A Bariatric Surgeon On Why You Should Eat More Starches

“When people are just eating greens, they’re hungry,” says Davis. “They don’t feel great.” That’s because starches supply your body with fiber, which is what keeps you full and satisfied. Specifically, those complex carbohydrates become slowly digested in the lower region of your GI tract, which is where your satiety hormones become released. Refined carbs, on the other hand, are broken down quickly in the upper GI tract, which is why they typically result in the infamous blood sugar roller coaster

We should note that plenty of cruciferous veggies have their fill of fiber, too, but according to Davis, munching on strictly lettuce can only get you so far. He explains: “It’s going to be very hard for someone to get fiber from fruits and vegetables alone. There’s just not enough.” Rather, a perfect plate would focus on all three, with starches playing a star role. 

In terms of which healthy starches to choose from, ancient grains top many experts’ lists—think quinoa, teff, and millet. You can also reach for beans and lentils, which have lots of plant-based protein as well. Davis, himself, also loves a good, homemade sourdough loaf—it’s fermented and full of fiber. 

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