Starchy vs Non-Starchy Vegetables

Starchy vs Non-Starchy Vegetables  

We all know vegetables come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Some have more fiber while others have more starch. It is important to know which foods contain starch, because it is still a carbohydrate that will impact your blood sugar.  

Starchy Vegetables 

 All vegetables contain some amount of carbohydrates but starchy vegetables are those with more starch than non-starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables contain 15 grams for 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked, about 10 grams more than non-starchy vegetables. It is important to understand that starchy vegetables still have nutritional value. Examples of starchy vegetables include potatoes, corn, acorn and butternut squash.  

Non-Starchy Vegetables  

Non-starchy vegetables contain 5 grams of carbs for 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked. Some examples include broccoli, asparagus, beets, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, leafy greens like spinach, snap peas, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, onions, peppers, and zucchini.  

All vegetables contain important vitamins, minerals and fiber that is important for your overall health and well-being. It is important to consume at least 5 to 7 servings of vegetables per day, both starchy or non-starchy, or the amount that is set by your individual meal plan. 1 serving of vegetables is 1 cup of raw vegetables or ½ cup cooked vegetables. For example, this looks like 6 baby carrots or 1 whole medium carrot, half of a potato, and 5 to 8 florets of broccoli or cauliflower.  

Vegetables may not taste the best on their own, so it is ok to add ranch, butter or cheese every once in a while, but remember extra flavor components add more calories and carbohydrates. 1 serving of ranch dressing is 130 calories while an extra slab of butter adds another 100 calories. Instead, try adding spices and herbs or a new cooking method like air frying, roasting or grilling.  

References: 

Get to Know Carbs. American Diabetes Association https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/understanding-carbs/get-to-know-carbs 

The Truth about Starchy Vegetables. John Hopkins Patient Guide to Diabetes. https://hopkinsdiabetesinfo.org/the-truth-about-starchy-vegetables/ 

Vegetables. MyPlate.gov. https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/vegetables 

Fruits and Vegetables Serving Sizes. Heart.org. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/add-color/fruits-and-vegetables-serving-sizes