Starches are complex carbohydrates. These carbs are made of sugar molecules strung together in long and complex chains. They are digested slowly, leading to a slow and steady rise in blood sugar levels.
Complex carbohydrates are rich in fiber and help improve digestion. They stabilize blood sugar levels and keep your energy levels steady. They keep you feeling full too – preventing you from compulsive eating .
Whole grains happen to be the most nutritious of starches. The presence of starch in whole grains has been recognized as being healthy for the human body – and more so for the human gut . The starch that enters the gut is fermented and produces butyrate, which is one of the short-chain fatty acids that contribute to a healthy gut mucosa.
This is the bread made from whole wheat, which includes the bran, germ, and the endosperm (the starchy part). Studies have shown that whole grains can cut the risk of obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and even cardiovascular disease. The bran and germ in whole wheat contain dietary fibers, phytochemicals, and other important micronutrients.
Rice is an excellent source of starch. One type of resistant starch in rice can take several hours to digest or may not get digested at all. Called type 5 resistant starch, this acts as a source of dietary fiber.
But we suggest you keep a check on your consumption. Long-term overeating of rice with lack of physical exercise can increase disease complications.
Beans are one of the best sources of resistant starch. Studies show that foods with resistant research can increase satiety and produce a smaller rise in blood glucose levels .
Resistant starch is also one of the best sources of short-chain fatty acids, which, as we saw, improve and maintain the health of colonic cells.
The resistant starch in beans also contributes to its low glycemic index, which is another reason they can be a part of a diabetes-friendly diet.
Beans are also the only plant foods that offer good amounts of lysine, the important amino acid. Intervention research also suggests that beans intake can cut the risk of ischemic heart disease and diabetes and even reduce the levels of bad cholesterol.
Lentils contain just about 35% of digestible starch, and the remaining 65% is resistant starch. This means the body cannot digest a high amount of lentils. This way, lentils have a very low impact on your blood sugar levels. They also serve as an amazing source of dietary fiber.
In a study, replacing high-GI foods with lentils showed a significant decrease in blood sugar levels.
Lentils also regulate starch digestibility and glycemic load, thereby diminishing diabetes complications. Lentils also contain high amounts of prebiotic carbohydrates that maintain gut microbiota and prevent diseases associated with the colon.
Unripe bananas contain a large amount of starch. If you want to get the starch out of the banana, ensure you eat it before it ripens and softens. A softened banana is a result of starch degradation and accumulation of soluble sugars.
Most of the starch in unripe bananas is resistant – it acts like dietary fiber. Unripe bananas also contain pectin. Pectin is another type of dietary fiber that helps unripe bananas hold their structural form. As pectin breaks down, bananas become overripe and soft and mushy.
These are the top foods rich in starch. Ensure you consume all of them in the ideal amounts for the maximum benefits. Starches offer energy. Resistant starches, especially, lower blood sugar levels. They aid digestion and reduce appetite – and may contribute to weight loss in a way.