Though the word "carbs" often has a bad vibe, some of the most nutritious foods -- fruits and vegetables -- are chock-full of carbohydrates, especially fiber. Most carbohydrates give your body a healthy dose of energy, while fiber offers health benefits, even though your body can't digest it. Soluble fiber, typically found in fruits, helps lower cholesterol; insoluble fiber, more common in vegetables, helps food move smoothly down your digestive tract. You probably don't get the 20 to 38 grams of fiber you need each day, but with a few servings of fruits and veggies, you'll be well on your way.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one medium apple -- about 3 inches in diameter -- contains 25 grams of carbohydrate and 4 grams of fiber. The apple’s skin contains about half of the fiber, so eat apples with their peels to maximize your fiber intake. Avoid apple juice if your goal is to consume more fiber -- while it contains 28 grams of carbohydrate per cup, you won't find any fiber.
When you cook broccoli -- as well as many other vegetables -- its water content decreases, concentrating its nutrients. According to the USDA, a 1/2-cup serving of raw, chopped broccoli contains 3 grams of carbohydrate and a little more than 1 gram of fiber. But same amount of chopped, cooked broccoli contains twice the carbohydrate content -- 6 grams -- and nearly triple the fiber -- 3 grams.
Often touted as a low-carb fruit, berries tend to have fewer carbohydrates than many other fruit varieties, though their carbohydrate and fiber contents vary by type. A cup of whole strawberries contains 11 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber, while raspberries contain 15 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of fiber per cup. Blackberries will rack up a similar amount of both carbs and fiber per cup -- 14 and 8 grams, respectively -- while a cup of blueberries contains 21 grams of carbohydrate and 4 grams of fiber.
While similar, the fiber and carbohydrate content of sweet peppers varies by color. A large green pepper contains 3 grams of fiber with 8 grams of carbohydrate. A large red pepper also has 3 grams of fiber, along with 10 grams of carbohydrate. A large yellow pepper has less fiber -- about 2 grams -- and 12 grams of carbohydrate.
A registered dietitian with a master's in public health from Hunter College in New York City, Shira Isenberg has been writing for diet and health websites since 2001. She currently writes a regular nutrition column for a quarterly Jewish periodical, the Jewish Action.