Different types of starchy foods include bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Most of the carbohydrates consumed in an average American diet are derived from starch.
Starch is a carbohydrate that is broken down into sugar in the digestive system. Rice, corn, potatoes and wheat are some of the most common starchy foods, each containing 35 to 50 grams of starch per 1 cup serving. Grain-based food products such as bread, ready-to-eat cereal, pasta, pretzels and popcorn are common sources of starch. Some fruits, such as bananas, as well as root vegetables such as yams, turnips and cassava, are also considered starchy.
Many starchy foods are good sources of dietary fiber. Eating sufficient amounts of dietary fiber helps to improve digestion by moving waste through the lower intestine, as well as promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Whole wheat bread, brown rice and potatoes with the skin on are good sources of insoluble fiber. This type of fiber is not digested at all in the body but helps maintain regular bowel movements and digestive health.
Starchy vegetables such as bananas and chicory root are high in soluble fiber. This type of fiber, which is partially digested by the body, may help to lower blood cholesterol as well as to maintain healthy gut flora.