Starchy vegetables are those with a relatively high amount of carbohydrate per unit weight.

As a guide, vegetables with more than 5g of carbohydrate per 100g of weight can be considered starchy vegetables.

Examples of starchy vegetables include:

  • Beetroot
  • Cassava
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potato
  • Sweetcorn

How many starchy vegetables should I eat?

Starchy vegetables are part of the starchy foods group. The American Diabetes Association recommends letting starchy foods make up a quarter of your plate at main meals.

Note that bread, rice, pasta and pastry are other starchy foods so if you’re having these foods as part of your main meal, it may be advisable to pick non-starchy vegetables to go with them rather than starchy vegetables.

Health benefits of starchy vegetables

Starchy vegetables are a good source of carbohydrate, fibre, minerals and vitamins. Starchy vegetables are a good source of vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium

Carbohydrates provide us with energy but raise blood glucose levels relatively quickly and significantly, which is why the ADA recommends eating starchy carbohydrates in moderation.

Vitamin C helps to reduce cells in our body becoming damaged by free radicals, potassium is helpful for our nerves and muscles and B vitamins play a number of roles including helping to process fats and carbohydrates

Health risks of starchy vegetables

Starchy vegetables should be washed before preparing and eating to minimise risks of bacterial food poisoning.

Fried starchy vegetables, such as chips are very high in calories and so their intake should be limited to prevent weight gain, which can lead to other health problems.

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