Starch. We love to have it with every meal whether it’s rice, French fried, potatoes, or any other item we can snatch out of the food pyramid. There was a time when starch was referred to as a complex carb, while sugar was as simple carb. Today, however, it is acknowledged that both sugar and starch contain calories and that means they are responsible for one very important and detrimental item: raising your blood sugar levels. So here’s the question: how much starch is too much? How much can you safely eat with your meal?
To begin, let’s list some of the most common foods in which you fill find starch, spanning breakfast, lunch, and dinner:
- French Fries
- Mashed Potatoes
- Baked Potatoes
- Pizza Dough
There are many more, but these are going to be the most common and the most likely to be on your plate at some point during the day. So now that you know what starchy foods are, what effect do they actually have on you? What are the potential complications?
The Effect on Blood Sugar Levels
Starch can have a serious effect on your blood sugar levels and with good reason; it is made of a long molecule of glucose which becomes sugar upon digestion. That being said, eating starch almost immediately raises your blood sugar levels which could potentially lead to health problems. In addition to that your blood sugar levels will rise quickly, and drop quickly, which leads to additional hunger. It’s not the best way to manage weight!
Starch, being a carbohydrate, contains four calories per gram which isn’t exactly something to turn your nose up at or ignore. Also keep in mind that starchy foods are addictive, which makes you think you need to eat more than you actually do. Excess sugar and starch are converted to fat, which your body will store for later use. With that, it all makes sense.
So How Much is Too Much?
The best thing you can do is reduce your overall starch intake. Sure, you’re probably not going to cut out mashed potatoes; who would? What you can do is eliminate processed foods, as well as foods made from refined grains. If you need carbs, try dairy products and switch to a low starch diet. Having a starch with every meal isn’t always necessary, though you do need to make sure you have it once in a while. Keep that in mind and you’ll be able to live a relatively healthy life.