Processed and Local Kokonte in Accordance to Glycemic Index

Yeboah et al (2009), did a study from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, where ten people where given 50 grams of local kokonte, processed kokonte, abolo, akple and kafa on particular days. This was done to measure their glycemic indexes in respect of each Ghanaian or West African staple. They found that the local kokonte had the lowest GI of 7, and in second place was the processed kokonte with 18.

A GI of 7 and 18 is very low, suggesting that kokonte could be a low-risk food for those who want to avoid high blood sugar and heart disease. Kafa also had a low GI of 29. The highest GI reported on that food list was Akple with 69, suggesting that diabetics should avoid this staple or use this with some type of precaution.

Kokonte, colloquially termed “face-the-wall” in Ghana, is a staple prepared from dried cassava or cassava flour with water. It usually has a brown or greyish colour depending on which style and ratio is employed. It is known to be a fairly economic dish for the people in West Africa and is usually served with a heavy soup such as nkatenkwan.

Yeboah et al (2016) also suggest that there is not much difference in the glycemic indexes of processed kokonte and local kokonte. However the results shown on this page only shows the GI without any accompaniments. It is important to factor in the other foods that you would have with this dish. The manner in which you make your soup with other food items could increase or decrease the overall GI of the meal.

This study is paramount for those looking for a relatively safe staple to enjoy, whilst avoiding a spike in their blood sugar levels. Heart disease is a serious issue, and it is important that we discover the bodily effects of each staple.

However, if we are to be slightly critical on this study, is does have a low Jadad/ Oxford quality score, which is used to measure the standards of their methodology. Therefore, it is critical to use Kokonte with caution if you have issues with blood sugar. It is advised to consult some type of medical practitioner, whether conventional or not. If you are to use this in your diet, then test it yourself in a sensible manner and measure your blood sugar/pressure accordingly. All our bodies have similarities and differences, therefore, it is up to you to seek the necessary research. I conclude that this study is an excellent beginning for deeper analyses in the future. 

To have a direct link to the study of Yeboah et al (2019), click here. And to use the Jadad score template for yourself, click here.

For a general introduction to Nutrition visit our page here, Nutrition


Yeboah, E. S., Agbenorhevi, J. K., & Sampson, G. O. (2019). Glycemic index of five ghanaian corn and cassava staples. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research7(9), 624-631.

raw cassava used for Kokonte
Cassava at a farmers' market, used for Kokonte

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