 TBS of Nut or Seed Butter
Eating out, sweeteners, alcohol
- Many restaurants now have nutrient facts on their menus, so you can see carb amounts.
- ALL added sugars, even the ones bought at health food stores, will shoot carb numbers way up.
- Beer and wine are higher in carb than spirits, although mixers added to spirits usually have added sugar.
- “Skinny drinks,” are meant to be low-carb, but now bars offer skinny drinks sweetened with agave, which is not low carb.
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