Starchy Foods You Must Include in Your Diet

Starchy foods are an important part of a nutritious diet. They are an essential source of nutrition and energy and offer the basis for a satisfying and balanced meal. Starch is a type of carbohydrate having glucose molecules. Glucose offers cells energy and helps nerve cells in the brain function in the right way.

Starchy foods are available in different forms, and people often eat them as staple foods in the diet worldwide. Grains, legumes, and root vegetables are all examples of them.

A person with high blood sugar or diabetes may wish to monitor their starchy foods consumption. It is because people with these conditions are extra sensitive to blood sugar rise that naturally accompanies eating carbohydrates.

 

What Are Starchy Foods?

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While starchy foods have natural high starch, they are not comprised completely of the substance. They can also have fiber, minerals, vitamins, and natural sugars. Because they have high starch, and carbohydrates, starchy foods show the body readily found energy. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy in the diet.

 

Potatoes

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Potatoes are a famous starchy carb but a best nutrients source including protein. Be precautious while using potatoes as increase in calories.

 

Salmon

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Salmon is considered a fatty fish, which means it has plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is also the best source of protein and helps to feel more satisfied after meals. Salmon may not be affordable like other protein options.

 

Cornmeal (74%)

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Cornmeal is another type of coarse flour prepared by grinding dried corn kernels. It naturally does not have gluten, which is safe to consume if you have celiac disease. Although cornmeal consists of some nutrients, it is very high in starch and carbs. One cup has 126 grams of carbs, of which 117 grams is starch. If you are choosing cornmeal, try whole-grain instead of the de-germed variety. When cornmeal is de-germed, it lowers some nutrients and fiber.

 

Rice Krispies Cereal (72.1%)

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Rice Krispies are a famous cereal prepared for crisped rice. It is simply one combination of sugar paste and puffed rice formed into the Crispy rice shapes.

They are often fortified with minerals and vitamins. A one-ounce serving – 28 gm consists of a third of your everyday requirements for riboflavin, thiamine, iron, folate, and vitamins B12, and B6.

That said, Rice Krispies are high in starch and highly processed. One ounce of 28 gm serving consists of 20.2 gm of starch or 72.1% by weight.

If rice Krispies are a staple in daily food, consider choosing a healthier breakfast alternative. You can get some healthy cereals.

 

Rice (28.7%)

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Rice is a common staple food all over the world. It has high starch, particularly in its uncooked state. For example, 3.5 ounces of uncooked rice consist of 80.4 grams of carbs of which 63.6% is starch. However, starch drops dramatically after cooking rice.

In the existence of water and heat, starch molecules soak water and swell.  Eventually, this swelling breaks the bonds between starch molecules from a process named gelatinization. Therefore, 3.5 ounces of cooked rice only consist of 28.7% starch because cooked rice has more water.

 

Pretzels (71.3%)

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Pretzels are a famous snack containing high refined starch. A standard serving of 10 pretzel changes of 60gm consists of 42. gm of starch, or 1.3% by weight.

Unfortunately, pretzels are often prepared with refined wheat flour. This kind of flour may lead to blood sugar spikes and cause fatigue and hunger.

More importantly, frequent blood sugar increases can lower the ability of the body to lower blood sugar effectively and may cause type 2 diabetes.

 

Flours (68–70%)

Flours are versatile ingredients for baking and pantry staples. They come in different varieties, like millet, sorghum, refined wheat flour, and wheat. They are also commonly high in starch.

Pasta (26%)

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Pasta is a kind of noodle that is generally made from durum wheat. It comes in different types, such as macaroni, spaghetti, and fettuccine.

Like pasta, rice has low starch when it is cooked due to gelatinizes in water and heat. For example, dry spaghetti consists of 62.5% starch while cooked spaghetti has only 26% starch.

