Non-starchy vegetables include mushrooms, broccoli, eggplant, artichoke and sprouts. Additional options are cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, onions and asparagus. In addition, other non-starchy vegetables include leeks, squash, turnips, radishes and beets, as well as cabbage, carrots and baby corn.
Diabetics and people following low-carb and low-glycemic index diets benefit from eating non-starchy vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables have lower calorie contents than starchy vegetables and generally offer a higher fiber content in each serving. Starches are commonly formed in the roots of vegetables, as is the case with potatoes, yams and pumpkins. Starch density tends to diminish in the flowering portions of plants, as seen in cauliflower, lettuce, spinach and broccoli.
Non-starchy vegetables usually offer only one-third of the carbohydrate content per serving of their starchy counterparts. The recommended serving size for starchy vegetables is also much smaller than that of non-starchy vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables are easier to prepare because they often do not require cooking before they can be eaten. Starchy vegetables, however, commonly need to be steamed, boiled or baked to soften their texture before they are suitable for consumption. The American Diabetes Association recommends choosing frozen and canned vegetables that are also low in sodium and do not come packaged in a sauce contain high levels of fat or sugar.