Resistant starch functions kind of like soluble fibre. It can improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, reduced appetite and has various benefits for digestion.
Four Different types of resistant starch
- Type 1: grains, seeds and legumes as it resists digestion because it is bound within the fibrous cell walls.
- Type 2: raw potatoes and green (unripe) bananas.
- Type 3: starchy foods, including potatoes and rice that are cooked and then cooled. Cooling turns some of the digestible starches into resistant starches.
- Type 4: man-made and formed through a chemical process.
Depending on how food is prepared, the amount of resistant starch changes. If you allow a banana to ripen (turn yellow) it will degrade the resistant starches and turn them into regular starches.
How does the mechanism work?
Resistant starch functions like soluble, fermentable fibre. It will go through the stomach and small intestine undigested, eventually reaching the colon where it feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut. Resistant starch feeds the friendly bacteria in the intestine.
Resistant starch is superfood for the digestive system
When we eat resistant starch, it ends up in the large intestine, where the bacteria digest it and turn it into short-chain fatty acids and the most important of these short-chain fatty acids is butyrate. Butyrate is preferred fuel of the cells that line the colon. Resistant starch both feeds the friendly bacteria and indirectly feeds the cells in the colon by increasing the amount of butyrate.
Beneficial effects of resistant starch on the colon
- It reduces the pH level
- Reduces inflammation
- Lowers the risk of colorectal cancer
Because of its therapeutic effects on the colon, resistant starch can be useful for various digestive disorders like: inflammatory bowel diseases like Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, constipation, diverticulitis and diarrhoea.
We still however need more studies in human controlled trials before any recommendations can be made.
Resistant starch can enhance insulin sensitivity, lowers blood sugar levels and improves metabolic health.
It can improve insulin sensitivity, as in how well the body’s cells respond to insulin. Resistant starch is also very effective in lowering blood sugar levels after meals. The effect on glucose and insulin metabolism is very impressive. There are studies that have found a 33-50% improvement in insulin sensitivity after 4 weeks of consuming 15-30 grams per day.
Insulin resistance is a major causal factor in some of the world’s most serious diseases, including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Resistant starches can help you lose weight by improving satiety
Resistant starch has fewer calories than regular starch and can possibly increase the feeling of fullness and help people eat less food.
Add resistant starches to your current diet
Includes raw potatoes, cooked and then cooled potatoes, green bananas, various legumes, cashews and raw oats.
Now it seems to me that cold potato salad with mayonnaise is going to be a hit this summer. Please remember moderation is always key.