Eating lots of vegetables every day is important for good health.
Vegetables are nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also offer protection against a number of chronic diseases , such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
There are two main categories of vegetables:
- With starch.
- Without starch.
Types that contain starch include:
- The corn.
- The beans.
While the types that do not contain starch include:
- The tomatoes.
The key distinction between the two lies in their total content of starch, a type of carbohydrate. However, these vegetables have a number of other differences.
This article examines the key benefits and differences of starchy and non-starchy vegetables.
What are starchy and non-starchy vegetables?
Starch is the main type of carbohydrate in your diet.
It is often referred to as a complex carbohydrate, as it is made up of several linked sugar molecules.
Starch can be found in a variety of foods, such as:
- Starchy vegetables.
However, most vegetables contain only small amounts of starch and are classified as non-starchy types.
In general, cooked starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates and 80 calories per 1/2 cup (70 to 90 grams), while non-starchy types such as broccoli contain about 5 grams of carbohydrates and 25 calories in an equivalent serving.
US health agencies recommend eating 2.5 cups of vegetables each day, both starchy and non-starchy.
Here are some common examples for each group:
- Beans (kidney, navy, pinto, black, cannellini).
- Garbanzo beans.
- Parsnips (white carrot)
- Sweet potatoes.
- Bean sprouts.
- Brussels sprouts.
- Eggplant (also known as aubergine).
- Peppers (also known as capsicum).
- Green salads.
- Zucchini (also known as zucchini or zucchini).
Vegetables can be classified into two main types based on their starch content. Starchy vegetables include potatoes, corn, peas, and lentils, while non-starchy varieties include broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, and mushrooms.
Both groups are rich in nutrients
Both starchy and non-starchy vegetables have an impressive nutrient profile.
While the nutrient content varies depending on the type of vegetable and the cooking method, all types naturally contain a range of essential vitamins and minerals.
In fact, vegetables are some of the richest sources of potassium, vitamin K, folate, and magnesium. These nutrients are particularly important for bone health, heart health, and a healthy pregnancy.
Vegetables also contain small amounts of other beneficial nutrients, such as iron and zinc.
In addition, they are loaded with antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, which are compounds that help protect cells from damaging damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress.
As a result, antioxidants can fight the aging process and lower your risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Vegetables also tend to be naturally low in sugar, fat, and sodium, so you can eat a relatively large amount without many adverse health effects.
Starchy and non-starchy vegetables are rich in many important vitamins and minerals, including potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Both types are also good sources of antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E.
Both are rich in fiber
Another shared characteristic of starchy and non-starchy vegetables is their high fiber content.
Although fiber content varies by type, most starchy vegetables contain 4–6% fiber, about 2–4 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup (70–90 grams), or 6–14% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI).
Some starchy vegetables pack even larger amounts. For example, lentils, beans, and chickpeas contain 5–8 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup (70–90 grams), or 20–32% of the RDI.
Similarly, non-starchy vegetables are also high in fiber. Most non-starchy vegetables contain 2–3.5% fiber and 1.5–2.5 grams per 1/2 cup, or 7–10% of your daily needs.
Fiber can keep your bowel movements regular.
Studies suggest that it can also prevent:
- Digestive conditions such as : inflammatory bowel disease.
- Lower cholesterol
- Regulate blood sugar levels.
- Risk of heart disease and diabetes.
For these reasons, eating a variety of starchy and non-starchy vegetables every day is a great way to meet your fiber needs and improve your digestive and overall health.
Both starchy and non-starchy vegetables are good sources of fiber, which promotes digestive health and may reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Starchy vegetables are higher in carbohydrates and calories
Some types of starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn, have caused controversy due to their high starch content.
Although some people believe they should be avoided entirely, starchy vegetables provide a variety of beneficial nutrients and can be a healthy addition to your diet when consumed in moderation.
Compared to their non-starchy counterparts, starchy vegetables contain higher amounts of carbohydrates and calories.
One big difference between starchy and non-starchy vegetables is their carbohydrate content.
Starchy vegetables contain about 3 to 4 times more carbohydrates than non-starchy types, with about 11 to 23 grams of carbohydrates in every 1/2 cup (70 to 90 grams).
For this reason, if you have diabetes or are on a low-carb diet, you may want to limit your intake of starchy vegetables.
That’s because they contain a similar amount of carbohydrates as bread, rice, and cereals. Starchy vegetables can raise your blood sugar levels faster than non-starchy types.
However, all starchy vegetables except potatoes rank low to medium on the glycemic index (GI). This is a measure of how much and how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels after being eaten.
Therefore, most starchy vegetables only produce a slow, low rise in blood sugar levels despite their carbohydrate content.
If eaten in moderation, in servings of about 1 / 2–1 cup (70–180 grams), starchy vegetables may be suitable for people who have diabetes or who are on a low-carbohydrate diet.
