Glycaemic index of selected staple carbohydrate-rich foods commonly consumed in Botswana

  • Salah Osman Mahgoub Kaplan University
  • Motshedisi Sabone University of Botswana
  • Jose Jackson University of Botswana
Keywords: Glycemic Index, carbohydrate-rich foods, Botswana


Objectives: Data on the glycaemic index (GI) of foods commonly consumed in Botswana are lacking. The present study aimed to evaluate the GI of some of the staple carbohydrate-rich foods eaten in Botswana. Design, setting and subjects: Fifty university student volunteers were divided into five groups. Members of each group consumed different test foods based on wheat, maize, sorghum, millet and morama beans to supply 50 g of available carbohydrate after 10-12 hours of overnight fasting. GI was determined using a standard method with white bread. Outcome measures: The GI values were calculated after measuring blood glucose levels before and after ingestion at 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minutes. Results: The results showed a clear variation in the GI values for the same food when consumed by different individuals. In addition, variations were observed in the GI values of test foods based on the same material. On average, wheat-based foods exhibited the highest GI values (103.1), followed by millet-based foods (95.3), sorghum-based foods (92.5), maize-based foods (9.1) and morama-based foods (86.4). Of the tested food, mapakiwa (wheat-based) had the highest GI (110.6) whereas roasted morama had the lowest GI (82.8). Conclusion: These results could form the basis of dietary advice to consumers, and particularly patients with diabetes. Further studies are needed on more of the commonly consumed foods in Botswana.

Author Biographies

Salah Osman Mahgoub, Kaplan University
PhD Associate Professor Kaplan University Iowa USA
Motshedisi Sabone, University of Botswana
PhD Senior Lecturer School of Nursing University of Botswana Botswana
Jose Jackson, University of Botswana
PhD Researcher Centre for Scientific Research, Indigenous Knowledge and Innovation (CesrIKi) University of Botswana Botswana
How to Cite
Mahgoub, S., Sabone, M., & Jackson, J. (2013). Glycaemic index of selected staple carbohydrate-rich foods commonly consumed in Botswana. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 26(4), 182-187. Retrieved from
Original Research