What Is Starch & What Foods Can I Find It In?

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Starch is a carbohydrate naturally found in many grains and vegetables.

It is a natural product made from agricultural raw materials.

Starch provides energy for our brains and muscles.

Resistant starch is a variant of starch that is indigestible by human enzymes.

Resistant starch has shown better potential health benefits than ordinary starch, like improved blood fat, better satiety, insulin sensitivity, and improved digestion.

It may also be important in reducing the risk of bowel cancer.

Table of Contents

Starch Is Energy

Starch is a carbohydrate extracted from agricultural raw materials. (source )

Starches are long chains of sugar glucose joined together. (source )

Starch contributes about 60–70% of the total energy consumed in our diet, which mainly comes from cereals and pulses. (source )

Starch is an important source of food for both humans and animals.

For animals, starch is an important component of animal feed because it has a high energy density and is the preferred source of energy in the diet of ruminants, which is the major source of starch in the diet.

Two Types Of Starch

There are two types of starch in food; amylose and amylopectin. (source )

They are polymers of glucose monomers that are linked with each other to form a polysaccharide.


Amylose is not digestible by humans or animals.

Amylose is present in high amounts in certain starches, such as corn, potato, tapioca, and waxy corn.

Amylose can also be found in low amounts in other starches, such as rice and wheat.


Amylopectin is a natural component of potato tubers.

Amylopectin is the only starch used in the food industry.

Uses Of Starch

Starch can be used as an extender in the production of foods, such as corn starch in the production of a corn starch-based food product.

A variety of corn starch products are available, including, for example, high-amylose corn starch and corn starch-based food products.

High-amylose corn starch

High-amylose corn starch is a food additive and dietary fiber.

It is used in baked products as an emulsifier, and it is used in prepared meals as a thickener and a stabilizer.

It is often used in the production of gluten-free food products.

It is also used in the manufacture of foods, such as infant formula and pet foods.

Resistant Starch

Resistant starch is a variant of starch that is indigestible by human enzymes. (source )

It means that this type of starch isn’t fully broken down and absorbed.

It is turned into short-chain fatty acids by intestinal bacteria.

It can lead to more health benefits than consuming ordinary starch. (source )

Resistant starch is found mostly in beans, lentils, and unripe bananas, as well as unprocessed cereals and whole grains.

Resistant starch is also created from cooling down cooked rice, pasta, and potatoes. (source )

Benefits From Consuming Starch

Research on resistant starch suggests that resistant starch has a beneficial effect on the gut microbiota by promoting the proliferation of beneficial bacteria.

There are three research-backed benefits that might come from consuming starch, especially resistant starch. You can find out what they are in Starch: 3 Research-Backed Benefits

Foods You Can Find Starch In

You find Starch mostly in cereal and pasta, snack, baked, vegetable, products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can access regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most starch, we recommend you use our tool.

Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain starch.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

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Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.