Monday, September 23, 2013

Low Starch Carbohydrates

Can you distinguish starchy vegetables from their low-starch counterparts? Do you have to?

Starchy vegetables don't need to be avoided entirely! They are an important part of your nutrition whether you are an 'average joe' or an athlete!

Still confused about the starch factor? Here is a bit of a definition to help sort things out.
Most low-starch vegetables contain 5 g of carbohydrates per serving and an average of 25 calories. 
Starchy vegetables contain an average of 15 g of carbohydrates and 80 calories per serving.

Green Vegetables

Green vegetables are rich in at least one of several healthful nutrients, including lutein, which boosts eye health; indole, which promotes immunity; and folic acid, which helps prevent birth defects. Low-starch green vegetables include spinach, turnip greens, beet greens, kale, mustard greens, amaranth greens, lettuce, broccoli, green beans, cabbage, cucumbers, peas, green peppers, brussels sprouts, artichokes, leeks, scallions and zucchini.

Yellow and Orange Vegetables

The carotenoids in yellow and orange vegetables promote eye health, stabilize cholesterol levels and boost the immune system. Although many of the high-starch vegetables, such as pumpkin and sweet potatoes, reside in the yellow-orange family, some low-starch members also exist. They include yellow and orange peppers, yellow squash, carrots, yellow tomatoes and rutabagas.

Red and Purple Vegetables

Tomatoes, beets, red peppers, red cabbage, radishes, rhubarb head the list of red vegetables with few carbohydrates. Red-pigmented produce contain the compound lycopene, believed to be especially helpful for fighting prostate cancer. Some red fruits and vegetables also contain the antioxidant anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are also found in blue/purple foods. More blue or purple fruits exist than vegetables, but eggplant fits into this healthy group.

White Vegetables

White and pale vegetables contain compounds such as allicin, which is associated with keeping cholesterol and blood sugar at healthy levels. Low-starch white vegetables include jicama, onions, cauliflower, turnips and mushrooms.

High-Starch Veggies

If you keep a strict eye on your carbs and starches, certain vegetables should be on your "watch" list. High-starch vegetables include potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, corn, mixed vegetable dishes like succotash, pumpkins and other winter squash varieties. also includes pasta sauce because the tomato-based food is often considered a vegetable for its high protein content -- but the sugar often found in it turns it into a high-carb vegetable serving.


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