 

Millet Flour (70%)

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Millet flour is made from millet seeds with a grinding process, a group of highly nutritious old grains. One cup – 119 grams of millet flour consist of 83 grams of starch, or 70% weight. Millet flour is also gluten-free naturally and rich in magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium. Pearl millet is the most widely produced type of millet. Although pearl millet is extremely nutritious, there is similar evidence that it may influence thyroid function. However, the effect on humans is not clear, so more research is required.

 

Sorghum Flour (68%)

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Sorghum is a nutritious grain that is ground to prepare sorghum flour. One cup of sorghum flour provides 82 gm of starch or 6% by weight. Although it has high starch, sorghum flour is a better choice than most flour types. That is because it is gluten-free and the best source of fiber and protein. One cup has 10.2 gm of protein and 8 gm of fiber.

Moreover, sorghum is the best source of antioxidants. Research has shown that these antioxidants may help to boost insulin resistance, lower blood cholesterol, and may get anticancer properties.

 

English Muffins (44.4%)

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English muffins are a flat, circular type of bread that is regularly toasted and eaten with butter. A regular sized of English muffin consists of 23.1 grams of starch or 44.4% in weight.

 

Bagels (43.6%)

Bagels are a normal product created in Poland. They also have high starch, offering 38.8 grams for every medium-sized bagel, or 43.6% by weight.

 

White Bread (40.8%)

Like refined wheat flour, white bread is prepared from the endosperm of wheat. In turn, it provides high starch content. Two slices of white bread consist of 20.4 grams of starch or 40.8% in weight. It also has low vitamins, fiber, and minerals. If you wish to eat bread, choose a whole grain substitute instead.

 

Tortillas (40.2%)

Tortillas are a thin type of flatbread prepared from either wheat or corn. They were introduced in Mexico. A single tortilla consists of 19.7 gm of starch or 40.2% in weight.

 

Oats (57.9%)

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Oats are a healthy source of grains. They provide the best amount of fiber, protein, and fat with a variety of minerals and vitamins. It makes oats the best choice for a healthy breakfast.

Furthermore, research has shown that oats can help to lower weight, lower blood sugar levels, and prevent heart disease risk.

Yet even though they are one of the healthiest foods and the best addition to the diet, they also provide high starch. One cup of oats consists of 46.9 grams of starch or 57.9% by weight.

 

Shortbread Cookies (40.5%)

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Shortbread cookies are a traditional Scottish treat. They are traditionally prepared using butter, sugar, and flour. They have a high starch and a single cookie of 12 grams has 4.8 grams of starch.

Additionally, be different from commercial shortbread cookies. They may consist of artificial trans fats, which are linked with more risk of heart disease, belly fat, and diabetes.

 

Whole-Wheat Flour (57.8%)

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In contrast to refined flour, whole wheat flour is extremely nutritious and low in starch. It makes it the best option in comparison.

For example, one cup of whole wheat flour consists of 9 grams of starch or 5.8% by weight.

Although both types of flour consist of the same quantity of total carbs, whole wheat has extra nutrition and fiber. It makes it a healthier option for recipes.

 

Instant Noodles (56%)

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Instant noodles are the best convenience food due they are affordable and easy to prepare.

However, they have highly processed and are commonly low in nutrients. Additionally, they are commonly high in carbs and fat. For example, a single package consists of 13.4 grams of fat and 54 grams of carbs.

Most of the carbs from quick noodles come from starch. A packet consists of 47.7 grams of starch or 56% in weight.

Additionally, research has indicated that people who eat quick noodles more than two times every week have more risk of metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes.

 

Corn (18.2%)

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Corn is one of the most widely-eaten cereal grains. It also supplies the highest starch content in whole vegetables. For example, one cup of corn kernels consists of 25.7 grams of starch or 18.2% in weight.

Although it has a starchy vegetable, corn is a great addition and very nutritious to the diet. It particularly has rice fiber, minerals, and vitamins like phosphorus, folate, and potassium.

