Starch, one of the three types of carbohydrates, is made of a string of sugar molecules joined together. Although mainly found in grains, some other foods -- including legumes and other starchy vegetables -- also provide starch in the diet. The USDA's ChooseMyPlate website recommends that adults consume between 4 and 6 cups of starchy vegetables each week.
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Most fruits contain little if any starch. However, bananas and their relatives, plantains, contain more starch, especially if they aren't very ripe. As these fruits ripen, their sugar content increases. A cup of fried, green plantain slices has 43 grams of starch, the same amount of yellow fried plantain has 22.4 grams and a cup of mashed banana has 12 grams of starch.
Dried Beans and Other Legumes
Legumes can be considered either a vegetable or a protein source, but either way, they are high in starch. A cup of cooked navy beans provides 28 grams of starch, a cup of cooked pinto beans provides 25.9 grams and a cup of canned kidney beans has 22.8 grams.
Root vegetables can be significant sources of starch. Those classified as starchy vegetables include potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, taro, yams and arrowroot. A large baked potato can contain between 45.3 grams and 53.8 grams of starch, and a cup of mashed sweet potato contains 17.1 grams of starch. A cup of raw cassava has a whopping 71.2 grams of starch, a cup of cooked taro root has 38.4 grams and a cup of raw arrowroot has 14.5 grams.
Other Starchy Vegetables
Corn, lima beans, peas, winter squash and water chestnuts are also considered starchy vegetables. A cup of microwaved, frozen yellow corn provides 25.7 grams of starch, and a cup of canned peas provides 7 grams. A cup of cubed, cooked butternut squash contains 10.9 grams of starch, a cup of canned water chestnuts contains 10.2 grams and a cup of cooked lima beans contains 28.4 grams.
- Food and Agriculture Organization: Chapter 26. Cereals, Starchy Roots and Other Mainly Carbohydrate Foods
- University of Illinois Extension: The Starch and Starchy Vegetables Group
- Food and Agriculture Organization: 2.3 Activities of Living Systems
- USDA ChooseMyPlate: How Many Vegetables Are Needed Daily or Weekly?
- USDA ChooseMyPlate: What Foods Are in the Vegetable Group?
- USDA: Nutrient Lists: Starch, Fruits
- USDA: Nutrient Lists: Starch, Vegetables
- USDA: Nutrient Lists: Starch, Legumes
- HealthAliciousNess.com: Nutrition Facts Comparison Tool, Root Vegetables
- HealthAliciousNess.com: Nutrition Facts Comparison Tool, Other Vegetables