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List of Non-starchy Foods

By Bruce Smith ; Updated July 27, 2017

Starch is a polysaccharide formed from long chains of glucose molecules. Straight chains of polysaccharides are known as amylose, while chains with multiple branches are called amylopectin. Foods high in starch include potatoes, cereals, grains, breads, dry beans, peas and corn. Vermicelli and pasta also contain starch. Non-starchy foods have a low percentage by body weight of complex carbohydrates.


Meat, such as beef, does not contain starch. Beef is comprised of protein and fat. Amino acids provide the building blocks for protein. According to "On Food and Cooking," about 50 percent of the fat in beef comes in the form of saturated fatty acids, which is the least healthy fat.


Poultry is also a meat comprised of amino acids and fat, not starch. Chicken contains more polyunsaturated fat than beef does, making chicken a healthier food choice than beef.


Fish is also a protein. Darker, red colored fish like salmon contain more fat than white fish does. However, the fat in salmon is omega 3 fatty acid, which is a healthful fat.


Eggs are another non-starchy food. They are bundles of protein. The whites are pure protein, while the egg yolks contain some cholesterol. They can be served fried, poached, hard boiled or scrambled.


Milk is a low-starch food. It is comprised of protein, fat, and sugars such as lactose. People who are lactose intolerant have difficulty digesting milk. Skim milk has some of the fat removed. Milk is also a good source of calcium.

Cheese, Cream and Butter

Butter, cream and cheese are milk products. These foods contain protein and fat, but low starch content. They are also good sources of calcium. Cheese provides a good protein alternative to meat.


Fruit contains large amounts of carbohydrates, vitamins and antioxidants. When fruit ripens, its starch turns to simple sugars such as glucose and fructose. Blueberries contain vitamins and antioxidants, making them healthful treats.

Some Vegetables

While potatoes and grains contain starch, some vegetables are non-starchy foods. Salad greens provide good sources of vitamins and minerals, but do not contain starch. Other low-starch vegetables include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery and tomatoes. Consuming raw vegetables is healthier than eating processed vegetables. Raw ones have higher nutrient and fiber content and less sodium.

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