 

Bread and Bread Products (40.2–44.4%)

Bread and its products are common staple foods in the world. These have bagels, white bread, tortillas, and English muffins. However, many of these products are prepared with refined wheat flour and get a high glycemic index score. It means they can frequently increase their blood sugar.

 

Potatoes (18%)

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Potatoes are very versatile. It is a staple food in different households. They are the first preferred foods that think starchy foods. Interestingly potatoes do not have more starch than baked, flours, cereals, or goods, but they consist of more starch than a different vegetable. For example, one medium-sized baked potato has 24.8 grams of starch or 18% in weight. Potatoes are the best part of a balanced diet due to the best source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and manganese.

Like other plant foods, starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkin are valuable components of a healthy diet. They are denser in calories in comparison to bell peppers, leafy greens, and other non-starchy vegetables, however, so stick to reasonable portions, specifically if you are concerned about weight control or require to follow a low-glycemic diet. For good results, consume starchy vegetables as part of a balanced and healthy diet.

 

Fiber

Starchy vegetables are important sources of fiber, an indigestible type of carbohydrate. Fiber plays several necessary roles in health, including helping the body to remove waste, managing blood sugar levels and appetite in check, and boosting healthy cholesterol levels. One cup of canned pumpkin offers over 7 grams of fiber, which is equal to 33% of females’ low daily recommended fiber consumption and 25% of men. One cup of canned sweet potato offers around 6 grams.

 

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are nutrients that help the body remove free radicals, substances that can damage genetic material and cells. Starchy vegetables are particular sources of antioxidants, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lutein. These antioxidants may reduce your risk of age-related blindness and cataracts. They also boost healthy hair, bones, and skin. Winter squash and sweet potatoes specifically have high beta carotene, which helps body tissue repair and save against skin damage. Sweet potatoes and baked are particularly rich in vitamin C, which plays an essential role in immune function.

One medium baked potato offers 33% of the adult suggested everyday consumption of vitamin C for adults, which is a quantity higher than different non-starchy vegetables, such as peas and leafy greens are significantly more than other starchy foods such as bread and crackers.

 

B-Vitamins

Starchy vegetables have rich vitamin B groups, especially B-6, and folate. Although research discoveries are ongoing and mixed, stated by the Harvard School of Public Health, folate and vitamin B6 may help to reduce heart disease and stroke risk. One cup of boiled potatoes offers around 20% of the RDI for adults of 16% folate and vitamin B-6.

 

Minerals

Starchy vegetables also offer important minerals. As rich magnesium and potassium sources, they may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, relieve premenstrual syndrome symptoms, and help to assure bone health. Magnesium may also prevent migraine headaches. The mineral zinc is prevalent in starchy vegetables, promoting eyes health and body tissue. One cup of boiled potatoes has 38% of the RDI for adults for potassium and 8% magnesium.

 

Low-Starch Alternatives

Generally, it is the best idea to substitute refined and white starches for their whole-grain whenever possible. Whole-grain carbohydrates leave sugar in the blood slower than refined carbohydrates, which is linked with better health outcomes. These 5 foods consist of high starch content:

Whole-grain Pasta

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Whole grain pasta provides a high ratio of fiber to starch than refined pasta, making it a good choice if you are trying to get less starch.

 

Russets

To lower your starch consumption when taking potatoes, choose a reduced starch variety like Russet. You can also soak potatoes in cold water for 2 hours to eliminate some of the starch contents.

 

Whole Wheat Bread

White bread and whole wheat get the same levels of carbohydrates, but their distribution of starch to fiber is different. Whole wheat bread retains intact germ, bran, and endosperm, whereas white bread only provides endosperm. The additional germ and bran in whole wheat provide you with low starch and extra white bread and fiber.

 

Brown Rice

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One cup of brown rice provides 40 grams of starch. Brown rice provides fiber more than white rice, which will fill your stomach faster and increase blood sugar levels extra slowly.

