2

votes

Top safe starches

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

What are some of your favorite sources of carbohydrate and why?

How does a starchy tuber like sweet potato compare to a root vegetable high in sugar like carrot?

Can a legume like green peas be used as a safe starch if tolerated, how would this compare to the above-mentioned choices?

Are any of these options clearly superior or would it be best to eat a mixture of all of these? I haven't mentioned white rice because I am only looking for nutrient dense foods but feel free to offer other safe starches that might be better than the ones I have listed.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on November 28, 2012
at 02:40 AM

Damn. I'm getting starches and sugar confused. You're right. I'll have to read that article...

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 27, 2012
at 12:19 PM

Interesting, PHD suggests this mix: "Glycogen replenishment proceeds the fastest with a mix of sugars consisting of about 70% glucose and 30% fructose or galactose" http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2012/01/is-it-good-to-eat-sugar

21a1a131a0674d12ef7cdfca8a192e1f

(50)

on November 27, 2012
at 07:57 AM

Thank you! I will also try to ferment it over night with coconut kefir and see what happens...

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on November 27, 2012
at 01:03 AM

Foods with fructose can still refill muscle glycogen pretty well post workout though.

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 26, 2012
at 01:51 PM

"paleo folks should be consuming a good amount of roots and tubers" - yes I agree, though some popular books recommend very little and sometimes restrict it to just sweet potatoes and/or along with physical activity (The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Solution, The Primal Blueprint) and other more VLC advocates.

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 26, 2012
at 01:40 PM

I don't believe parsnips have enough starch to be considered a 'safe starch', should be very high sources of starch (e.g., white rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro)

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 26, 2012
at 01:17 PM

'safe starches' do need to be starches ... beets, carrots, fruits, berries are 'sugary' and not starches.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 26, 2012
at 12:13 PM

So 'safe starches' don't even have to be starches? Hah. What a meaningless concept!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 26, 2012
at 12:11 PM

Cronometer says no starch in pumpkins, just sugar, and not that much even.

7b20db75b09540914bd0c852e868a9d6

(454)

on November 26, 2012
at 02:48 AM

+1 it took me a long time to get over my carb-phobia

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 25, 2012
at 09:14 PM

I believe "safe starch" refers to very high starch/carb foods. While carrots and beets might have a little starch in them, I think it is very little compared to potatoes and yams. "Plant foods should consist mainly of safe starches (e.g., white rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro), sugary in-ground vegetables like beets or carrots, fruits, and berries." http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on November 25, 2012
at 07:39 PM

Carrots and beets are indeed considered starchy root vegetables.

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9 Answers

8
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 25, 2012
at 06:58 PM

I like the whole safe starch concept less and less. Evolutionarily, humans have been eating root and tubers (very starchy food items) for millions of years. Despite being high in carbohydrate, they are completely paleo in the broadest sense. The safe starch designation should be reserved for foods like corn, rice, other grains and pseudo-grains.

I think nearly all paleo folks should be consuming a good amount of roots and tubers. I don't see that recommendation being contraindicated very often. Safe starches like corn, rice, quinoa, etc... well that's up to personal preference and compatibility.

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 26, 2012
at 01:51 PM

"paleo folks should be consuming a good amount of roots and tubers" - yes I agree, though some popular books recommend very little and sometimes restrict it to just sweet potatoes and/or along with physical activity (The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Solution, The Primal Blueprint) and other more VLC advocates.

7b20db75b09540914bd0c852e868a9d6

(454)

on November 26, 2012
at 02:48 AM

+1 it took me a long time to get over my carb-phobia

3
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on November 25, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Rutabaga, all kinds of squash (butternut, spaghetti), sweet potato, yam, parsnip and turnip are some of my faves. I didn't think carrots and beets are high enough in carbs to count as starches, but I could be wrong.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on November 25, 2012
at 07:39 PM

Carrots and beets are indeed considered starchy root vegetables.

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 26, 2012
at 01:17 PM

'safe starches' do need to be starches ... beets, carrots, fruits, berries are 'sugary' and not starches.

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 25, 2012
at 09:14 PM

I believe "safe starch" refers to very high starch/carb foods. While carrots and beets might have a little starch in them, I think it is very little compared to potatoes and yams. "Plant foods should consist mainly of safe starches (e.g., white rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro), sugary in-ground vegetables like beets or carrots, fruits, and berries." http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 26, 2012
at 12:13 PM

So 'safe starches' don't even have to be starches? Hah. What a meaningless concept!

3
Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 25, 2012
at 07:08 PM

What are some of your favorite sources of carbohydrate and why?

potatoes - I like the taste and texture better than sweet potatoes, although I like a variety of sweet potatoes, too.

