All You Need to Know About Importance of Starchy Foods!

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In the world where people are increasingly adopting a low carbohydrate diet, the idea of consuming starchy foods can sound evil, especially when you want to achieve weight reduction.

Starch isn’t always bad. Certain types of starches are healthy and loaded with various types of nutrients that includes minerals, fiber, phytonutrients, and vitamins. A few of them even have a good proportion of nutrients, and energy.

Here are a few starchy foods that you should add to your daily meal.

What are Starches?

Starches are classified as complex form of carbohydrates that work as an essential energy source. They are a vital source of energy that fuels your body. These starches convert glucose in the food into a form of energy that is used by your body to perform its daily functions effectively. These carbs are made with sugar molecules that slings together and form long and complex chain.

Complex carbs are loaded with fiber that enhances digestion in the body. It requires more time for them to digest that, in turn, results in slow and gradual increase in blood glucose levels. The result is that you feel fuller for a longer time, and more energetic throughout the day.

Some starchy foods also possess a property to bypass digestive system and feeds the gut bacteria. When you consume these foods, it leads to formation of short-chain fatty acids that keep your colon in healthy state.

What Are Complex Carbs And How They Are Useful?

Starches are nothing different than complex carbohydrates. They are made from sugar molecules that are joined to each other in the form of complex, and long chains. They get digested slowly in the body, and result in a gradual increase in blood glucose levels.

Complex carbs are a rich source of fiber that aids in digestion. They work towards stabilizing blood glucose levels and give a boost to your energy levels. Foods that have complex carbs give you a feeling of fullness for a couple of hours, and so prevent from frequent eating. As you eat less, you consume less calorie, and that is how they work to prevent an increase in your body weight.

Starchy Foods To Include In Your Diet

These are the foods that have maximum amount of starch in it. Ensure that you consume them in the right amounts to get the maximum benefits. Starches provide energy. Resistant starches help to lower blood glucose levels. They assist in digestion and also lower your appetite. In this way, it contributes towards weight reduction in the body.

1. Potatoes

Almost everyone knows that potato is a starchy vegetable. Some people believe that potato increases body fat. This is not true. The way you consume potatoes determines whether it is beneficial or harmful for your health.

Where fried form of potatoes provides unhealthy fats, and a lot of calories to your body, boiled form of potatoes provides all the healthy benefits of starch to your body. Not just it digests slowly, and promotes weight loss, but also stimulates the development of probiotics bacterial in the gut.

The fiber in boiled potato enhances the concentration of short chain fatty acids in the body. They stimulate the production of gut bacteria and lowers the possibility of inflammation in colon and other areas of the body. They energize your body. The resistant starch in it reduces postprandial blood sugar levels.

2. Whole Wheat Bread

Breads made from whole wheat are an ideal source of bran, endosperm and germ that plays a beneficial role in the body.

Endosperm : It is the component where the starch lies in this bread.

Germ and Bran :  Both these components provide a good source of phytochemicals, dietary fibers, and several other valuable micronutrients to your body.

According to the studies done on whole wheat bread, it was found that the presence of whole grains in it reduces the possibilities of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity and other forms of cardiovascular ailments. This makes it healthy to include this starchy food in your diet.

3. Beans

Another very healthy, and extremely potent starchy food that you should consume regularly are beans. It has abundance of fiber, antioxidants, and plant-based proteins. Beans are also beneficial in balancing blood sugar levels, and helps in the prevention of diabetes.

Due to high amounts of fiber, it also aids in lower blood sugar. Beans is a plant food that provides decent quantities of lysine, a significant amino acid to the body. Regular consumption of this food has the ability to reduce low density cholesterol, or LDL in the body. It can even reduce the possibilities of heart ailments in the body.

Beans are considered to be a good source of “resistant starch” that gives a feeling of satiety and results in small increase in blood sugar levels. Being rich in short-chain fatty acids, resistant starch enhances, and maintains the overall health of colonic cells in the body. This resistant starch contributes towards low GI index that makes it a diabetes-friendly diet.

4. Rice

Rice, especially the brown rice is a highly beneficial source of starch. It takes many hours to digest in the body. It has “Type 5 resistant starch” that serves as good amounts of dietary fiber.

Note: As these starchy foods are healthy, you should not over exceed their consumption. People who consume it more, and have a sedentary lifestyle can develop obesity, and other disease complications in the long run.

