Not all vegetables are equal, and you’ve probably heard the term “non-starchy vegetables” lately, especially if you are on a diet. In fact, both WW and Nutrisystem now encourage you to eat as many non-starchy veggies as you want without having to count points or calories.
So, what’s the difference between starchy, and non-starchy veggies? It’s an important distinction, so let’s look at what makes vegetables non-starchy, and provide examples.
Nonstarchy vegetables are healthy! They are low in calories but nutrient-dense; packed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins including vitamins C, K, and A.
While just about every diet can agree that they are good for you, Nutrisystem recommends that you have 4+ servings of non-starchy vegetables each day.
Non-Starchy Vegetable Examples:
Here are examples of non-starchy veggies:
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale (kale benefits)
- Brussel sprouts
Examples of starchy vegetables include:
- Butternut Squash
Wow, those are the vegetables I eat thinking I’m being healthy! Next time try substituting a veggie from the “non-starchy” list.
If you are on Nutrisystem (coupons), you’ll want to count starchy vegetables as “SmartCarbs” instead of vegetables. If you are on Weight Watchers (coupons) certain starchy veggies may not be “free.” Consult the WW points list to see if they have points. Noom also has a food list by color here.
Non Starchy Veggie Tips
Non-starchy vegetables are great fresh or frozen. However, if you do buy them canned, go for “low sodium” option, as canned food is notoriously high in salt.
Can’t get low-sodium? Washing or rinsing canned vegetables before using them can get rid of a lot of sodium.
Also, if you are starting a diet, vegetables are essential but can add to your monthly food expense. If you are starting a diet like Nutrisystem (cost here) or WW (cost), be sure to account for fresh fruits and vegetables in your budget.
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