Why Resistant Starch Matters

Nutrition

Why Resistant Starch Matters

Would you believe me if I told you that potato starch can help drop your sugars and reduce your weight?

Let me explain about an important nutrient that you can easily add to your diet.

We know that ‘starch’ is bad for us, it converts into glucose and sends blood sugars sky high - so what makes this so different?

Resistant starch is also known as the 3rd type of fibre. It is a substance that your body can’t digest but for the friendly bacteria in your digestive system it’s their food. It is resistant to your digestion. Many studies have demonstrated that there are lots of beneficial effects for our health.

Research is constantly highlighting the important role that our gut bacteria play in our health. The bacteria in our digestive system outnumber our cells 10-1 and they weight 3 lbs - it makes sense that our health is intimately connected.

The collective name for all the bacteria that live in our digestive system is microbiome and they are critical when it comes to our overall health and have a big role to play in diabetes and obesity too.

Feed the bugs

Feeding your microbiome (the good gut bacteria) – and the cells that line your intestines – seems to affect hormone levels in the body (GLP-1 etc.), which in turn has a positive effect on blood sugars and the body's sensitivity to insulin.

Our ancestors had a diet rich in resistant starch, it is only as our diet has become more processed that resistant starch starting reducing in our diet.

Resistant starch is the perfect food for your microbiome and the benefit for you is that they convert the starch into short chain fatty acids that help with bowel health and impact

When the bacteria digest the resistant starch they produce a number of really important chemicals, one of which is called butyrate

Butyrate is the preferred food of the cells that line your digestive tract. Butyrate improves  insulin sensitivity and also increases energy output.

There are 4 types of resistant starch:

  • Type 1 is found in legumes, seeds and grains and isn’t digested because it is locked within the fibre of the cell walls.

  • Type 2 is found in some starchy foods, including plantains, raw potatoes and green (not ripe) bananas.

  • Type 3 is formed when certain starchy foods, including rice and potatoes, are cooked and then cooled. The cooling turns some of the digestible starches into resistant starches via a process called retrogradation (3).

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

This study supplemented with 30gms of resistant starch daily and showed an increased insulin sensitivity and better blood sugar control.

How do you get more resistant starch in your diet?

Would you believe me if I told you that adding potato starch to your diet is the best way to increase the resistant starch in your diet? This is not to be confused with any other potato products as they will convert quickly to glucose when digested.

How much?

Potato starch is a white powder and looks like cornflour. It’s important that it is raw and unheated. If potato starch is heated it converts to normal starch and you will get none of the amazing benefits.

Although on the label it will say it is high in carbohydrates - you don’t digest them - they will not cause your sugars to rise.

Potato starch has a very neutral flavour and most people find it very easy to drink dissolved in cold water.

It’s important to start slowly. You are fertilising your internal bacteria and they will produce extra gas that may cause you problems. Your system will become acclimitised over a week or so, but take it slowly.

Start with 1 tsp per day dissolved in water and increase up to 1-2 tbsp per day.

If you don’t like having it with water then you can mix it into a little natural/Greek yogurt and enjoy it that way.

Think of resistant starch as the best fertiliser for the good bugs in your digestive tract - take care of them and they will take care of you.

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Mary has worked with type 2 diabetics for over 20 years. She is determined to turn the type 2 tide by giving people the information at FreeFromType2.com that they really need to make the best choices for them. She knows that a diet sheet and a prescription isn't the answer. Mary is on a mission to eradicate complications for type 2 diabetics. Download Mary's FREE GUIDE  to help you take charge of your diabetes and your health.