We live in an era that reveres high-protein, low-carb diets and demonises starch, but is it really better to abandon starchy foods, which many of us love? While it’s true that consistently eating the wrong sort of starch can contribute to issues such as diabetes and weight gain, the right sort of starch is not only nutritious, but an excellent source of energy for both the body and brain. So, before ditching that baked potato or favourite sandwich, read on…
WHAT ARE STARCHES?
‘They’re our main source of carbohydrates and include foods such as potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, cereals and oats,’ says Healthspan nutritionist Rob Hobson. ‘According to government dietary advice, these foods should make up about a third of what we eat.’ Starch can also be found in dairy products, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and sugary treats.
ARE STARCHES GOOD FOR US?
According to the NHS, starches contain fibre, calcium and, gram for gram, fewer than half the calories of fat. ‘Many starchy foods, especially cereals, are a good source of minerals including iron, zinc and magnesium,’ says Rob. ‘They’re also an excellent source of B vitamins, helping the body to convert food into energy and maintain a healthy nervous system.’
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