Eat Starchy Foods

Posted by Sarah Cox on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 Under: nutrition

Starchy foods form the second food group which plays an important role in healthy eating. They are our main source of carbohydrate, which the body needs for energy. 


Starchy foods include potatoes, bread, cereals, rice, pasta and should make up about a third of the food you eat.  We should eat some starchy foods every day as part of a healthy balanced diet, ideally choosing wholegrain varieties wherever possible.


This may come as a surprise to you, but Data published by the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, which looks at food consumption in the UK, shows that most of us should be eating more starchy foods!  This was a surprise to me the first time I heard it before I learnt more about nutrition, as I thought that generally people ate too much carbohydrate. 


Why do you need starchy foods?

Starchy foods are a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients in our diet, as they contain fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins.  Some people think starchy foods are fattening and avoid them, but gram for gram they contain fewer than half the calories of fat. It is the fat we add to them, such as spread on bread or oil used for cooking with that increases the calories! It is important to eat sufficient carbohydrate as our body needs it to function effectively. 


You need fibre in your diet as it can help to keep your bowels healthy, help reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood and can help you to feel full, which means you are less likely to eat too much. This makes wholegrain starchy foods a particularly good choice if you are trying to lose weight.


In : nutrition 

Tags: 'starchy foods'  'healthy eating'  carbohydrate  'healthy diet'  fibre 

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Sarah Cox
Balham, London
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