FAQs: What are good Paleo carbs to eat?

Admin Carbohydrates, exercise, FAQs, Featured, Paleo and Primal, Vitamins and Minerals 85 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?

PP_GuideToPaleoCarbsBelow 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 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. 

Item CHO g per 100g serving Fiber g per 100g serving CHO g per 1cup serving Portion Size Notes Other Notable Nutrients
cassava 38 2 78 1c= 206g Vitamin C, Thiamin, Folate, Potassium, Manganese
taro root 35 5 46 1c= 132g Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, potassium, manganese
plantains 31 2 48 1c= 154g (slices) Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium
yam 27 4 37 1c= 136g (cubed) Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Manganese, Potassium
white potato, peeled 22 1 27 1c= 122g Not much very high, some Vitamin C
sweet potato 21 3 58 1c= 328g (mashed) Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron (non-heme), Vitamin E
parsnips 17 4 27 1c= 178g (sliced) Vitamin C, Manganese.
lotus root 16 3 19 1c= 120g (sliced) Vitamin C.
acorn squash 15 4 31 1c= 205g Vitamin C.
onion 10 1 21 1c= 210g (chopped) Vitamin C, Potassium.
beets 10 2 17 1c= 170g (sliced) Folate, Manganese.
carrots 10 3 13 1c= 128g (chopped) Vitamin A, Vitamin K,
butternut squash 10  – 22 1c= 205g Vitamin A, Vitamin C
jicama (raw) 9 5 12 1c= 130g (slices) Vitamin C.
kohlrabi 7 1 12 1c = 165g Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper, Manganese
spaghetti squash 6 1 9 1c= 155g Not 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.)

Item CHO g per 100g serving Fiber g per 100g serving CHO g per 1cup serving Portion Size Notes Other Notable Nutrients
raisins 79 4 131 1c= 165g (packed) Iron (non-heme), Potassium, Copper, Manganese
dates 75 7 18* *1 date Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper, Manganese,
persimmon 33 8* *1 fruit Vitamin C, Iron (non-heme)
banana 23 3 27* *1 medium banana Vitamin C, B6, Potassium, Manganese.
mango 17 2 28 1c= 165g (sliced) Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6
pear 15 3 28* *1 medium pear Vitamin C, Vitamin K.
apple 14 2 25* *1 medium apple Not very much- a little Vitamin C.
pineapple 13 1 21 1c= 165g (chunks) Vitamin C, Manganese
peach 10 1 15* *1 medium peach Vitamin 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.


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