Vegetables and fruits can be classified into starchy and non starchy. Though both the varieties are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins, starchy foods are high in carbohydrate and calories content compared to non starchy foods.
Reference documents suggest that non starchy foods, especially vegetables are low in carbohydrates while often don’t have any fats. This reduces the calorie count per serving.
Identifying starchy and non starchy foods is especially crucial for patients suffering from metabolic disorders like diabetes or for weight management and weight loss activities.
What Are Non Starchy Vegetables And Fruits?
Certain vegetables are low in carbohydrates whilst being rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber.Some of these non starchy vegetables,
- Green Leafy Vegetables namely lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, cabbage and watercress and sprouts are considered to be low in starch content. These foods can be consumed as fresh salad or as a part of a cooked side dish
- Calciferous Vegetables namely mustard greens, arugula, cauliflower, artichoke, collard greens and broccoli are considered very beneficial. These foods contain phytochemical which are beneficial in the prevention of cancers
- Alliums are non starchy vegetables which includes pungent vegetables which are nutritious and often used for food flavor. These non starchy vegetables include onions, chives, leeks, garlic, etc.
Non Starchy Vegetable Fruits
There are certain vegetables that are higher in water content and hence often referred to as vegetable fruits. These foods include pumpkin, avocado, tomato, egg plant, squash and cucumber. These vegetables tend to have a cooling effect on the body and these foods can be consumed as salad or can be eaten as cooked food along with other vegetables
List Of Non-Starchy Foods
In addition to vegetables there are certain roots and stems that are low in starch content.
- Roots namely carrots, beets, horseradish, turnip, radishes and parsnip are low in calories and carbohydrates while being packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These foods are an integral part of a healthy diet for diabetic patients. Further most of these foods are rich in carotene which makes them very good source of Vitamin A and essential for the eye. Most often these foods are consumed in the form of soups or stews.
- Certain Vegetable stems are also good sources of non starchy foods. These include parsley, asparagus, fennel seeds, swiss chard, chicory and celery. In addition to being loaded with vitamins these foods contain high concentration of minerals namely calcium, phosphorus and magnesium along with amino acids and other anti-oxidants. It is crucial to prevent overcooking of these foods in order to prevent loss of vitamins and minerals during the cooking process. These foods can be included in sandwiches and soups.
Non starchy foods are beneficial as they provide a diet which is low in calories but high in vitamins, proteins and minerals. Non starchy vegetables are best suited for individuals on a diabetic diet or for individuals interested in losing weight.