How does a starchy tuber like sweet potato compare to a root vegetable high in sugar like carrot?

sweet potato is starch, energy dense; carrot is sugar (not starch), less calories

Can a legume like green peas be used as a safe starch if tolerated, how would this compare to the above-mentioned choices?

green peas aren't really a starch source vs. say lentils. Legumes have lots of toxins maybe best to avoid altogether. If not, properly prepare.

Are any of these options clearly superior or would it be best to eat a mixture of all of these?

I think variety is good as the "dose makes the poison" and potatoes and sweet potatoes are probably the best for nutrition and convenient to buy.

Other options are taro, tapioca, plantains, sago, white rice, white rice products (noodles, crackers, etc.)

3
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on November 25, 2012
at 06:40 PM

Sweet potatoes and potatoes. Why? Because they get the job done and are versatile. Next up which aren't really starches but are a good source of carbohydrate are baby beets and raw baby carrots. Bananas are a sort of pseudo-starch with a lot of fructose in them, which makes them particularly good for refueling muscle glycogen. I eat those sometimes too.

Oh, and beets and carrots aren't really starches like potatoes and sweet potatoes because they are made up of simple sugar sugar chains, not complex ones. Starchy foods have to be broken down by the body into the simple sugars (which is why some people call them slow-release carbs for sustained energy). Carrots and beets are pretty much available for energy all at once. Or, at least that's how I understand it.

2
21a1a131a0674d12ef7cdfca8a192e1f

(50)

on November 26, 2012
at 07:47 AM

What do you guys think about pumpkin in the context of safe starches? It is delicious oven roasted, but I am not sure how it compares with yams, sweet potatoes etc... Anyone uses it as part if your diet?

21a1a131a0674d12ef7cdfca8a192e1f

(50)

on November 27, 2012
at 07:57 AM

Thank you! I will also try to ferment it over night with coconut kefir and see what happens...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 26, 2012
at 12:11 PM

Cronometer says no starch in pumpkins, just sugar, and not that much even.

2
74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

on November 26, 2012
at 02:36 AM

My understanding is muscles need glucose, not fructose post-workout.

My fav starches are sweet potatoes and parsnips. I like small roasted potatoes too, and rice occasionally.

In regards to leaky gut and starches, Chris Kresser had some interesting things to say about GAPS and how people feel being low-carb for many months on said protocol. Many people report feeling depressed and sluggish, until they introduce some starches. There's no 'one-size-fits-all' when it comes to food and your Way of Eating.

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 27, 2012
at 12:19 PM

Interesting, PHD suggests this mix: "Glycogen replenishment proceeds the fastest with a mix of sugars consisting of about 70% glucose and 30% fructose or galactose" http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2012/01/is-it-good-to-eat-sugar

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 26, 2012
at 01:40 PM

I don't believe parsnips have enough starch to be considered a 'safe starch', should be very high sources of starch (e.g., white rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro)

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on November 27, 2012
at 01:03 AM

Foods with fructose can still refill muscle glycogen pretty well post workout though.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on November 28, 2012
at 02:40 AM

Damn. I'm getting starches and sugar confused. You're right. I'll have to read that article...

2
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on November 25, 2012
at 07:13 PM

What do you mean by "safe"? For those with a leaky gut I wonder if there is really such a thing as a "safe starch"? Upon going paleo several months ago I pretty much went starch free. It was only then that my long standing IBS and psoriasis symptoms abated substantially. I do consume very minor amounts of legumes and corn but not hardly worth mentioning.

So in short, if one is looking to heal I leaky gut I doubt if there is a safe starch one can consume in quantity. I hope to reintroduce starches very slowly after several more months since I think my gut is now in very good shape.

_Lazza

1
90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e

on November 26, 2012
at 02:25 AM

If you're looking for a starch option that is a bit different, try sweet potato noodles. They're Korean, but you can find them in a lot of asian markets whether or not the market is specifically a Korean one. They're the best grain-free noodle I've tried. They don't taste sweet at all. Careful, though! Be sure to eat them in smallish amounts, just like you'd be judicious with consuming potato or rice. I made the mistake of sitting down to a big bowl of them, and they put me in a carb-coma! They'll be an occasional post-workout side dish for me from now on.

0
3151fbbd2846551fd27b33f6cba5e546

on November 27, 2012
at 07:16 AM

For me, it's white rice cooked in homemade bone broth with some turmeric.

Really easy cooking method: weigh out x grams of rice, add 2x grams of broth, sprinkle some turmeric on, bring to boil with the lid on, then turn the heat down to its lowest setting and wait 9 minutes. Take the lid off, put a clean tea towel over the top, and let it sit for a few minutes (the longer, the better).

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