Due to their high carbohydrate content, starchy vegetables also have more calories, about 3 to 6 times more than non-starchy vegetables.
Although the calorie content varies by type, most starchy vegetables provide 60–140 calories for each 1/2-cup serving (70–90 grams), compared to 15–30 calories in the same amount of non-starchy vegetables.
So, keep your serving size and cooking method in mind when preparing and consuming starchy vegetables, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Calories can add up quickly.
However, consuming 1 / 2–1 cup (70–180 grams) of boiled, roasted, baked, or steamed starchy vegetables at each meal is unlikely to result in excessive weight gain when added to a meal. healthy diet.
Starchy vegetables have 3 to 6 times more calories and carbohydrates than non-starchy vegetables. As a result, it is important to eat starchy vegetables in moderation, especially if you have diabetes or are looking to lose weight.
Starchy vegetables are a better source of resistant starch and protein
Starchy vegetables are also a great source of resistant starch and proteins, both of which have several health benefits.
Starchy vegetables are especially rich in a type of starch known as resistant starch.
Resistant starch acts in a similar way to soluble fiber. It passes through your digestive tract mostly unchanged, then is broken down by beneficial gut bacteria.
When gut bacteria break down resistant starch, they produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).
Resistant starch and SCFAs have a number of positive effects on your body. They can protect against digestive conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, and lower blood sugar, weight, and cholesterol.
A range of starchy vegetables, including beans, peas, and corn, are made up of roughly 1 to 5% resistant starch.
At 1%, potatoes contain somewhat low amounts. However, this increases up to 5% when the potatoes are cooked and allowed to cool, as in a potato salad.
Lastly, some starchy vegetables, especially beans, chickpeas, and lentils, are good sources of protein.
In fact, they are some of the best plant-based protein sources, containing up to 9 grams of protein in 1/2 cup (70–90 grams), or 18% of the RDI.
For this reason, beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent substitutes for meat in vegetarian and vegan diets.
Its protein content can promote feelings of fullness, keeping your appetite and weight in check. It can also help build and preserve muscle mass and strength.
Most starchy vegetables are an excellent source of resistant starch. Some, like beans and lentils, are also high in plant-based protein and a good alternative to meat in vegetarian and vegan diets.
Non-starchy vegetables are high in nutrients but low in calories
Non-starchy vegetables are very low in calories, with only 15–30 calories in a 1/2 cup (70–90 grams).
For this reason, you can eat large servings of non-starchy vegetables without taking in enough calories to gain weight.
They are also made up of about 90 to 95% water, which makes them a good source of hydration in your diet. Therefore, non-starchy vegetables can help you meet your daily fluid needs.
Despite their low calorie content, non-starchy vegetables are high in fiber and contain essential vitamins and minerals. In fact, they have small amounts of almost all the vitamins and minerals you need.
Additionally, non-starchy vegetables are low in carbohydrates – only 4 to 6 grams of carbohydrates in a medium cup (70 to 90 grams). As a result, they have little impact on blood sugar levels and are suitable for people who follow or have low-carb diets.
It is best to consume a variety of non-starchy and starchy vegetables throughout the day. They will add color, nutrients and flavor to your meals for very few calories.
Non-starchy vegetables are very low in calories and high in water content. However, they have an impressive nutrient profile and provide you with almost all the vitamins and minerals you need.
Healthier ways to eat them
In addition to their health benefits, starchy and non-starchy vegetables are delicious, versatile, and easy to add to your diet.
Fresh and frozen whole vegetables are generally considered the healthiest options, followed by juiced and canned varieties.
Keep in mind that juices tend to reduce fiber content, while canning often adds sugar and salt.
In addition, preparation and cooking methods have a great impact on the nutritional quality of these vegetables.
Choose cooking methods, such as baking, boiling, and steaming, while limiting unhealthy condiments, such as sauces or dressings, to avoid extra calories, salt, and fat.
It is also best to limit your consumption of fried and processed vegetable products, such as corn and potato chips, as these products can contain a lot of calories, fat, and salt.
For good health, eat at least 2.5 cups of starchy and non-starchy vegetables each day to maximize your vitamin and nutrient intake.
Both starchy and non-starchy vegetables can be a healthy and delicious addition to your diet.
The healthiest vegetable dishes are boiled, steamed or baked with the skin on, without any unhealthy ingredients like sauces or dressings.
The bottom line
- Both starchy and non-starchy vegetables contain an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Starchy vegetables have more carbohydrates, calories, protein, and resistant starch. They should be consumed in moderation, especially if you have diabetes, are on a low-carb diet, or are trying to lose weight.
- Non-starchy vegetables are very low in calories, while offering similar amounts of fiber and nutrients as the starchy varieties.
- Both starchy and non-starchy ones make delicious and nutritious additions to your diet, as long as they are prepared and cooked in a healthy way.
- Try to incorporate at least 2.5 cups of both types into your daily meals to take full advantage of the different nutritional qualities each provides.