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Starchy carbohydrates PDF Print E-mail

An overview by our Dietitian on the different foods groups, a confusing topic we aim to clarify for you. This is the first is a series of articles realting to each of the food groups.

Starchy foods should make up the main part of every meal, as they provide the best source of energy for the body, and often much needed fibre and some vitamins and minerals.

Slow release starchy foods, or low GI foods, are always the better choice. Fast release or high GI starchy foods should only be chosen occasionally, and then only half as big a portion is recommended. For an explanation of the Glycemic Index (GI) concept go to the Glycemic Index section under the XXX tab.

Carbohydrate Section on The Magic PlateCarbohydrate partition on the Diet Plate


Slower release – LOWER GI

The better choice



Fast release – HIGH GI

Only occasionally Use half the portion


Low GI breads, Pumpernickel, 100% rye breads,

Seed breads

Regular or standard bread: white, brown and whole wheat


Savoury crackers

Kelloggs high fibre bran, Kelloggs Bran Flakes,

Most breakfast cereals

Morning Harvest Muesli (Bokomo), Fine Form Muesli, Vital Muesli, Nature’s Source apple and spice low GI muesli

Most other muesli’s

Bokomo or No Name brand oats porridge cooked in milk

Jungle and Tiger oats porridge

Mealie meal porridge

Oats-so-easy, Original only!

Instant oats

Pasta, including macaroni, spaghetti and noodles

2-minute noodles

Rice including basmati rice

Rice for paella, Arborio rice

Baby or new potatoes

Potatoes, baked, mash & chips

Sweet potato


Green mealies and corn (tinned or frozen)

Rice cakes


Corn thins

Stampkoring (pearled wheat)






Baked beans


all other dry cooked beans, peas and lentils.



For a more comprehensive list of the GI of most foods eaten in South Africa, see the South African Glycemic Index and Load Guide (GIFSA,20007) by Gabi Steenkamp and Liesbet Delport. Click here to order this book from this website.

Carbohydrate Section on The Magic PlateCarbohydrate partition on the Diet Plate





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