The Fun Facts: Carbohydrates & Sugars in Vegetables & Fruits

In the interests of being Bikini Fit, I have been researching the fun facts – they say everyone should have their five a day, but just what am I putting into my body when I eat fruits and vegetables, and are there any vegetables that could be bad? Or rather, let’s say relatively less beneficial. Well, as boring and as tedious as it all is, there were a few things that surprised me, and so I thought I would share it with you.

Prepping for the pain!

Prepping for the pain!

Let me just give you a little background information. The idea of outdoor ‘bootcamp’ training has really gained momentum in Hong Kong over the past few years, whether they are organised and advertised groups such as Bikini Fit, Circuit 25, Hong Kong Bootcamp, or Apefit, to name a few, or one-on-one personal trainers. After spending most of your waking hours in an office, it’s nice to get out into nature and kick about for a change, rather than sweat on a hamster wheel in air conditioning.

I joined the Bikini Fit 4 week mini-program after being recommended by a girlfriend, to:

a) Figure out if I could wake up early every morning before work and get my ass in gear (I can!)
b) See if it would raise my energy levels during the day (It has!)
c) Lose some fat and gain some muscle and more upper body strength (… a work in progress)
d) Look good in my wedding dress!

My goal is not to change my lifestyle and nutrition completely – it would be unrealistic, impossible and let’s face it, really rather miserable. The idea is to be just a little bit better, drink less, exercise more, take more pride in my body, and be more aware about what I put into it.

The Bikini Fit trainers advocate minimal carbs, no sugar, dairy or wheat, and more protein. Oh, and no alcohol (that’s a real toughie, and there has been cheating happening on my part!). However, even if you manage to stay away from bread, pasta and potatoes, you still take in carbohydrates in veggies. So, to make the most of this bootcamp , I put together these tables to try and eat more low-carb vegetables and low-sugar fruits.

I’ve included a column for what I find are suitable levels for a low-carb diet (this is in no way a professional opinion) – I’m hoping that following a low-carb diet will help me to shed some of my body fat percentage, now at 20.6%.

Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart1 Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart: How Lean Should You Be?

Chart from the American Council on Exercise, http://www.wikipedia.com

Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart2 Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart: How Lean Should You Be?

Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart3 Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart: How Lean Should You Be?

Body fat as a function of age

While I was at it, I also introduced a column to show which fruits and vegetables are acceptable for the Wild Rose Detox (a detox that I do once a year, after new year’s eve), as a easy way to cross-reference both. One thing I have noticed is that the Wild Rose Detox has pretty clear guidelines for acceptable fruit, but not much at all on acceptable vegetables. I therefore assume that all vegetables, apart from the ones that are mentioned in the guidelines, are acceptable.

All of these figures were obtained from Wikipedia, and show values per 100g.

Make of this information what you will, and I hope you find it useful!

 Good Veggies and Not-So-Good Veggies 

Vegetable

Carbohydrates

Protein

Sugar

Fiber

Calories

WRD friendly?

Low-Carb Diet friendly?

Pak Choi †

2.2g

1.5g

1g

13

?

Yes

Lettuce (butterhead)

2.23g

1.35g

0.94g

1.1g

13

?

Yes

Basil

2.65g

3.15g

1.6g

22

?

Yes

Endive †

3.35g

1.25g

3.1g

17

?

Yes

Radishes †

3.4g

0.68g

1.86g

1.6g

16

?

Yes

Olives

3.84g

1.03g

0.54g

3.3g

146

?

Yes

Spinach †

3.6g

2.9g

0.4g

2.2g

23

?

Yes

Asparagus

3.88g

2.2g

1.88g

2.1g

20

?

Yes

Tomato †

3.9g

0.9g

2.6g

1.2g

18

Yes

Yes

Mushrooms (brown)

4.1g

2.5g

27

?

Yes

Cauliflower †

5g

1.9g

1.9g

2g

25

?

Yes

Kale ∆

5.63g

1.9g

1.25g

2g

28

?

Yes

Broccoli †

6.64g

2.82g

1.7g

2.6g

34

?

Yes

Haricot Vert †

6.97g

1.83g

2.7g

31

Acceptable

Yes

Avocado †

8.53g

2g

0.66g

6.7g

160

?

Yes

Brussels Sprouts

8.95g

3.38g

2.2g

3.8g

43

?

Yes

Carrot †

9.6g

0.93g

4.7g

2.8g

41

?

Not really

Beetroot ∆

9.96g

1.68g

7.96g

2g

43

?

No

Butternut Squash

11.69g

1g

2g

45

Yes

No

Leek

14.15g

1.5g

3.9g

1.8g

61

?

No

Green Peas †

14.45g

5.42g

5.67g

5.1g

81

Acceptable

No

Potato *

17.47g

2g

2.2g

77

Yes

No

Parsnip †

18g

1.2g

4.8g

4.9g

75

?

No

Corn kernels †

18.7g

3.27g

6.26g

2

86

?

No

Sweet Potato

20.1g

1.6g

4.2g

3g

86

Yes

In moderation

Lentils (dry weight)

60g

26g

2g

31g

353

Acceptable

Big No

*   Raw, with skin
†   Raw
∆   Cooked

These items in orange are actually technically fruits, but I have included them here for ease of reference. I also added lentils just because I was curious about trying a lentil and cabbage soup recipe … that’s obviously not going to happen now!

 Low-sugar and High-sugar Fruits 

Fruit

Carbohydrates

Sugar

Fiber

Calories

WRD friendly?

Low-Carb Diet friendly?

Coconut water

3.71g

2.61g

1.1g

19

No

All fruits in moderation (limited to 2-3 pieces a day)

Watermelon

7.55

6.2g

0.4g

30

No

Strawberry

7.68g

4.89g

2g

32

Yes

Cantaloupe

8.16g

7.86g

0.9g

34

No

Grapefruit

8.41g

7.31g

1.1g

33

Probably no

Honeydew melon

9.09g

8.12g

0.8g

36

No

Peach

9.54g

8.39g

1.5g

39

Yes

Blackberry

9.61g

4.88g

5.3g

43

Yes

Orange

11.75g

9.35g

2.4g

47

No

Pineapple

13.12g

9.85g

1.4g

50

No

Apple

13.81g

10.39g

2.4g

52

Yes

Blueberry

14.49g

9.96g

2.4g

57

Yes

(Green) Kiwi fruit

14.66g

8.99g

3g

61

Probably yes

Raspberry

14.7g

5.4g

8g

63

Yes

Mango

15g

13.7g

1.6g

60

No

Longan (fresh)

15.14g

1.1g

60

No

Pear

15.23g

9.75g

3.1g

57

Yes

Cherries

16g

12.8g

2.1g

63

Yes

Lychee (fresh)

16.53g

15.23g

1.3g

66

No

Mangosteen

17.91g

1.8g

0.58g

73

No

Grape (red or green)

18.1g

15.48g

0.9g

69

No

Banana

22.84g

12.23g

2.6g

89

No

Coconut flesh

24.23g

6.23g

8g

354

No

33.49g of fat!

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