Carbohydrates should form the basis of a balanced diet. You're allowed 6-11 portions per day, depending on your age and activity levels.
But how big is a portion of carbohydrates? Use this guide:
Breakfast cereals, dry:
1 portion is 3/4 cup or 20g (use high-bran varieties to promote regularity and 'dilute' the energy content of the diet).
Breakfast cereals, cooked:
1 portion is ½ cup or 100g (unsifted maize meal and Maltabella are unprocessed varieties).
Bread and rolls:
1 portion is 1 slice of bread or 1 roll weighing about 25-30g (select wholewheat, rye, brown or seedbread to increase your dietary fibre intake).
1 portion is 2-3 crackers or about 20g (select wholewheat or wholegrain products).
Cooked rice, pasta:
1 portion is ½ cup cooked or 100g (buy brown rice or Durum or wholewheat pasta which have a low glycaemic index).
1 portion is ½ cup or 100g (starchy vegetables include potatoes, sweetcorn or sweet potatoes).
Moderately starchy vegetables:
1 portion is ½ cup or 100g (the list includes vegetables such as beetroot, carrots, onion, green peas, pumpkin, winter squash, butternut and turnips).
1 portion is 1 cup or 200g (the list includes asparagus, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, spinach, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, sweet peppers, radish, sauerkraut, gem squash, tomatoes and watercress).
1 portion is 1 small fruit or ½ a banana, or 1 cup of berries, or ½ cup of fruit juice. Very sweet fruit such as dried fruit, dates, and grapes should be eaten in small quantities, e.g. 2 dates and 12 grapes are regarded as a portion.