Starchy vs Non-Starchy Vegetables

by 40 · March 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Hi everyone,

I've got a few questions about substituting some non-starchy for starchy vegetables.


  • 3000 calorie diet split 20%/25%/55% carbs/protein/fat (PUFA < 5%, 2:1 O6:O3)
  • Fairly active with 3x pw weight training and 2x pw competitve basketball
  • Generally enough energy to get my through my training/sport but have minor brain fog at work
  • 155lbs and 6" tall, good power:weight ratio but find it difficult to gain weight and put on muscle
  • 8 hours of quality sleep per night
  • Intermittent fasting 2x a week with coconut oil


  • Is it silly to conclude I am on a 'zero' carb diet given I am taking in practically zero starchy carbs but intstead vegetables high in insoluble fibre?
  • If I'm ingesting a good amount of total carbs should really I care about whether they are sourced from starchy vs non-starchy vegetables?
    • While on the face of it 150g may seem okay, is the problem the amount of 'unusable' insoluble fiber in starchy vegetables?
    • Can't my body just convert fat to glucose anyway instead of having safe starches impact insulin?
  • Should I include at least some starchy vegetables in my diet taking into consideration my background?
    • Should I substitute starchy for non-starchy carbs?
    • Should I just add ~100g or so of starchy carbs?


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2 Replies

best answer

18794 · March 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

There really isn't a question in your question ... you sort of just talked about maybe trying to get more tuber/root vegetables. Are you just looking for encouragement?

If you're asking if you should eat more than zero, then personally, I think the answer is an absolute yes. Sweet potato, winter squashes, cassava, potatoes, taro, and more are all fantastic foods that make in a lot of energy, resistant starch, and often (not always) a comparable amount of vitamins compared to any other vegetable. Considering you are also so active, dense carbohydrate sources would definitely not hurt you "calorie wise".

Some people thrive on VLC or LC diets. I'm not one of those people, and you don't sound like one either.

So, I say: give it a go!

best answer

26073 · March 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

  1. I don't count my intake, I focus on the quality of the food I eat. That being said, if I did count I would count everything.

  2. See #1. If you are eating good quality foods then you shouldn't really worry about where they come from.

  3. Yes, GNG will convert adipose, protein, etc into glucose. This is an excellent metabolic advantage to use as needed. It does not need to be the only pathway for providing your body with glucose.

  4. There is no reason for you to purposefully eschew roots and tubers -- they are a delicious and cheap additions to the diet.

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