pastaStarchy foods are a major carbohydrate source, and play a vital role in achieving a healthy diet. Examples of starchy foods include cereals, potatoes, bread, pasta and rice which should make up about 60 percent of the food eaten. If possible, choose the whole grain starchy food varieties. Potato skins should also be eaten because they are rich in vitamins and fiber. The most common form of carbohydrate in our diet is starch. This means that we need to consume some starchy foods daily as a component of a balanced and healthy diet.

Why We Need Starchy Foods

Starchy foods are an excellent energy source and a key source of a variety of nutrients in a healthy diet. In addition to containing starch, such foods contain calcium, fiber, vitamin B and iron. Some people have the notion that starchy foods are fattening. However, such foods contain fewer than fifty percent of the fat calories gram for gram.

Starchy Foods as Sources of Fiber

The wholegrain forms of starchy foods, as well as potatoes, especially when consumed with their skins on, are good fiber sources. Fiber is essential in maintaining healthy bowels and helping one to feel full. Hence, one is less likely to eat a lot of food. For those trying to lose weight, wholegrain starchy foods are an excellent choice. Fiber is solely found in foods that originate from plants. There are two fiber types: insoluble and soluble fibers. Insoluble fibers are those that cannot be digested by the body, and therefore pass through the gut and help other waste products and food to move more easily. The body can partly digest soluble fibers, which play the role of reducing the level of blood cholesterol.