A starch is a complex carbohydrate, which consists of sugar, starch and fiber. According to dietary recommendations and based on a 2,000 calorie diet, most of us should be consuming between 45-65% of our daily calories from carbohydrates. This means that, following a 2,000 calorie diet, you should consume anywhere between 225-325 grams of carbohydrates daily. Keep in mind, however, the quality of carbs/starches you are consuming because not all carbs are created equal. So, which starches should you choose?
The ideal Starches you should consume as part of your regular diet are those that contain minerals, vitamins and fiber. These types of starches include foods such as; vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes. With that being said, be mindful of how much you are consuming because, as a complex carbohydrate, these starches also contain a certain amount of protein and fat as well.
Here is a list of 3 of the most nutritious foods high in starch:
1 – Whole Wheat and/or Whole Grain Pasta
Choosing whole wheat or whole grain pasta can be a very good source of fiber.
2 – Lentils
Lentils are low in calories and a good source of protein, fiber and other nutrients. Lentils are a great meat substitute and food choice for people with diabetes.
3 – Beans
Beans are a good source of fiber, antioxidants and protein, which makes beans among the healthiest of the starches and the ideal food for the health nut!
One of the drawbacks of starches is that once consumed, it is quickly converted into sugar. Eating too many starchy and sugary carbohydrates can have a negative effect on your insulin and blood glucose levels. This is a very important factor to keep in mind, especially for those who are diabetic. All this extra sugar is stored in your fat cells and may cause you to gain weight. This factor is true because once carbohydrates are stored, they bind with water molecules which cause you to feel bloated. This is the main reason that switching from a high carbohydrate diet to a lower carbohydrate diet you see a rapid weight drop in the first week or two. That weight loss is primarily water because of how those carbohydrates are converted and stored once consumed.
In conclusion, there is no need to avoid starches all together because you believe they are bad for your health. Quite the contrary. Some starch rich foods like fruits, vegetables and grains provide essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients vital to our health and immune system. Bottom line is to just be mindful of your intake to avoid over consuming.