Starch is a complex carbohydrate, which has a large number of glucose units connected through glycosidic bonds. It is produced by almost all plants as an energy store. Starch in its purest form is white in color, and is tasteless and odorless. It cannot be dissolved in either cold water or alcohol.
Vegetables and fruits with a high starch content are generally considered as good sources of other essential nutrients as well. Hence, they should not be discarded as bad or unhealthy. All vegetables and fruits contain three different types of carbohydrates, namely starch, sugar, and fiber.
When vegetables and/or fruits are consumed, the body may not be able to digest all the fiber, hence it is the sugar and starch which contribute to their calorific value. However, it is a common misconception that starchy foods are fattening. In fact, calories obtained from one gram of starch is much less when compared to the calorific value of one gram of fat. When compared to starchy ones, non-starchy fruits and vegetables are low in calories.
List of Vegetables and Fruits With a High Starch Content
Vegetables high in starch are mostly bland and have a mealy texture. Such vegetables generally contain significant amounts of fiber, which is indigestible, but aids the process of digestion and movement of chyme through the intestines. On the other hand, fruits are a rich source of amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Hence, it is important to include starchy vegetables and fruits in the daily diet.
- Water Chestnuts
- Lima Beans
- Navy Beans
- Green Peas
- Sweet Potato
- Fresh Fig
- Acorn squash
- Winter Squash
Carbohydrates (such as starches) represent a vital set of nutrients that are essential for energy formation in the body. As per the dietary guidelines provided by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), an adult must get about 45 to 65% of their total calories from carbohydrates. Intake of foods rich in carbohydrates (like starchy fruits and vegetables) must be coupled with regular exercise to ensure good health. In case of diabetics and individuals suffering from nutritional disorders, it is advisable to consult an expert, and decide the ideal daily intake of carbohydrates and starches.