Starchy foods are our main source of carbohydrate, and play an important role in a healthy diet. Starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, cereals, rice and pasta should make up about a third of the food you eat, as shown by the eatwell plate. Starchy foods are a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients in our diet.
Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram they contain fewer than half the calories of fat.
Fibre can help to keep our bowels healthy and can help us to feel full, which means we are less likely to eat too much.
Below you'll find more detailed information about the nutritional benefits of some of the most common starchy foods, along with information on storage and preparation from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the British Dietetic Association.
Wheat, oats, barley, rye and rice are commonly available cereals that can be eaten as wholegrains. There are a few precautions you should take when storing and reheating cooked rice and grains. If you aren't going to eat rice immediately, refrigerate it within one hour and eat within 24 hours.
Acrylamide is a chemical that can be found in some starchy foods when they are toasted, roasted, baked, grilled or fried at high temperatures. Starch is an important source of energy for our bodies and the main source of a range of nutrients, such as fiber, calcium, iron and B vitamins.

Lentils, split peas, kidney beans and chickpeas-they’re all chock full of starchy carbs and a ton of fiber. Bread is a starchy food, like pasta, potatoes and rice, but whole grain, whole meal and brown varieties supply us with energy and contain vitamin E, fiber and minerals. Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is the Editor-in-Chief of ; she is a Manhattan based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Writer specializing in simple gluten-free and dairy-free Clean recipes for the home cook.
Just watch out for the added fats used when you cook and serve them: this is what increases the calorie content. The skin on potatoes, wholegrain bread and breakfast cereals, brown rice and wholewheat pasta are good sources of this kind of fibre. The benefits of eating wholegrain cereals are that they can contribute to our daily intake of iron, fibre, B vitamins and protein. This means that cereal products consisting of oats and oatmeal, like porridge, and wholewheat products are healthy breakfast options. The FSA recommends that bread should be toasted to the lightest colour acceptable, and, when chips are made at home, that they are cooked to a light golden colour. Storing potatoes at a very low temperature can increase the amount of sugar they hold, which could lead to higher levels of acrylamide when they are cooked. When faced with starchy carbs, be sure to reach for whole grains, which are healthier due to their nutritional content and higher levels of fiber, minerals and vitamins.
Add these foods to your casserole, chili, stew or curry dishes in place of meat, which will cut the saturated fat and the price of the meal.

They supply us with energy, are low in fat and supply us with protein, fiber and B vitamins. Amie recently healed herself from a decade of chronic pain including Lyme Disease and Heavy Metals exhausting every doctor in the country and Mayo Clinic; she shares her story of how Clean Eating saved her life and inspires you to Clean up your food, too.
For more information about acrylamide in manufactured food products, see the FSA survey on acrylamide. Eat fewer high-fat starches and fried foods, such as regular chips, fries, breads or pizzas, and instead opt for pretzels, light popcorn, baked chips, baked potatoes or whole grain baked goods. Amie lives in Manhattan, NYC where she cooks for a variety of clients including celebrities and people with busy lifestyles who enjoy healthy, fresh food. Amie’s work appears on Martha Stewart, Fox News Health, WebMD, The Huffington Post, The Food Network, Glamour Magazine, Clean Eating Magazine, SHAPE Magazine, Prevention Magazine, PBS and many others. When heating up your oven to create baked goods like cakes and pastries, shy away from the white flour and experiment with the vast array of other flours that are widely available such as rice flour.
Each of these foods can be eaten cold or hot in main or side dishes, stuffed into root vegetables or atop salads.

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