• Tami Bruskotter

Post #20 What the Hell is Resistant Starch?

If you understand how Resistant Starches work...YOU CAN EAT MORE STARCHY CARBS!!!

Now that I've got your attention, here's some science...

According to John Hopkins University School of Medicine: Resistant starch is a carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine and ferments in the large intestine. As the fibers ferment they act as a prebiotic and feed the good bacteria in the gut. There are several types of resistant starch. More than one type of resistant starch can be present in a single food.

When starches are digested they typically break down into glucose (sugar). Because resistant starch is not digested in the small intestine, it doesn’t raise glucose. Healthy gut bacteria can improve glycemic control (the body's reaction to sugar). Other benefits of resistant starch include increased feeling of fullness, treatment and prevention of constipation, decrease in cholesterol, and lower risk of colon cancer. Resistant starch is fermented slowly so it causes less gas than other fibers.

There are 4 different types of resistant starches:

  • Type 1: These are your grains, seeds and legumes. They resists digestion because the starch is bound within the fibrous cell walls of these high fiber foods.

  • Type 2: Is found in some starchy foods, like raw potatoes (do NOT eat them raw) and green or unripened bananas.

  • Type 3: Is formed when certain starchy foods, including potatoes (which are good for you if you don't fry them!!!) and rice, are cooked and then cooled. The cooling turns some of the digestible starches into resistant starches through a process called retrogradation.

  • Type 4: Is man-made and formed via a chemical process.

However, everything above is the simplest version. Know that several different types of resistant starch can co-exist in the same food. So, depending on how these foods are prepared, the amount of resistant starch will change. For example, once that green banana ripens (turns yellow, then goes to spotting), it will degrade the resistant starches and then turn them into regular starches.

Great, so where can you get some resistant starch?

Naturally Resistant

Plantains and Green Bananas (the more ripe the banana, the more sugar it has)

Beans, Peas, & Lentils (white beans are higher in resistant starch)

Whole Grains (including oats and barley)

Raw Potato Starch & Hi-Maize Flour (not more than 2 Tablespoons per day, usually added to soup, yogurt, sauces)

Cooked and Cooled Foods: My Favorite!!





Oats and Oat Bran

Bread that's been frozen for 30 days

The amount of resistant starch changes with heat. It’s ok to reheat the starch before eating. Reheating doesn’t decrease the amount of resistant starch!

Cooked rice and potatoes that have been cooled are higher in resistant starch than if just served hot the moment you make it...Yes! Seriously, they actually tested people's blood sugar at various points of consumption to monitor their changes...or lack of blood sugar jumps, really.

How do you get more Resistant Starch into your daily eating?

So, I boil enough potatoes or pasta to go with a few days worth of meals in advance and cool them in the refrigerator overnight. When I'm ready to add them to a meal I may pop the potatoes under the broiler with some garlic and rosemary or add the pasta to an already hot marinara until its warm enough to enjoy without being overcooked. You can also do the same with rice and beans. Since I'm lazy, I buy frozen organic brown rice (talk about cooked and cooled!)

Now oatmeal and oat bran don't actually have to be cooked. You can do "overnight oats" (lots of recipes out there) that have been soaked in yogurt, milk, or a non-dairy milk and refrigerate overnight. If you would prefer to cook them, then do so for half the time and doneness you normally would.

And don't drive yourself crazy if you haven't frozen the bread for 30 days. Just get it in the freezer! Pre-sliced loafs and individual rolls are the easiest as you can just toast or bake the portion you need at that time.

And since you'll be getting more fiber, remember to drink more water...don't want to give yourself a tummy ache!

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