List of Fast Carbohydrate Foods

White bread is a fast carb, which is high on the glycemic index.
White bread is a fast carb, which is high on the glycemic index. (Image: bread and bread-basket image by AndreyPS from

With so many fad diets available, it can become difficult to research and understand their individual complexities. The glycemic index diet was created to facilitate weight loss by ranking foods based on how quickly they raise your blood sugar levels. According to the creators of the glycemic index at the University of Sydney, understanding these rankings can help individuals lose weight and protect themselves from conditions such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

How They Work

The glycemic index ranks food on a scale from 0 to 100. Fast carbohydrates are at the top of the list, with an index of 70 or higher. Fast carbohydrates are quickly digested by your body, causing a spike in your blood sugar followed by a quick decline.

Best Consumption Times

Although fast carbohydrates are typically avoided, there are a few instances where dietitians recommend consuming them. The most common of these would be after exercise. Fast carbohydrates give you a boost of energy after an intensive workout. Eating fast carbohydrates after a workout will maximize the amount of glycogen stored in your muscles, according to Stephanie Miller, a trainer and athlete.

Common Fast Carbohydrates

One of the most common fast carbohydrates comes from white flour, such as plain white bread. This list also contains corn pasta, white and brown rice and certain cereals, such as cornflakes.

Potatoes, yams and watermelon are additionally listed some of the most common fast carbohydrates.


Sweets will come in at the top of the list of fast carbohydrates. Glucose, or sugar, is the highest item on the glycemic index. Any sweet, such as candy, cupcakes or cookies contains large amounts of glucose.

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