Starches, or complex carbohydrates, are long chains of sugars found in foods made from grains, like cereals, pasta, rice and bread, as well as beans or legumes, and some vegetables like potato, corn and peas. All starches will raise your blood sugar, some faster than others. Your body needs some carbohydrates to function properly, but your can follow a starch-free meal plan and still eat a healthy, balanced diet. Starch-free foods include any proteins like meat, fish or eggs, which are carb-free, as well as dairy foods, vegetables and fruit, which contain simple carbs rather than starches. Starch-free breakfasts can focus on protein foods like eggs or dairy, along with some fruit or nonstarchy vegetables. Fruit juice or coffee and tea with milk or cream are also starch-free beverage options. Because bread, wraps and rolls are all starches, think about protein and vegetable salads for lunch rather than sandwiches.
Nutrition experts are divided on whether or not starches are a good thing for those trying to lose weight. Proponents of low-fat diets usually recommend getting a significant portion of calories from starches, while proponents of low-carb diets recommend severely limiting or avoiding starches. Diets that are starch-free can be limiting, making them difficult to stick to, and aren’t guaranteed to bring about weight loss, although cutting out starches may make it easier to cut calories, as you need to do if you want to lose weight. On a starch-free diet, you’ll need to give up grains, peas, corn, potatoes, lima beans and all types of legumes, including dried beans and lentils, as all of these foods are significant sources of starch. Starchy foods are broken down into sugars during digestion, which is why some diets recommend limiting or avoiding them. When a lot of sugar is quickly released into the bloodstream, it can cause your body to release a large amount of insulin to bring blood sugar levels back down. This can cause you to feel hungry again and make it harder to lose weight. Although added sugars and sugary foods aren’t necessarily off-limits on a starch-free diet, eating them wouldn’t make sense as it would counteract the potential benefits of avoiding starches. When avoiding starchy foods, your diet will consist mainly of nonstarchy vegetables, fruits, lean protein foods, dairy products, nuts and seeds. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to get at least 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal, as this amount was shown to help people limit their appetite and manage their weight, reports a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in The fruits and vegetables will help provide you with dietary fiber, which slows down the emptying of the stomach so you feel full for longer.
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