5. Whole Grain

When talking about grains, replace refined grains by whole grains. This is because of the presence of healthy starches in it. Whole grains are highly nutritious, and extremely healthy. When you consume whole grains, the starch present in it gets fermented in your gut.

This secretes “butyrate”, a beneficial short-chain fatty acid that promotes gut mucosa. The starch present in cereal grains is also associated to lowered chances of Type 2 diabetes, heart ailments, colorectal cancer, and obesity. Some of the whole grains that you should consume in your diet: oatmeal, unsweetened popcorn, wild rice, whole rye, sorghum, and buckwheat.

6. Lentils

The next important starchy food in our list is Lentils. This food comprises of around 34% of digestible starch. The remaining 66% of it is present in the form of resistance starch. So, this implies that your human body is unable to digest high levels of lentils in the body.

Lentils work as a rich source of dietary fiber and they have a low effect on your blood glucose levels. Half cup of lentils provides around 3.4 grams of resistance fiber that aids in stimulating metabolism and reduce body fat.

As lentils are loaded with starch, it shows that your body is incapable of eating high amounts of it daily. Excess consumption of it can cause you digestive issues. To get the best benefits out of this food, you need to replace foods with high GIycemic Index (that have fast digesting carbs) with lentils.

As lentils regulates glycemic load, and digestibility of starch in the body, it results in reducing complications associated with it. With plenty of high levels of prebiotic carbs that maintains gut microbiota, lentils efficiently prevent diseases that are linked to the colon.

7. Green Banana

Unripe green bananas have got high amounts of starch in it. Eating it in unripe form will provide you good amounts of healthy starch. A majority of starch present in it is in the form of resistant starch. A softened form of banana causes degradation of starch and deposits of soluble sugars.

It is hard to eat unripe banana. One of the easiest ways is to add them into a vegetable curry. In addition to it, unripe or green bananas has pectin, that is another form of dietary fiber that benefits your body.

This is the fiber responsible for maintaining the structure of banana. As the banana ripens, and become soft, pectin begins to disintegrate and your bananas becomes mushy, and overripe.

Starchy Vegetables

In addition to potatoes, there are a few other healthful starchy vegetables that you should include in your diet. These are butternut, corn, kobacha, and green peas. They provide you a variety of essential nutrients that includes the minerals as zinc, and magnesium and antioxidants as zeaxanthin, lutein, vitamin C, and beta-cryptoxanthin. You should take into account that these starchy vegetables have more calories compared to leafy greens, broccoli, parsnips, cucumbers, and pumpkin.

Starchy Foods To Avoid

Not every starch is a healthy addition to your diet. There are a few types of starchy foods that you should avoid. The method of their preparation makes them unhealthy. Processed foods are the examples of unhealthy starchy foods that becomes the cause for various body ailments. So, when you are at the grocery store, make sure you avoid buying the following foods.

1. Refined Breads

So, the first food that you need to avoid is refined breads such as white bread, fruit bread, and enriched breads. A majority of these breads are processed in a way that leaves them with no nutrition. Go for breads that are made from 100% whole wheat grains.

2. Cakes And Cookies

Store-bought cakes, and cookies are made with refined flour. They also have unhealthy trans fats, added preservatives, and artificial sweeteners. Eating these foods put your heart’s health at risk, and make you prone to diabetes.

3. Salty Snacks

Processed form of salty foods is high in sodium content. It can raise blood pressure in a person. Some of the examples of this food are packaged chips, pretzels, cheese puffs, and french fries. These are unhealthy starches that harms the body. Either you completely avoid them or reduce their intake.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Consuming Excess Starch?

Excess consumption of starch can pose issues in the food digestion. You may experience stomach discomfort, diarrhea, or nausea. Furthermore, more than permissible amounts of starch can also result in raised levels of blood glucose in the body, and weight gain. So, the key is to moderate your consumption of starchy foods and prefer foods with resistant starch as much as you can.

What Is The Ideal Amount Of Starch You Should Consume Daily?

As per the health experts, 40% to 60% of your food can comprise of healthy starches.  However, for people who have impaired glucose tolerance, or diabetes, for them this percentage can be around 30%.

A person who needs 2000-calories per day, can incorporate 250 grams to 350 grams of carbs (in form of fibers, and starches) daily. Also, make sure that your consumption of resistant starch does not exceed the recommended amount of carbs.


Starchy foods can be healthy too. It depends on the type of carbs you consume. The complex form of carbs has starch that promotes long-term health. Include more of powerful starchy foods that are packed with energy. It keeps you fueled whole day and also prevent compulsive eating.

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