Carbs in Vegetables
Practically everyone is aware of the health benefits that eating regular portions of a variety of different vegetables will bring. Vegetables are the richest source of essential nutrients that will keep your body running smoothly.
Vegetables vary hugely in carb content. Potatoes, for example, are extremely high in quick release carbohydrates and naturally appear high in the glycimic index. By comparison, carrots have a lower carb content and and also appear lower on the glycemic index. Leafy or green vegetables, such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli and celery tend to have the lowest carb content of all.
As a point of interest it's interesting to know that many vegetables will alter in their carbohydrate content as they are cooked. This is particularly true with regards to root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots, as they tend to store their energy in the form of starch. Starch is a naturally occurring complex carbohydrate. It is broken down slowly in our digestive tracks, before being released as glucose for energy. When vegetables containing starch are cooked, a proportion of this starch will be converted into sugars as a result of heat. For this reason, cooked vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes, tend to appear higher on the glycemic index than when in their raw form.
The method used to cook vegetables can also affect their final carb content. For example, boiling vegetables will often result in a slightly lower final carb content than roasting or baking. This is because some of the carbohydrates will naturally be lost to the surrounding water. Roasting and baking are also expose the vegetables to heat for longer periods of time, and therefore more of their starches will be broken down into simple sugars, as opposed to blanching vegetables for a short period of time.
However, the differences between carbs in cooked and raw vegetables are normally fairly minimal. It will not realistically make a big difference in your diet as far as carbohydrate consumption is concerned, but rather just a point of interest.