Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates

Starchy foods like breads, rice, potatoes, pasta and cereals give us the energy we need to keep going each day. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, and the wholegrain varieties contain plenty of fibre. So they’re great for keeping your gut healthy, and can keep you feeling fuller for longer between meals.

Starchy foods are low in fat too, so they can help you stay in shape. We tend to add fat to starchy foods by putting butter on bread, or cheese on pasta - go easy on these extras to keep your starchy foods low-fat!

The healthiest starchy foods are those that are high in fibre. For most starchy foods, there is a high-fibre version you can choose. So try out brown rice, wholemeal pasta and wholegrain bread instead of white rice, white pasta and white bread. Wholegrain breakfast cereals (including porridge) and baked potatoes eaten with their skins are great for fibre too.

Tips to get enough starchy foods

  • At breakfast: Start the day with an energy-giving starchy food like wholemeal toast, porridge or a healthy wholegrain breakfast cereal
  • At lunch: Try out different types of breads - rolls, wraps, pita or sliced bread – and go for wholegrain breads often as you can
  • At dinner: Base your meal on a starchy food like potatoes, rice, pasta or bread

And remember - To keep your starchy foods low in fat, add just a little bit of cheese, spread or sauce to them.