 

Benefits of Starchy Foods

It Torches Fat

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Research done with both animals and humans indicates that a diet rich in resistant starch lower body fat. Here is how: while most of the butyrate created from resistant starch present in the colon to help gut health, some of the short-chain fatty acids also go to the liver, where they stop the organ from releasing stored carbohydrates into the bloodstream, stimulating the body to burn body fat for energy rather.

 

It Steadies Energy Levels

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Foods having resistant starch help to slow down the blood glucose levels rise after consumption, offering long-term energy. Additional carb-rich foods like chips, crackers, and cookies are instantly digested, leading to sharp spikes in blood glucose that must be lowered with insulin. Keeping blood glucose within the regular limit is essential in the long term because it lowers tear and wears on the body. The more frequently the pancreas is called upon to create insulin, the higher risk of type-2 diabetes with time.

 

It’s Heart Healthy

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Lowered blood glucose levels also lead to stronger arteries that help more blood flow to the heart and the intensity. Resistant starch help to reduce the artery-clogging cholesterol levels and the blood fat levels, which increase the blood flow and nutrients to your brain, heart, and active muscles.

 

It Tames Hunger

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Animal research recommends that resistant starch stimulates certain hormone production that prevents hunger and keeps you full while eating less. Additionally, resistant starch takes more time to digest than other carb foods and boosts fullness hours after food consumption. Just ensure to balance your meal. One study discovered that females who ate food in combination with resistant starch at a similar meal felt less hunger and burned more body fat than the female who consume either resistant starch or protein.

 

It’s Good for Your Gut

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Butyrate created from resistant starch offer energy for the cells in the colon that keep the lining of the gut in the shape and help the body to avoid the ailments like irritable bowel disease and colon cancer. Butyrate is also a good source for the several healthy bacteria that are present in the gut. High goof gut bacteria are linked to strengthening the immune system and lower infection risk.

 

Find the Best Foods

Legumes such as sweet potatoes, under-ripe bananas, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, white potatoes, pasta, and all type of whole food sources of resistant starch. Some packaged foods consist of Hi-maize corn-based and commercial resistant starch powder. Check the ingredient list for foods containing corn-starch, hi maize, and resistant corn-starch, which is also containing a flour replacer. The starch is utilized when making baked goods, you can change as much as 1/3 of the flour in recipes for the brand.

Be Cautious:

More supplemental resistant starch may affect the absorption of other nutrients, and it could make you gassy, which is almost not a good thing. In place, focus on whole foods, which include more minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients.

 

Prep Notes

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How you prepare these foods can also influence the consumption of starch. The cooled and cooked version of grains, also vegetables like potatoes, and legumes provide specifically extra resistant starch than when these foods are cooked and still hot. That is because cooling will transform digestible starch into resistant starch to resistance starch, which is a process called retrogradation. Your body is not able to completely digest the resistant starch or utilize it for energy, so the calorie count is naturally lower, which is the same principle as net carbs. When researchers from the College-of-Chemical-Sciences in Sri Lanka cooked white rice with some coconut oil. Chilled for 12 0hours, it raises the resistant starch tenfold amount while lowering calories by half. But there is no requirement to consume dinner cold: Reheating rice does not change the resistant starch attention.

 

The Bottom Line

Starch is the basic carbohydrate in the diet and a basic part of different staple foods. In modern diets, foods that have high starch are more refined and stripped of their nutrients and fiber. These foods have refined bagels, wheat flour, and cornmeal. To manage a healthy diet, aim to reduce your consumption of these foods.

Diets with high refined starches are linked with a high risk of heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain. Additionally, they can lead to blood sugar increasing rapidly and lowering sharply.

This is particularly essential for people with prediabetes and diabetes since their bodies cannot efficiently reduce sugar from the blood.

On the other hand, whole, unprocessed sources of starch like oats, sorghum flour, potatoes, and others given above should not be skipped. They are the best source of fiber and consist of different minerals and vitamins.

 

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