What veggies are high in carbs?

Quick Answer

Some of the vegetables highest in carbs include potatoes, corn, peas, plantains, parsnips, pumpkin, yams and winter squash. Starchy vegetables like these contain more digestible carbs and calories per serving compared to non-starchy veggies. On average, 1/2 cup of cooked starchy vegetables provides 15-30 grams of carbs.

What Are Carbs?

Carbohydrates, also known as carbs, are one of the main nutrients found in foods. The three macronutrients that provide calories in the diet are carbohydrates, protein and fat.

Carbs contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The key difference between carbs and other macronutrients is that their primary function is to provide the body with energy.

There are three main types of carbohydrates:

  • Sugars: Simple carbs found naturally in foods like fruits or added to foods. Examples are glucose, fructose, sucrose and lactose.
  • Starches: Long chains of glucose molecules found in starchy foods like grains, starchy vegetables and legumes. Examples are starch and fiber.
  • Fiber: Indigestible carbs that pass through the body undigested. Found in plant foods like fruits, veggies, grains, legumes and nuts.

The main purpose of carbs in the diet is to provide glucose, which is the preferred source of energy for the body and brain.

However, not all carbs are created equal. Complex carbs like starches and fiber are healthier sources than sugar because they take longer to digest and don’t spike blood sugar levels.

High Carb Vegetables

Some vegetables are significantly higher in digestible carbs and calories compared to others.

The veggies highest in carbs are starchy vegetables, including:


Potatoes are one of the most popular high-carb vegetables.

One medium baked potato with the skin on provides:

  • Calories: 161
  • Carbs: 37 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram

Russet potatoes tend to have the highest carb content. Small, new potatoes have slightly fewer carbs than russets.


Corn is commonly consumed as a vegetable, though it’s technically a starchy grain.

One medium ear of corn on the cob contains:

  • Calories: 123
  • Carbs: 27 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Sugar: 6 grams

Corn can also be eaten off the cob, or as components in dishes like succotash. No matter how it’s prepared, it’s high in carbs.


Peas are another high-carb veggie.

One cup (160 grams) of boiled green peas contains:

  • Calories: 134
  • Carbs: 25 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Sugar: 10 grams

Snow and snap peas have a crisper texture than boiled peas but deliver a similar amount of carbs.


Though they resemble bananas, plantains are starchier and contain more carbs.

One medium cooked plantain (90 grams) has:

  • Calories: 105
  • Carbs: 27 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Sugar: 12 grams

Their carb content depends on ripeness, with riper plantains containing more carbs than greener ones.


Parsnips are root vegetables that look like white carrots.

One cup of cooked parsnips (156 grams) provides:

  • Calories: 237
  • Carbs: 53 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Sugar: 9 grams


Pumpkin is a winter squash that’s popular in sweet and savory dishes.

One cup of canned pumpkin (245 grams) contains:

  • Calories: 76
  • Carbs: 20 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Sugar: 5 grams

Winter squashes like butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash also provide significant amounts of carbs: 13–18 grams per cup (205 grams).


Yams are a starchy tuber commonly mistaken for sweet potatoes.

One medium yam (100 grams) baked in its skin has:

  • Calories: 118
  • Carbs: 28 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Sugar: 4 grams

Compared to sweet potatoes, yams have a higher natural sugar content.

Low Carb Vegetables

On the other end of the spectrum, non-starchy vegetables are lower in carbs and calories.

Examples of low carb vegetables include:


One cup of chopped raw broccoli (91 grams) contains:

  • Calories: 31
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram

When cooked, broccoli has slightly fewer carbs than raw.


One cup of cauliflower pieces (107 grams) has:

  • Calories: 25
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram

Riced cauliflower can be used as a low carb substitute for starchy rice.


One cup of asparagus spears (134 grams) provides:

  • Calories: 27
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Sugar: 2 grams

As a spring vegetable, asparagus has a short growing season.


Zucchini is a popular summer squash. One cup of slices (113 grams) contains:

  • Calories: 18
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 3 grams

Other non-starchy vegetables that are low in carbs include artichokes, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and most leafy greens.

Veggie Carb and Calorie Comparison

This table summarizes the carb content in 1 cup (approx. 100–250 grams) of some common cooked vegetables:

Vegetable Carbs Calories
Potatoes 26 grams 156
Corn 27 grams 123
Peas 25 grams 134
Plantain 27 grams 105
Parsnips 53 grams 237
Pumpkin 20 grams 76
Yams 28 grams 118
Broccoli 6 grams 31
Cauliflower 5 grams 25
Asparagus 5 grams 27
Zucchini 4 grams 18

As shown, starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, peas and parsnips contain at least 5 times more carbs and calories than non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, zucchini and asparagus.

High Carb Veggies: Benefits

Despite their higher carb content, high carb vegetables like potatoes and squash can be part of a healthy diet:

  • Nutrient dense. Starchy veggies provide vitamin C, potassium, fiber and other important nutrients.
  • Contain resistant starch. Some of their carbs come from resistant starch, which may promote gut health.
  • Low glycemic index. The carbs in starchy vegetables are absorbed more slowly, preventing spikes in blood sugar.
  • More filling. The combination of fiber, resistant starch and water makes them very satiating.

However, portion control is key with high carb vegetables, since overeating them can easily add up in excess carbs and calories.

Low Carb Veggies: Benefits

Some of the benefits associated with eating more non-starchy veggies include:

  • Low in calories. You can eat larger portions to increase nutrients without calories.
  • Support weight loss. Their low calorie density can help reduce overall calorie intake.
  • Regulate blood sugar. They have minimal impact on blood sugar levels.
  • Hydrate the body. Their high water content helps you stay hydrated.

Because of their low calorie and carb content, non-starchy vegetables are great for controlling portions and managing weight.

Should You Avoid High Carb Veggies?

In general, there’s no need to avoid all high carb vegetables, even if you’re watching your carb intake.

However, those with diabetes or prediabetes should be mindful of portion sizes of starchy vegetables and spread them throughout the day.

If you’re following a low carb diet, you may need to limit high carb veggies to keep your daily carb count low. Consider swapping some starchy veggies for more non-starchy varieties instead.

For most people though, both starchy and non-starchy vegetables have a place in a healthy diet. Focus on getting plenty of veggies in a variety of colors and types.

Simple Tips to Reduce Veggie Carbs

Here are some easy ways to reduce the carb content of vegetables:

  • Substitute higher carb veggies for lower carb options. For example, cauliflower rice instead of regular rice.
  • Enjoy smaller portions of starchy vegetables.
  • Avoid frying vegetables, which adds extra calories and fat.
  • Save starchy veggie peelings to make low carb veggie chips.
  • Don’t feel obligated to finish a whole potato or ear of corn if it doesn’t fit your carb budget.

With some simple substitutions and portion control, monitoring veggie carbs is totally manageable.


Vegetables that are highest in carbs include starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, peas, plantains and winter squash.

These foods can be part of a healthy diet in moderation, but portion size matters, especially for people with diabetes or following a low carb meal plan.

Non-starchy veggies like leafy greens, broccoli, peppers and tomatoes provide fewer digestible carbs and calories, so you can eat larger servings.

Aim to include both starchy and non-starchy vegetables in your diet for a healthy balance of nutrients. Monitoring portions of the high carb vegetables can help manage carb intake.

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