Starchy Carbohydrate Foods

Starchy Carbohydrate Foods – Starchy foods should make up more than one-third of a healthy diet. This food group includes pasta, bread, rice and other cereals, and also potatoes and other starchy vegetables. They are the best foods for energy. They also contain B vitamins, which help release that energy and are vital for healthy nerves and digestion.

The wide variation in the number of portions of starchy food, between 6 and 14, may seem odd, but is explained by individual needs. For example, a marathon runner using pasta to build an energy store, or a teenager during a growth spurt, might eat 14 portions of starchy foods a day whereas a sedentary woman would need only 5-7 portions per day.


What is a portion of starchy food?

– 3 tablespoons breakfast cereal,

– 2 tablespoons muesli,

– 1 slice of bread or toast,

– 1 bread roll, bap or bun,

– 3 crackers or crispbreads,

– 1 medium potato,

– 2 heaped tablespoons boiled rice,

– 3 heaped tablespoons boiled pasta.


Try to eat wholemeal, wholegrain, brown or high-fiber varieties of bread, breakfast cereal, pasta and rice whenever possible. This is because the grains are ‘whole’ – they have not had the fiber or vitamins and minerals refined out of them. Choose lower-fat sauces for pasta and rice. If you do not like wholemeal, try to find another type of high-fiber bread.

Eat white bread if you don’t like brown breads, but try to include some other wholegrain cereals.


Get into the habit of eating breakfast cereals regularly. Choose ones that are fortified with folic acid, other B vitamins and minerals such as iron – these cereals are particularly good for children and for women who may be slimming or whose diets lack iron.

Porridge is an excellent breakfast cereal because the naturally occurring oatbran is not removed during processing. The gummy fiber lowers blood cholesterol levels, and oats are rich in vitamins and minerals and are a very good source of energy.


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