Starch is an important macronutrient that plays a key role in the structure and function of the human body. The body runs on carbohydrates, which are produced from different types of foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.
Carbohydrates have a dual action in the body which include acting as a fuel for our muscles and brain as well as providing structure to help with the storage of other nutrients found in these foods.
When you consume too much of any food or drink for that matter, it can cause some unwanted side effects. This is especially true with carbohydrates. Their effect on your digestive system is one of the most significant factors when talking about how much carbohydrate to eat in a day.
What is too much starch?
When it comes to eating healthy, most people are aware that they should limit the amount of fats in their diet and consume more of the good fats found in fruits and vegetables. However, starch is a very similar macronutrient that is also crucial for good health. However, what sets starch apart from fats is its calorific value.
When you consume too much starch, you may experience the following side effects:
Bloating: This is the side effect you should expect if you consume too much starch. Your body is unable to process the excess carbohydrate and water that you are consuming, so it just bloats up your stomach and intestines.
Constipation: This is another side effect of consuming too much starch as it may cause constipation.
Your body is not able to process the excess amount of water present in the starchy food, so it just sits in your intestines and does not move.
Poor Absorption: Another effect of eating too much starch is that it may cause poor absorption of minerals and vitamins found in your food. The calorific value of starch is high, so it takes a lot of energy to break down this food in the intestines, causing a lower absorption of important minerals such as iron and zinc.
High Blood Sugar: When you consume too much starch, your blood sugar may increase due to the excess amount of glucose present in your blood. Excess blood sugar is dangerous for your body and may cause serious health problems such as diabetes.
Why do you need to limit your intake of starch?
When you consume too much of any food for that matter, it can cause some unwanted side effects. Carbohydrates are a very similar macronutrient to fats, with the only difference being their calorific value. Fats are stored in the body as a source of energy, while carbohydrates break down into glucose and are used by your body as fuel.
So, what happens when you consume too much starch? You may experience the above side effects, including increased bloating, constipation, poor mineral absorption and high blood sugar. You may also feel fatigue and lack of energy, as the excess starch in your diet may deplete your potassium levels in your body, which is important for your nerves and muscles.
Tips for a healthy diet: How to eat the right amount of starch
It is important to consume the right amount of starch in your diet. Starch is a very important macronutrient that is found in many staple foods such as grains and legumes. However, excess consumption of starches can cause some side effects, so it is important to consume the right amount of starch in your diet.
Here are some tips for consuming the right amount of starch:
- Go easy on the pasta. Pasta is a very common staple food in most diets, but it should be taken only once a day. Remember that pasta is a starch that is very high in starch and is therefore not recommended for daily consumption. Furthermore, pasta is a type of wheat, which may cause gluten allergy in some people.
Replace pasta with whole-grain bread or brown rice. These whole-grain foods are not only high in starch, but also contain fibre and nutrients that help you stay healthy.
Legumes and lentils are great alternatives to pasta. They are rich in protein and fibre, so they are a great option for replacing the macronutrient in your diet.
Eat fruit with your starch. There are many benefits of eating fruit with starch, including better absorption of vitamins and minerals. - Limit your intake of refined foods. Refined foods are very high in starch and are not recommended for daily consumption.
Have meals with protein and vegetables with your starch. Eating protein with your starch makes the macrotrient more complete, as it takes longer for the body to break down protein than other macronutrients.
Eat your starch with a serving of fruit. Starchy foods, including bread, rice and potatoes, are digested quickly and should be eaten with a serving of fruit to help slow the rate of digestion.
- Drink water or tea with your starch. Starchy foods are very high in water and are digested quickly in the body, so they should be consumed only with water.
- Remember to drink water throughout the day. Your body loses water when it breaks down starches, so it is important to drink enough water daily.
There is no doubt that starch is a very important macronutrient for our health. However, excess consumption of starch can cause some unwanted side effects.
The good thing is that with the tips mentioned in this article, you can easily limit your starch intake without experiencing any negative side effects. I hope that you now know the effects of consuming too much starch and how to limit your intake of this macronutrient for a healthier lifestyle.