A closer look at:

Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods.

Starchy food is a really important part of a healthy diet and should make up about a third of the food we eat. It is good for energy giving carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Choose wholegrain foods as these contain more fibre than white or refined starchy food, and often more of other nutrients. We also digest wholegrain food more slowly so it can help us feel full for longer. Wholegrain food includes: wholemeal and wholegrain bread, pitta and chapatti wholewheat pasta brown rice wholegrain breakfast cereals and whole oats

Most of us should eat more starchy food – try to include at least one starchy food with each of your main meals. So, you could: start the day with a wholegrain breakfast cereal – choose one lower in salt and sugars, have a sandwich for lunch and round off the day with potatoes, pasta or rice as a base for your evening meal.

Some people think starchy food is fattening, but gram for gram it contains less than half the calories of fat. You just need to watch the fats you add when you’re cooking and serving this sort of food, because that’s what increases the calorie content.

What's included ?

Bread (including: soda bread, rye bread, pitta, flour tortilla, baguettes, chapatti, bagels), rice potatoes, breakfast cereals, oats, pasta, noodles, maize, cornmeal, polenta, millet, spelt,  couscous, bulgur wheat, pearl barley, yams and plantains.

What to do?

Eat plenty of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods every day. Choose wholegrain varieties when you can.

Top Tips

Check the labels on different types of bread and try to choose the one lower in salt.

Compare different breakfast cereals and choose the ones lower in salt and sugar.

If you’re having chips, try oven chips instead of deep-fried.

When you’re cooking or serving starchy food, try to avoid:

• adding too much fat (e.g. by spreading too much butter, margarine or spread on bread)

• adding rich sauces and dressings (e.g. cream or cheese sauce on pasta)