Veggies 101: What Exactly is a Non-Starchy Vegetable?

Article posted in: South Beach Diet South Beach DIY
Non-starchy veggies

On the South Beach Diet, we recommend eating vegetables every single day. Before you swear off veggies forever out of fear that you might pick the wrong produce, we’ve got the 411 on non-starchy veggies right here.

What is a non-starchy vegetable?

Vegetables in general are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus, they’re low in calories and contain no fat or cholesterol, making them something of a weight loss win-win.

non-starchy veggies
Bell peppers are a great non-starchy veggie pick! They’re full of fiber and low carb, too!

But, when it comes to carbs, not all veggies are created equal. Starchy veggies like carrots, beets, potatoes, parsnips, pumpkin, peas, corn and some assorted squashes tend to be a bit higher in carbohydrates. While we encourage you to enjoy one or two servings of your favorites each day during weight loss, we recommend that you limit consumption of these options while you’re trying to lose weight.

On the other hand, non-starchy veggies tend to be lower in carbs, making them a great choice for those watching their waistlines.

What are some examples of non-starchy vegetables?

non-starchy veggies
Asparagus is a non-starchy veggie that tastes great steamed or roasted.

Cucumbers, bell peppers, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli and leafy greens are all examples of non-starchy veggies that you can enjoy on any phase of the South Beach Diet. We recommend eating at least three servings of non-starchy vegetables each day.

If you’re not purchasing these foods fresh, there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Sodium: Many canned vegetables have sodium added to them for flavor or for preservation. Choose low sodium and no salt options to ensure that excess sodium isn’t sneaking into your balanced diet. In instances where sodium is added to your veggies, make sure to drain your veggies and then wash them to reduce the quantity of sodium you’re ingesting.
  • Fat: Frozen and canned veggies that come with creamy sauces or buttery finishes tend to be higher in fat. While healthy fats are definitely acceptable on the South Beach Diet, the calories can really add up if you’re not careful. Check the ingredients in these items before digging in to ensure you stay within your daily calories.

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Craving some veggie variety? Here is a list of some of our favorite non-starchy veggies: