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How much starch should I be eating?

How much starch should I be eating?

Which foods for starch?
There are many different foods that contain starch: cereals (rice, pasta, semolina, corn, bread, cereals), pulses (lentils, chickpeas, dried peas and beans), potatoes and cassava.

How much of it should I be eating?
The recommended daily amount of slow-release carbohydrates is no less than 50% of your daily energy intake. Which means that following a diet where you eat a substantial lunch and a lighter evening meal, you should be eating: 30 to 60g of bread or similar, or 5 to 8 tablespoons of cereal at breakfast ; 150 to 200g or pasta, rice, cooked potatoes and/or 80g of bread for lunch and40g of bread, cereals or similar in the evening.

Further advice
The two main traps not to fall into :
1 Starch itself isn’t high in calories, but if you combine it with fats (cream, butter, oil, sauce, jam, fatty spreads), it becomes much more calorific! Try eating pasta with tomato-based (as opposed to creamy) sauces and go easy on the butter and spreads!

2 Certain refined and chemically-treated starches (rice, white bread, chips, crisps, breakfast cereals) can be more like quick sugars and are stored as fat by your organs, so go for wholemeal, unrefined starch at all costs!  


Sarah Horrocks
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