We all need carbohydrates to function. Starch is a large chain of carbohydrates. Therefore, higher starch means higher carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables, and grains generally have carbohydrates, but what is the best source?
Overall, fruits tend to have low amounts of carbohydrates.
Starchy vegetables have a high amount of carbohydrates. Examples of starchy vegetables include potatoes, yams (and other root vegetables), carrots, corn, green peas, beans, green bananas, plantains, and peas. According to Verywell Health, a typical half cup serving of cooked starchy vegetables carries about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Preparing starchy vegetables in a healthy way means that you preserve as much of the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber as possible. Eating starchy vegetables steamed, baked, or roasted is much more beneficial than eating them fried or in the form of chips. If you are unfamiliar with the preparation of starchy vegetables, check out the Veggie Recipes on the THA Recipes page.
Unsure whether a vegetable is starchy or non-starchy? Consider the water content; dense vegetables like potatoes have low water content and, as a result, they are high in starch. On the other hand, vegetables with high water content like cucumber and zucchini tend to be low in starch. These vegetables are generally considered non-starchy vegetables due to their lower starch content. If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, then you should opt for non-starchy vegetables because they carry fewer carbohydrates.
Grains are known to have high amounts of carbohydrates and tend to be one of the densest food items because of their very little water content. However, when it comes to grains, one should choose wisely. According to HealthLine, refined grains like white flour and white rice are considered simple carbs because most of their natural fiber, vitamins, and minerals were stripped during the refining process; as a result, they are considered empty calories. On the other hand, whole grains and minimally processed grains have higher amounts of their natural fiber, vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium. Whole grains like oats and brown rice are great additions to a healthy diet. However, even if you are not a fan of whole grains, you should still opt for minimally processed grains like unbleached organic flour and organic white rice.
The best source of carbohydrates appears to be starchy vegetables because they have higher water content than grains and contain a comparable amount of starch. Accordingly, for your carbohydrate needs, you should consider eating more starchy vegetables and fewer grains.