Starch is an odorless and tasteless substance that is naturally found in many foods including rice, wheat, and potatoes. It functions as a store of carbohydrates (along with dietary fiber and sugar) and plays an important role in one’s diet. As with most things in life, it’s really a question of moderation. Starch consumed in small to normal amounts will probably not create any noticeable effects and probably won’t get in the way of your fitness goals (unless you are trying to achieve something like professional bodybuilding results). For most people, moderation is really all you need to take into account.
Sugar and starch both contribute calories to your food (on the other hand, the third type of carbohydrate, fiber, does not). This means that if you are trying to diet, eating more fiber may be a good way to feel fuller without increasing your calorie intake. However, the same does not apply to eating more starch. In fact, the health effects of eating too much starch are somewhat similar to the health effects of eating too much sugar.
- Higher Blood Sugar – Contrary to popular belief, sugar is not the only food that can raise your blood sugar. Too much starch has similar effects. This is because starch is made up of a long glucose molecule that your body breaks down into simpler sugar as part of digestion.
- Gaining Weight – When you eat too much of anything, you can gain weight. The same is true for eating too much starch. There are actually about 3-5 calories for every gram of starch in a food. This can add up, especially with super starchy foods like potatoes. Like with sugar, your body converts any extra starch into fat in order to save the energy for later use. This means if you don’t burn those calories down the road, you can expect to gain weight.
This is just a brief overview of the effects that consuming too much starch can have on your body. It by no means signifies that starch is downright bad for you and you should never ever eat it. Just be careful not to consume too much of it and for all intents and purposes you can view starch in much the same way as you currently view sugar. If you are interested in losing weight and getting fit, try a free PumpFit Club class!