Starch: We Consume Too Much Of It But Can We Really Help It?

Starch: We Consume Too Much Of It But Can We Really Help It? image

Starch is a part of the total carbohydrate (fibres, starch and sugar). One-third of our food should come from starchy foods. These food types are good sources of energy, as well as the main sources of nutrients in our diets. Examples of the starchy food we consume include: brown rice, pasta, noodles, millet, sorghum, oats, barleys, potato, yam, cassava, corn, plantain, green bananas, whole wheat bread etc. When this food is eaten, they are broken down into sugar in our bodies. Therefore, consuming excess starch is synonymous to consuming excess sugar. This results in increasing your blood sugar level.

How We Consume Excess Starch

Practically every Nigerian consumes starch every day but just how much starch is too much starch? The answer to that isn’t as straightforward as one might think as it depends on genetic factors, body fat percentage, exercise and even type of job, especially sports men and women. Reasons why we consume this particular polysaccharide in excess are listed below:

  • Socio-economic factors: This is dependent on the personnel income. Food is a major necessity in the human race which is required for sustainability on earth. it is no respecter of class because we satisfy this need at all cost. Low income earners who try as much as possible to provide the three square meal a day are at greater risk of becoming obese if they do not balance their diets.
  • Eating disorder and night-eating syndrome: Most times we want to keep our mouth busy just to stay awake or probably do some dieting to keep fit so we skip breakfast. It is quite good but it has its side effects on both our physical and mental being.
    • Late-night snacking: This is commonly found among the undergraduates and working class who try as much as possible to meet up with an assignment, preparation for an examination, seeing a movie or having a presentation at the least possible hour.
    • Over-eating: This could be as a result of how famished one can be and also how delicious a meal can be. Most of the time, overeating comes when one gets a free food ’awoof’ from a friend’s place or even at a party, let’s face it, party food is always sweeter.
  • Home environment: The choice of location can have an indirect effect on one’s diet or eating habits. The proximity to the market enables one to have the best of fresh food and balanced meals such that it becomes difficult to settle for the processed food. This also reduces the rate at which one visits restaurants.
  • Increase in food prices: With the increase in the prices of food items, starchy foods are relatively cheap, which is as well convenient to prepare.

There are adverse effects to things that come in excess. Regular consumption of starchy foods in high proportion can result in insulin resistance, weight gain and increase in blood sugar level.