Vegetables are good for you, right? It would seem that all of nature's vegetables should be good, healthy choices. They provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, if you have type 2 diabetes, you may have been told to limit starchy vegetables. Here is a list of starchy vegetables to help you remember which ones you need to watch.
Starchy vegetables are not bad foods. They are filling and can help you achieve your caloric and nutritional needs on a restricted diet. They are very nutritious and have many health benefits. In fact, they have historically been staple foods that provided a lot of energy for labor-intensive needs. The concern is that they contain higher amounts of carbohydrates, which people with diabetes have difficulty metabolizing. They are also higher in calories. Because of this, starchy foods cannot be eaten with abandon.
While most vegetables are good for you in their natural state, cooking can change the starches into sugars that are absorbed by your body faster. The body treats them more like a grain and raises blood sugar levels rapidly. Vegetables that already have a lot of starch can have a higher glycemic index after cooking.
Serving sizes and carb counts need to be taken into account when eating these foods. If you are trying to get the generally recommended five servings of vegetables a day, remember these are starchy vegetables. They should be counted as a starch and not as a vegetable serving if they have been cooked.
One of the most common starchy vegetables in diets today is the potato, and it is usually consumed in the form of French fries and potato chips. If you include starchy vegetables in your diet, try to get a variety. Also remember to space your servings evenly throughout the day. Ask your doctor or dietician how many servings you should have of starchy vegetables.
The list below is for cooked vegetables; the serving sizes have about 15 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein and about 80 calories. If the vegetables have been cooked or served with fat, then it also counts as one fat serving. If you are eyeballing servings, half a cup is about equal to your cupped palm. One cup about equal to your fist.
- Beans (1/2 cup)
- Beets (1 cup)
- Carrots (1 cup)
- Corn (1/2 cup or 1 medium cob)
- Green Peas (1/2 cup)
- Parsnips (1/2 cup)
- Plantain (1/2 cup)
- Pumpkin (1 cup)
- Sweet Potatoes (1/2 cup)
- Taro (1/2 cup)
- White Potatoes (1 small or ½ cup mashed or 10 to 15 French fries)
- Winter Squash, such as acorn or butternut squash (1 cup)
- Yams (1/2 cup)