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Starchy Vs Non-Starchy Vegetables: What's the Difference?

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Well, starchy vegetables are those that contain a higher amount of carbohydrates. Non-starchy vegetables generally have more low carbs and help with weight management. The debate between Starchy vs Non-starchy vegetables has been on for quite some time now! So it's important to know the difference so you can make healthier food choices for yourself and your family!

What are Starchy Vegetables?

Potatoes, the most popular Starchy Vegetables

Starchy vegetables are vegetables that have a high carbohydrate content, which makes them different from non-starchy veggies. They are also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Some examples of starchy vegetables include potatoes, corn, peas, and carrots.

What are Non-Starchy Vegetables?

Salad is a Non-Starchy Vegetable

Non-starchy vegetables contain fewer carbohydrates than their more starchy counterparts, thus making them better for you if your goal is to lose weight. They also typically offer greater nutritional value per calorie consumed, including vitamins and minerals.

Some examples of non-starchy vegetables include lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers. While these foods may not be considered "rich", they still provide the body with necessary nutrients depending on what nutrient deficiencies one might already possess in his or her diet plan (dieticians).

Key differences between Starchy & Non-Starchy Vegetables

The difference in calories

The major difference between starchy and non-starchy vegetables is that starchy vegetables are a source of carbohydrates, while non-starchy vegetables are not. A cup of cooked white potatoes has about 120 calories, compared to just 15 for a cup of lettuce.

The difference in weight gain

Since starchy vegetables are high in carbohydrates, they have a greater tendency to cause weight gain. Starchy vegetables tend to be less nutritious than non-starchy ones because most of their carbohydrate content is made up of starch rather than other nutrients. Non-starchy vegetables on the other hand tend to have more fiber, which is beneficial for weight control and overall health.

The difference in blood sugar

Starchy vegetables can also cause a more dramatic rise in blood sugar levels than non-starchy vegetables. This is because starch is broken down into glucose, while other nutrients found in vegetables are not as quickly digested. For people with diabetes or prediabetes, starchy vegetables should be limited in order to help keep blood sugar under control.

The difference in digestion time

Another key difference between starchy and non-starchy vegetables is the amount of time they take to digest. Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn are slowly digested, meaning they stay in your stomach for a longer period of time. This can lead to stomach discomfort, bloating, or gas. Non-starchy vegetables on the other hand are quickly digested and leave your stomach more quickly after you eat them.

The difference in nutrients

Non-starchy vegetables tend to have a higher nutritional value than starchy ones because they contain more nutrients such as vitamin A, C, and K which play an important role in healthy eyesight and strong bones. They also provide significant amounts of folate, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and iron - all essential for good health!

While all vegetables have important nutrients like vitamins and minerals, starchy vegetables tend to be a little higher in calories than non-starchy veggies. Non-starchy vegetables are a great source of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that can offer health benefits such as reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease. So if you're looking for a nutritious side dish that will help keep your blood sugar levels stable, go with a non-starchy vegetable rather than a starchy one.

Similarities between Starchy & Non-Starchy Vegetables

Both starchy and non-starchy vegetables are good sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also both contain antioxidants, which can help protect your body against disease. Additionally, both types of vegetables are important to form a healthy and balanced diet.


What are the benefits of eating both types of veggies?

In addition to being low-calorie snacks that can help with weight loss efforts, non-starchy vegetables supply many beneficial plant compounds that may boost overall wellness. These healthy compounds include antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals as well as fiber. In addition to the health benefits that both types of vegetables have to offer - eating a combination of them can further promote positive effects on your overall health!

Which is better for weight loss?

If you're trying to lose weight, it's best to choose mostly non-starchy vegetables, but it's okay to have starchy ones too. Non-starchy veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals while being low in calories which means they'll help you feel fuller longer without adding on extra pounds.

Starchy foods should be eaten sparingly if you're trying to lose weight because these types of carbs are high in calories and can make blood sugar levels spike quickly. If you want a little bit more substance when eating your meal, then add some healthy starch into the mix like sweet potatoes or brown rice that will give your body energy while also helping keep blood sugars stable throughout the day.

Which vegetables are better for you?

The bottom line is that both starchy and non-starchy vegetables have health benefits. However, if you’re looking to reduce your carbohydrate intake and lose weight, then go for the non-starchy options. But if you’re looking to gain weight then you should add in some starchy vegetables. As with everything, it’s best to mix things up and eat a variety of both types of veggies in order to get the most benefit from them!

Are Carrots high in starch?

No, Carrots don't contain high starch but are still categorized as a starchy vegetable. This can be due to the fact that it does contain more calories than many other non-starchy vegetables.


Whether you are looking for a way to cut back on carbs or simply want more greens in your diet, the difference between starchy and non-starchy vegetables can make all of the difference. Next time you head over to the grocery store, be sure to take note of these two types of veggies so that your shopping list includes both!


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About the Author: Tom Vincent

Tom Vincent graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and social studies. He then started his higher education at the University of François Rabelais in Tours with a DUT Information Communication. To expand his knowledge, he also followed a professional degree in e-commerce and digital marketing at the Lumière University of Lyon. On this project, he is in charge of articles covering language, industry and social.
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