Starches are mainly found in tubers, grains and their flours. Most Americans eat starchy foods at each meal: breakfast cereals, toast or muffins for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, mashed potatoes, pizza or pasta for dinner as well as granola bars and cookies in between. Starches are a complex carbohydrate, which were thought to be better than simple carbohydrates, such as sugars. However, some starches can actually be worse for your health than sugar.
If you have a medical condition that involves blood sugar regulation issues, such as diabetes, hypoglycemia or polycystic ovarian syndrome, the starches in your diet could be worsening your health. Most people believe that bread, potatoes and pasta are healthier than sweets and desserts, but your body does not really see the difference, since all of these foods are broken down into sugars. For example, a 2-cup serving of cooked spaghetti or rice contains about 90 grams of carbohydrates, which will turn into the equivalent to over 22 teaspoons of sugar in your blood. Keep an eye on both your starch and sugar intake to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Does starch turn into sugar?
When you eat starchy foods, the starches are broken down into sugars, including glucose, maltotriose and maltose, by an enzyme called amylase found in your saliva and small intestine. These compound sugars are further broken down into simple sugars by other enzymes, including maltase, lactase, sucrase and isomaltase.