Guide to starchy foods
How important is starch in your diet?
What is starch? Starch is a complexcarbohydrate found in foods like bread, rice pasta, potatoes and breakfast cereals but how important is it to include starch in your diet?
Starchy (complex carbohydrate) foods fill you up and provide energy. They should therefore be the main part of every meal and eaten as snacks too (an average woman needs to consume about 300g of carbohydrate per day and a man needs about 400-450g per day).
Starch is a form of carbohydrate, which is then broken down by the body into simple sugars that are absorbed by the bloodstream and provide energy for all the functions in the body, for example for the brain, muscles and nervous system.
It is difficult to eat too much starchy food as they are natural appetite suppressants; the satiation centre in the brain seems to be triggered more quickly when people eat carbohydrate foods than when they eat fatty foods.
People with diabetes are not able to produce insulin and may have to take insulin injections or tablets. They also have to eat regular amounts of starchy foods to keep their blood sugar levels stable.