Choose more whole grain carbohydrate foods
At least 6 servings per day of carbohydrates is recommended by NZ Dietitians Organisation, including starchy vegetables and wholegrain foods.
Foods from grains like wheat, oats, rye, barley, millet and corn are classified as carbohydrates. We find these grains in bread, pasta, noodles, breakfast cereals or eaten whole such as rice.
Carbohydrate is the primary fuel for our bodies so we need some at each meal but large portions can make blood glucose levels rise and in the long term can also contribute to excess weight gain.
Carbohydrates are also found in starchy vegetables and other nutrients and all contribute energy intake (kilojoules/calories). Optimum levels energy intake to maintain weight or lose weight is dependent on gender, a person’s usual daily physical activity level and genetic factors.
Choose a variety of grain products daily with ½ to ⅔ as whole grain products.
Breads, cereals and crackers made from whole grains contain more fibre and nutrients than their white (refined) counterparts. Some grains, such as oats and barley, can also help to lower cholesterol levels. Look for ingredients such as whole grain wheat, rye or brown rice.
People who currently have a low fibre diet should increase their fibre gradually and drink plenty of water to prevent uncomfortable side effects such as bloating, wind and cramps.
Keep carbohydrate foods, including grain based or starchy vegetables, servings to a quarter (¼) of the plate, or a ‘fist’ size serving.
Approximately 6 servings daily, depending on your total daily energy requirements
Sample serving sizes -
Whole grain bread 1 slice (30grams) / cooked porridge ½ cup / cooked pasta ½ cup / cooked rice ⅓ cup or 2 small sushi / wholegrain crisp breads 4 (25grams)
Carbohydrates (or “carbs”) are your body’s main fuel. So you should have some at every meal to give you energy.