- Diane Sanfilippo | New York Times bestselling author of "Practical Paleo" and "The 21-Day Sugar Detox" | Home of the Balanced Bites Podcast - http://balancedbites.com -

FAQs: What are dense carb sources on a Paleo diet?

Posted By Charissa Talbot On August 19, 2011 @ 9:00 PM In Carbohydrates,exercise,FAQs,Featured,Paleo and Primal,Vitamins and Minerals | 62 Comments

I’ve decided to start a bit of a series of FAQ posts since it seems like a good idea to get some of these questioned answered up in writing to share with my readers, and for you all to share with others who likely ask the same questions of you.

So, here we go… starting it off with one I’ve gotten a few times this week alone:

Where Will I Get My Carbs From on a Paleo Diet?

Well, we know you’re NOT getting them from grains (whole, half or otherwise!), bread, pasta, bagels, tortillas, cereal (that’s right, no oats!), beans, quinoa, rice (for the most part, though some people may do okay with a little white rice here or there), crackers, cookies, baked goods or other grain-laden and typically highly processed foods.

So, where WILL you get carbs from?

Below are some handy charts of some popular and wonderfully nutrient-dense sources. Note that these are not complete, extensive lists of carbohydrate sources from plants. That would take FOREVER to compile and the point of this post is to present you with a good handful of options that I found to be the highest per serving of carbohydrates using http://nutritiondata.self.com/ as a resource. Is that an ideal resource? Possibly not. Is it the one that we have most easily available and can likely rely on to be pretty darned accurate? Yes. Go ahead and search their database if you’re interested in finding out more about your favorite go-to vegetable or fruits. I recommend comparing 100g servings as a calibration, then look to a 1-cup serving for something of a more practical measure in your daily life.

I created these lists primarily for those of you out there who are athletes or who are looking to put on some weight with adding calories and carbs. That’s not to say that carbs will make you “fat,” don’t misunderstand. However, for many people, increased carbohydrate intake seems to increase their appetite as well as the physiological response of insulin, our storage hormone for nutrients. This doesn’t generally support a strong weight-loss effort, however, for fueling athletic activities, as noted below, increased carbohydrate intake is often recommended, and I would like for people to have a resource so that they’re not falling back on processed, refined foods and grain/legume products for their carb sources.

Click here to download my Paleo Carb Sources PDF guide, featured in Practical Paleo.


These are highly recommended for post-workout glycogen replacement to your muscles after CrossFit or HIIT style training or longer, endurance-based training. 

ItemCHO g per 100g servingFiber g per 100g servingCHO g per 1cup servingPortion Size NotesOther Notable Nutrients
cassava382781c= 206gVitamin C, Thiamin, Folate, Potassium, Manganese
taro root355461c= 132gVitamin B6, Vitamin E, potassium, manganese
plantains312481c= 154g (slices)Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium
yam274371c= 136g (cubed)Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Manganese, Potassium
white potato, peeled221271c= 122gNot much very high, some Vitamin C
sweet potato213581c= 328g (mashed)Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron (non-heme), Vitamin E
parsnips174271c= 178g (sliced)Vitamin C, Manganese.
lotus root163191c= 120g (sliced)Vitamin C.
acorn squash154311c= 205gVitamin C.
onion101211c= 210g (chopped)Vitamin C, Potassium.
beets102171c= 170g (sliced)Folate, Manganese.
carrots103131c= 128g (chopped)Vitamin A, Vitamin K,
butternut squash10 -221c= 205gVitamin A, Vitamin C
jicama (raw)95121c= 130g (slices)Vitamin C.
kohlrabi71121c = 165gVitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper, Manganese
spaghetti squash6191c= 155gNot very many. 


These are recommended for pre-workout glycogen storage and as glycogen replacement to your muscles post-workout if you’ve completed a longer, endurance-based training session. These are not ideal for post-workout of standard CrossFit or HIIT style training.

(Note: Most dried fruits will be pretty high in carbs, I only featured raisins and dates here, but search others to find their values as I wanted to provide more fresh fruit options for you.)

ItemCHO g per 100g servingFiber g per 100g servingCHO g per 1cup servingPortion Size NotesOther Notable Nutrients
raisins7941311c= 165g (packed)Iron (non-heme), Potassium, Copper, Manganese
dates75718**1 dateVitamin B6, Potassium, Copper, Manganese,
persimmon33-8**1 fruitVitamin C, Iron (non-heme)
banana23327**1 medium bananaVitamin C, B6, Potassium, Manganese.
mango172281c= 165g (sliced)Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6
pear15328**1 medium pearVitamin C, Vitamin K.
apple14225**1 medium appleNot very much- a little Vitamin C.
pineapple131211c= 165g (chunks)Vitamin C, Manganese
peach10115**1 medium peachVitamin A, Vitamin C.


What are some of your favorite ways to prepare some of the above-listed, Paleo-friendly carbs?

Check out some of my Paleo carbs recipes:

Pumpkin Pancakes from Practical Paleo

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Pumpkin Soufflé

Carrot Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Roasted Winter Squash with Coconut Butter

Butternut Squash Soup

Buttery Turnip Purée

Click here to download my Paleo Carb Sources PDF guide, featured in Practical Paleo.

Article printed from Diane Sanfilippo | New York Times bestselling author of "Practical Paleo" and "The 21-Day Sugar Detox" | Home of the Balanced Bites Podcast: http://balancedbites.com

URL to article: http://balancedbites.com/2011/08/paleo-diet-carbs.html

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