Fruit and vegetables are always a focus when it comes to eating healthier. I'm used to hearing "Make sure you eat your 5 servings a day!" Although it's great to make sure you're getting your daily requirement, it's also important to know which ones are high in carbohydrates. Carbs and sugar are very closely related. All fruits and vegetables contain natural sugar, which can turn into a carb in your body after you eat it. If you're not burning off the food you eat (even though it's healthy), it's going to get stored away as fat and used as energy for later use. This is why it's good to eat healthy, but to eat healthy the right way. If you want to shed some pounds, be aware of the produce you're eating and make sure they're not all loaded in carbs.
Aside from the usual suspects, like black beans, chickpeas, and potatoes, I wanted to let you in on the secret of some other foods that sneak in the carbs without you knowing. Note that all fruits and vegetables are going to have carbs in them, but you just need to watch for those that are more prevalent than others. Nutrition Data was able to help me distinguish the carb content in these fruit and vegetables. These are still great options for a healthy diet, but make sure to moderate your intake of them if you're trying to lose weight.
Cucumber: This may be surprising, and even though it's low in calories, most of what makes up a cucumber is water and carbs. 1 medium cucumber weighs in at 45 calories with 38 of those calories from carbs; that's 84%! They also provide 5g of sugar, and 2g of fiber. Small tip: peeling off the skin can greatly reduce the carb content of cucumbers. Without the skin, they're mostly water!
Corn: Corn is a pretty usual suspect. When I worked at WIC I would always hear moms say that their kid loves vegetables, and that vegetable would always be corn. 1 cup of corn offers 120 calories (84% from carbs), 21g of starch, 3g of sugar and 3g of fiber. Corn is probably one of the highest calorie and starch-containing vegetables out there, so just be aware of how much one serving can provide!
Peas: These delicious little green balls can pack quite a punch. 1 cup of peas will give you 120 calories (67% from carbs), 7g of starch, 5g of sugar, and 9g of fiber. While fiber is a wonderful thing for our bodies, just think twice when going back for a second helping.
Carrots: Carrots come from the root vegetable family. They're similar to parsnips, beets, and rutabagas. 1 cup of frozen carrots offers up 54 calories (80% from carbs), 6g of sugar, and 5g of fiber. While they're certainly lower in calories, 80% of their makeup is carbohydrates.
Green Beans: I know I mentioned black beans as the regular culprit, but green beans aren't always seen as a high carb veggie. Just 1 cup will give you 44 calories (73% from carbs), 3g of sugar and 4g of fiber.
Banana:The grab-and-go breakfast of choice for most people. Bananas are an easy thing to grab before running out the door for work. A medium sized banana will provide 105 calories (94% from carbs), 6g of starch, 14g sugar and 3g fiber. While it's a better choice than a bagel or donut, make sure to include some protein in that breakfast as well.
Apple: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Apples are a natural teeth cleaner, (which is an awesome plus!) but they can also give you more carbs than you probably think. Just one medium apple contains 95 calories (95% from carbs), 19g of sugar, and 4g of fiber. 95% of the calories of an apple are carbs. Think about that the next time you're brushing your teeth with that apple.
Grapes: I love grapes. I love them fresh, frozen, or coated with sugar-free jello powder (yes, I said it!). Although they're tasty, they are loaded with natural sugar that can act as a carb in your body. One cup of red or green grapes has 104 calories (95% carb cals), 23g of sugar and 1g of fiber. The skin is loaded with vitamins and minerals, but they also have a high sugar content! Just try not to eat them all in one shot.
Pears: Pears are my favorite fruit during the winter. You can never really get a bad pear throughout the year, which is why they're my winter fruit choice. They do have a decent amount of carbs though. One medium pear includes 51 calories (92% from carbs), 9g of sugar and 4g of fiber. When you're enjoying your pear, just be sure to stick with one at a time. Although they're great for you, don't overeat them.
Melon (Honeydew): I'm personally not a big fan of melons. But I chose honeydew specifically because we see it so often. If you're at a party and there's a fruit salad, what's the fruit most prominent in it? Most likely honeydew. So 1 cup of honeydew has 64 calories (91% from carbs), 14g of sugar and 1g of fiber. So if you're munching on honeydew at your next party, enjoy but don't overdo it.