STARCHY FOODS (GRAINS, TUBERS AND ROOTS): Consume daily six servings of foods from the group containing rice, pastas, tubers and roots. Foods like corn and preferably whole rice and wheat (such as breads and pasta), tubers (such as potatoes), and roots (such as manioc) should be the most important energy source and the main component of most meals. 

  • What else is written in the Brazilian Food Guide about starchy foods?
  • Serving sizes for starchy foods
  • Dietetic and cooking techniques: starchy foods
  • Cultural and historical curiosities about starchy foods
  • Scientific information about starchy foods
  • A healthy, appropriate and caring diet
The term starchy foods comes from the main nutrient that composes this food group: starch. Starchy foods are the base of the human diet. The most consumed grains worldwide are corn, wheat and rice. They are the basic food for most people on the planet.  Wheat has been known for more than 8,000 years and rice more than 5,000. Corn became known to the then-called civilized world when the Americas were discovered, approximately 500 years ago.
Stem tubers, which are round, leafless stems that some plants develop underground, are also from the Americas. The English potato, or potato, is an example of a tuber. It has been farmed in South America by the Incas for at least 1000 years. When the Europeans came, they took potatoes to Europe and they became the staple food of many European countries.
Yam, water yam and the sweet potato are root tubers and farmed by indigenous peoples of the Americas. Cassava, also a root tuber, is native to the Amazon, and therefore a typical Brazilian food known in Brazil by many different names depending on the region: aipim, macaxeira, castelinha, mandioca brava, mandioca doce, mandioca mansa, maniva, maniveira, pão-de-pobre.
Unfortunately, Brazilians have been replacing healthy food habits by processed foods submitted to preservation processes that extend their shelf-lives but disregard their nutritional properties. We should increase our consumption of grains and tubers. As a reward, we would be healthier, and consequently, have a better quality of life.