Starchy and Non-starchy Vegetables
Vegetables are key to our diet.
They are essential for the sake of our health as they aid digestion asides the nutrients derived from them.
Starchy and non-starchy vegetables are an important part of your diet.
They offer plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals, but are relatively low in calories.
The major difference between both is that starchy veggies have a higher starch content, thus they are also higher in calories.
Perhaps I should define what vegetables are.
A more precise definition is any plant part consumed for food that is not a fruit or seed, but including mature fruits that are eaten as part of a main meal e.g tomato, pepper
Why then do we classify as starchy or non-starchy?
Starchy vegetables have more calories than non-starchy .
One serving of starchy provides about 80 calories.
A single serving of non-starchy has a minimal 25 calories.
As an example, you can have a 1/2-cup serving of mixed peas and corn for 80 calories,
While 1/2 cup of sautéed (to fry quickly in a little hot fat) spinach and tomatoes, will offer 25 calories.
Starchy vegetables give about 15 grams of carbs while the other offers 5 grams
Starchy vegetables include several types of roots, bulbs and kernels such as corn, peas, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini and yams.
Non-starchy vegetables are typically flowering parts of the plant such as lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes.
The methods of cooking differ.
The starchy types need to be cooked before you eat them, but you can enjoy most non-starchy types in their raw state.
For example, you need to cook sweet potatoes before it can be eaten.
Non-starchy types like carrots, are perfectly edible raw, or you can steam them as a hot side for your meal. Lettuce and tomatoes can be eaten raw.
This is not to say you do not need both in your diet but you are advised to minimise the consumption of the starchy types.