Dietary Guidelines Starchy Vegetable Food Subgroup

Starchy Vegetables

Corn, white potatoes, and peas are common starchy vegetables. But variety is good. So use this list to improve the quality of your starchy vegetable consumption.

Introducing Starchy Vegetables

Dietary Pattern guidelines give recommendations for daily starchy vegetable consumption. Because increasing vegetable intake is a key target. So I’m developing my `Foodary Wellbeing Food Plan`. Which uses food group tables like this to help me with my alkaline Mediterranean dietary pattern. But it can also help you improve your eating pattern.

I’ll start with some starchy vegetables facts. But if you’re in a hurry, you can scroll down to the table instructions. Or direct to the starchy vegetables list.

Starchy Vegetables

Historically, nutritionists saw starchy vegetables as low quality carbohydrate sources. But current dietary guidelines emphasize their importance in a balanced diet. Hence, this starchy vegetable subgroup. Which recognizes the need for starchy as well as non-starchy vegetables:

Both types of vegetables provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, along with antioxidant flavonoids and other phenolic compounds. Among important food sources of dietary potassium are legumes, vegetables, and fruits but also white and sweet potatoes and yams. Many starchy vegetables are important sources of dietary fiber. Nonetheless, some studies have placed starchy vegetables and white and sweet potatoes alongside sweetened beverages, candy, and sweet bakery goods.[1]

However, we can improve starchy vegetable quality. Because some starchy vegetables have better nutrients than others:

not all starchy vegetables are equal with regards to health outcomes. For example, a higher intake of potatoes was shown to increase the risk of developing hypertension in both adult males and females. However, corn was shown to assist with absorption and insulin regulation, as a result of their phytochemical content. Purple sweet potatoes was shown to decrease blood glucose levels in a diabetic rats study due to the antioxidant characteristics of their flavonoid content.[2]

So remember that individual circumstances might override Dietary Guidelines recommended eating patterns. For example, diabetics might require specialist evaluation of their starchy vegetable targets:

adhering to a low-starch diet with very low dairy consumption was associated with a significant improvement in fasting insulin levels[3]

Starchy Vegetables List

The headings in the Starchy Vegetables List are clickable to change the sort order:

USDA Food Description

The default sort order shows foods in alphabetical sequence. Which helps you locate individual foods that concern you.


This is useful for linking to more nutrition information.

100g (cup eq.)

Most databases and food labels list nutrients for 100g. Yet, dietary guidelines for vegetables recommend consumption of cup equivalents. So this value tells you how many cups equal 100g.

Energy (kcal per 100 g)

Dietary guidelines show recommended eating patterns based on daily calorie intake. So, clicking this helps you find foods with higher or lower energy density.

PRAL (100g)

Clicking this helps you compare foods with higher or lower acid load by weight.

PRAL (cup eq.)

Clicking this helps you compare foods with higher or lower acid load by recommended consumption.

PRAL (100 calories)

Clicking this helps you compare foods with higher or lower acid load by energy.

Search for `understanding food group nutrients` for more details.

Please note that foods listed here include “multi-group” foods that combine nutrients from more than one food group. E.g., frozen mixed veg also includes red, orange, and other vegetables. So you must be aware that the value in column 3 shows `100g (cup eq.)` for the starchy vegetable element only. But other values are for the complete mix.

This means that you use column 3 to see how individual foods can contribute to your total starchy vegetables targets. Then use other columns to improve the quality of your starchy vegetable consumption. However, some people also use these food group lists to assess daily and weekly energy intake and acid load. In which case, you only add “multi-group” foods once. Search for `managing multi-group food nutrients` for more details.

Finally, be aware that many vegetables that we traditionally consider to be starchy are not listed here. E.g., we include sweet potatoes in the red and orange vegetables list. Similarly, many others are in the beans, peas, and lentils lists.

Dietary Guidelines Starchy Vegetable Food Subgroup

Your Starchy Vegetables

You’ve learned about starchy vegetables. So now think about which you like. Then use the list to see how to improve the quality of your starchy vegetable consumption.

Are you still concerned about the impact of starchy vegetables on your health and wellbeing? If so, you should consult your doctor or suitably qualified nutrition professional. But if you need help to prepare for that consultation, please see the feedback links below.

Leave Starchy Vegetables to browse other Dietary Guidelines Food Groups.

Starchy Vegetables Feedback

If you have any questions, experiences, or opinions about this starchy vegetables page, please tell me in ALKAscore Issues. You can also chat about any aspect of food in Foodary Discussions.

If you are asking a question, it’s best to:

  1. Search for that question in the food search engine first.
  2. Choose the most relevant result.
  3. Refer to that result as you ask your question.

Starchy Vegetables References

  1. Drewnowski, A., Maillot, M. and Vieux, F., 2022. Multiple Metrics of Carbohydrate Quality Place Starchy Vegetables Alongside Non-starchy Vegetables, Legumes, and Whole Fruit. Frontiers in Nutrition, 9.
  2. Li, Z., Wang, D., Ruiz-Narváez, E.A., Peterson, K.E., Campos, H. and Baylin, A., 2021. Starchy Vegetables and Metabolic Syndrome in Costa Rica. Nutrients, 13(5), p.1639.
  3. Gołąbek, K.D. and Regulska-Ilow, B., 2019. Dietary support in insulin resistance: An overview of current scientific reports. Adv. Clin. Exp. Med, 28(11), pp.1577-1585.