Which Veggies Are High in Carbs: Tips for Remembering

Vegetables are generally loaded with nutritional value, but some have a higher starch or carbohydrate content than others.

If you have diabetes and are out grocery shopping or ordering off a restaurant menu, it is helpful to know which vegetables are the starchiest. Here are some tips to help with high-carb veggie recall.

Veggies High in Carbohydrate: Memory Tips

Remembering which vegetables are starch-heavy is easier if you can recall something unique about the veggie.

A vegetable is high in carbs:

  • if it can be used to play the Mr. Potato Head game: potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and yams; yams are especially high in starch.
  • if its name has a “q” in it and refers to a nut: butternut squash, and acorn squash (all winter squashes tend to be high in carbohydrates).
  • if it can be mistaken for a banana: plantains (very high in carbs).
  • if it comes off a cob: yellow sweet corn.
  • if its name contains two consecutive “e’s,” or three consecutive words: beets (also sweet corn and sweet potato), and artichokes (art, i, chokes).
  • if it comes from a pod and has a round, oval, or kidney shape: peas, black-eyed peas, sugar snap peas, chickpeas (garbanzos), black, red, white, navy, or pinto beans, and lentils (soybeans, or edamame have fewer carbs than most other pod dwellers). Although legumes are starchy, they provide more protein than other types of veggies.

A final memory tip is realizing that many picnic veggies are those higher in carbohydrates. Corn on the cob, potatoes (potato salad), and beans (three bean salads, refried, baked) are all picnic favorites.

Recipe: Couscous Edamame Salad

Here is a recipe suggestion using edamame (soybean) which is high in protein but lower in carbs than other legumes. This dish also provides significant amounts of potassium, phosphorus and fiber.

You will need:

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup dry whole wheat couscous
1 cup shelled edamame, cooked and drained (follow pkg. instructions)
1 cup seeded and diced tomato (2 medium)
1/2 cup seeded and diced cucumber
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 scallions, minced (3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  1. Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the couscous, turn off heat and cover. Allow it to stand 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a bowl. Let it cool completely.
  2. Add the other ingredients to the couscous and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, then bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 7 servings
Serving size: 1 cup
Choices: starch 1.5, total fat 1.5

Sources: Holistic Help; Diabetes Forecast

Photo credit: Thamizhpparithi Maari

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