What is Resistant Starch?

– Posted in: Healthy Cooking

I found out about Resistant Starch when doing research on the best diet for your skin.  This is something relatively new in the nutrition field.  In fact, if you go to a nutritionist to help you lose weight or boost your metabolism they may put you on a high protein, low carb diet.  This type of diet will help you with both losing weight and increasing  your metabolism but you need to be very careful about which carbs you cut out of your meal plan.

Resistant starch is a type of carb that acts like fiber. It is any type of starchy food that is digested in the lower bowel or colon and not in the small intestines. It moves through the digestive tract without being fully absorbed and converted into glucose.  RS helps to boost your metabolism and keep you fuller longer. This helps you eat less sugar and fat laden snacks.  This also causes  lower blood sugar and insulin levels.

Resistant Starch is found in certain fruits, vegetables, grains, legunes, and some dairy food.  Nutrition experts are beginning to classify it as a type of fiber.   But it may have benefits that aren’t found in soluble and insoluble fiber.  Once it is in the large intestines it is fermented into a fatty acid called butyrate.  This causes the carbohydrates not to be stored as fat but helps the body burn it off with energy. This causes the body to use fat to burn off as fuel.

According to Kari Hartel, a registered dietitian:

A recent study showed that replacing 5.4% of the total carbohydrate in a meal with resistant starch increased fat oxidation (large fat molecules are broken down into smaller molecules, which are then used for energy) by 20-30%. Another interesting finding from this study was that the increased fat oxidation continued throughout the day, not just immediately following the meal containing resistant starch. Results from animal studies have shown that resistant starch causes animals to produce more satiety-inducing hormones, which could ultimately lead to weight loss.

Recent studies have found that resistant starch also helps prevent constipation and improve colon health. Emerging research has also proven that resistant starch can help improve blood glucose levels and decrease insulin resistance in people who have type 2 diabetes. Resistant starch can also increase absorption of certain minerals, including calcium. It’s also thought to prevent some types of cancer.

Here is a list of foods that contain a high amount of this miracle nutrient:RS1

  • RS1 foods:  Most legumes and beans including Navy , Kidney, Fava , Soy, Calico, Mung and Pinto Beans. Also black-eyed peas and split green peas. Unprocessed whole grains such as spelt, oat, rye, millet, wheat, and pearl barley.  Flax seed and quinoa.  Whole grain bread, Italian, and sourdough bread.
  • RS2 foods: slightly green bananas and Hi-Maize. Corn tortilla, corn flakes and rice cereals.  Resistant Starch flour.
  • RS3 foods:  Cooked and cooled potatoes, yams, pasta and long grain brown rice.  All these foods need to be cooked and then cooled.


RS1 contains the highest amount of Resistant Starch. It is ideal for your goal to be 25 grams a day. A half of cup of dried beans provides4 grams of RS.

These starches promote “good bacteria” in the colon and have many beneficial  effects.  With a few minor changes you will be able to increase the Resistant Starch in your meal plan. There are three ways to incorporate it into your meals.  First, add and prepare the above foods as recommended.  Second, add supplements as resistant starch flour and Hi-Maize in with your baking.   Look for products in the grocery store that include Resistant Starch.

If you want some more information about how to add Resistant Starch into your daily diet check out these books.  They will help you with adding  RS, plus they also include recipes.

If you have any other recommendations on adding Resistant Starch into a meal plan, please share you ideas in the comment box below.  Thank You.



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