Naked cooking means heating it up without fat (butter, olive oil). Starchy vegetables may send your blood sugar soaring if they are eaten by themselves.
“Glycemic index” is a number that stands for the ability of a specific food to raise blood sugar (glucose). That index is based only on the food being tested. It shows how fast food is broken down into sugar. The higher the number, the faster glucose will increase in the blood. Diabetics should take note of all this information.
If cooked with other grub, especially those containing fat or protein, the glycemic index will usually be much lower. Reason being, other foods take longer to digest and starchy veggies have to wait it out in the stomach with them.
Starchy vegetables usually contain more calories than non-starchy ones. If fact, most contain twice as many carbohydrates because they have less water and are more dense. These items raise the glycemic index significantly higher than non-starchy vegetables.
As for the starchy veggies, you should have no more than 1-2 servings daily. Most dietitians only recommend 1 serving per day, especially if you’re a diabetic.
Examples of vegetables high in starch are:
- Acorn Squash
- Beans (navy, lentil, lima, etc)
- Butternut Squash
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potato
- Sweet Corn
Many of us in our desire to lose weight have focused on low carbohydrate and high protein diet excursions for decades. The problem always comes down to keeping the weight off once it’s lost. One can’t stay on these dietary restrictions forever. Why? Because you need about 60% carbohydrates in your diet for a quality lifestyle. In addition, a high protein/fat diet is not very healthy, especially if practiced long-term. Carbohydrates help us to feel great mentally. They put us in great mood and help to induce quality sleep.
Carbohydrates give you the spark that allows the body to burn calories.
Don’t think of these foods as bad for you. Maybe you have a good friend that can only be tolerated for very short periods of time. The same goes with starchy veggies, where you should only consume small amounts daily. Too much will skyrocket your blood sugar levels or with your friend will drive you absolutely crazy.
Remember that carbohydrate is protein-sparing. What that means is that you need sufficient daily carbohydrate to prevent the body from breaking down muscle (protein) and wasting all of its important nutrients like amino acids. These acids are the building blocks needed to make protein in the body but they are too important to burn as body fuel. That, my friends is the job of carbohydrates. These foods enable our bodies to maintain an internal body core temperature of 98.6º F. They are used as energy to keep all our bodily processes running like the heart, lungs, brain, etc.
When you are doing physical work whether at a job or play (exercise), they are the foods that keep you going to the point of exhaustion. Don’t leave home without eating them. They are essential to our health.
Examples of other vegetables called the non-starchy crew are:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green peppers
- Snap Beans
Nutritionists have been telling us forever to eat more vegetables. Multiple studies have shown that veggies help protect our bodies from chronic disease.
The sky is the limit on consumption of non-starchy vegetables. Eat as many as possible on a daily basis. They are needed not only for their complex carbohydrate components but also for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. They are made up mainly of water therefore excellent for hydration and getting you feeling full on fewer calories.
Starchy vegetables have less moisture and are more dense with calories than other vegetables. They don’t raise sugar levels as much if cooked with other foods containing protein and fat or other non-starchy veggies.
Don’t forget that fruits are also complex carbohydrates that work to improve nutritional status with any meal.
Sometimes these fruits come alive to enjoy the watery environment within a melon.
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