Despite being high in energy (100g of pasta, rice or couscous is equivalent to 300-350kcal ; 100g of raw potatoes is equivalent to 80kcal; 100g of lentils or beans is equivalent to 250-300 kcal), starch is an essential part of your diet and has many benefits.
It gives you long-lasting energy. Starch releases calories to your muscles and your brain little by little. It’s ideal for sporty people or for people who lead active lives.
It’s high in fibre. Aside from lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, fibres help your intestines to run smoothly and eliminate toxins from the body.
It also contains protein, vitamins and minerals – not just starch! They’re rich in vegetal protein, B Vitamins and magnesium, which keep your body and your nervous system healthy.
It fills you up! It regulates your glycaemia levels (the level of glucose in the blood), it's absorbed slowly into the bloodstream, which means you don’t get a sugar high followed by cravings, it gives you a ‘full’ feeling and it also helps to burn energy.
You absolutely need starchy food in your diet to stay in shape and avoid constantly snacking between meals.
Read on for how much starch you should be eating…