The Benefits of Resistant Starch for Fat Loss

Starch is a substance found in most carbohydrates (like potatoes and cereal grains) made up of a long strand of glucose (sugar) molecules, called a polysaccharide.

All starches that we consume have a certain amount of fiber, however, not all are created equal, as different types are digested at different rates, or not at all.


This is where Resistant Starch comes into play, as these starches are resistant to being digested, which help them function similar to soluble/fermentable fibers that we already know to be an integral part of any healthy diet.

Recent research is suggesting that resistant starch can have some potent health benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity, better blood sugar management, reduced appetite, as well as contribute to improved digestive health (1).

For those worried about consuming too many carbs, or the negative implications of carbs and fat loss, this might just make you think otherwise.

How Does Resistant Starch Work?

There are several types of resistant starch from various carbohydrate foods.

Regardless of the type, when consumed, they make their way through the stomach and small intestines down into the large intestines (relatively undigested), where they provide fuel to nourish the millions of beneficial bacteria. We use these rich fuel sources to produce short-chain fatty acids in the gut that we can then use for energy.

More importantly is the symbiotic role that these gut bacteria play in our overall health (2). Research shows that maintaining a diverse population of microorganisms in our small and large intestines (referred to as our gut microbiome) directly benefits:

  • Improved blood glucose levels and insulin regulation
  • Lowered blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Improved satiation
  • Reduced colon cancer risk

For those struggling with poor blood sugar control and/or trying to lose weight, but not looking to jump on the low-carb bus just yet, resistant starch could prove to be your new best friend.

Essentially, the soluble/fermentable fiber in these foods can help people consume fewer calories throughout the day by increasing feelings of fullness, thereby contributing to weight loss (3).

But don’t think by simply adding more resistant starch foods, that body fat will magically disappear. Rather, the inclusion of these foods, likely in place of more refined carbohydrates, and in concert with other nutrition and lifestyle factors (like sleep and exercise) would most likely be a step in the right direction.


What Foods Contain Resistant Starch?

There are both real/whole food sources as well as supplement starch products.

Foods highest in resistant starch include: raw potatoes as well as cooked and then cooled potatoes, green(er) bananas, various types of beans, cashews, as well as uncooked oats. Additionally, a more processed food would include a raw potato starch, which could be easily mixed in with food, water, smoothies, etc., which would be a good option for those with fat loss goals that may be more sensitive to carbohydrate.

Because much of these starches (starch crystals specifically) are formed after foods have been cooked and cooled (or not cooked at all), it’s important to keep them cool to maintain the integrity of the beneficial fibers, like eating cooked, then cooled potatoes.


5 Ways to Get Your Resistant Starch On:

Beans – add chilled beans to salads or make a hummus as a veggies dip or to be spread on sandwiches in place of the mayo.

Slightly Green Bananas – Make a smoothie with the banana, frozen berries, spinach, coconut milk, Greek yogurt, protein powder and rolled oats.

Cooled Potato – Have a cold potato salad with chunked red or white potatoes, lemon zest, Dijon mustard and herbs

Brown Rice – order brown rice sushi rolls or mix leftover rice with milk, raisins and cinnamon for a cold breakfast cereal.

Raw Potato Starch – check out Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch. You can add half to a whole tablespoon to your yogurt, smoothie, cereal, salad dressings, etc…

Be warned however, because everyone has different types and amounts of gut microorganisms, and knowing these types of food feed these little buggers, it is likely something that you want to introduce more slowly so as to avoid any potential gastric distress.

None-the-less, if you’ve been struggling with blood sugar, looking to improve your diet, digestion, and/or want to lose some weight, introducing resistant starch foods may be a step in the right direction.







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