Difference Between Legumes and Starchy Vegetables


Legumes and starchy vegetables are distinctly different groups of vegetables. Both legumes and starchy vegetables are considered starches in dietary planning, which is especially important when controlling starch intake for diabetes maintenance and other health considerations.


Legumes are a class of vegetables. Included in the legume family are beans, peas, carob, soy, peanuts and lentils. Legumes are simple plants, developing from a carpel and opening along a seam to form two sides.

Starchy Vegetables

Starchy vegetables include potatoes, corn, parsnips, plaintains, squash, yams and sweet potatoes.

Nutrition: Legumes

Legumes are highly nutritious and very versatile. They are low in fat, cholesterol-free and rich in minerals. Legumes are an excellent source of protein.

Nutrition: Starchy Vegetables

Starchy vegetables are high in nutrition and are a good source of dietary fiber, but provide minimal protein. Starchy vegetables are high in carbohydrates.

Expert Insight

Many nutritionists recommend limiting high-carb, starchy vegetables in a healthy diet. They suggest opting instead for green leafy vegetables or protein-rich legumes.


  • Beans and Other Legumes
  • Grains, Beans and Starchy Vegetables
  • Nutrition Data

Who Can Help

  • Starch Exchanges
Keywords: legumes, starchy vegetables, difference

About this Author

Anne Rose is a communicator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English editorial from Northwestern University, with expertise in interactive media, event marketing and public speaking. She is a freelance writer and blogs, tweets and webs for various clients.