In today’s world you’ll find every type of diet promoted, and unfortunately, most of them demonize carbohydrates. While ANY and ALL junk food-related carbs should be avoided or minimally eaten, your body could not function without a minimal amount of healthy carbohydrates. That being said, there is a unique class of carbohydrates called “resistant starch” that includes many healthy and delicious carbohydrate food selections, PLUS, they have the added bonus of boosting metabolism and supporting healthy weight loss.
Resistant starch is found in a wide range of plant based foods such as potatoes, beans, green peas and bananas, and their unique properties actually help prevent the foods that contain resistant starch from being stored as fat. What’s so unique about this compound? Most starches are broken down into glucose and released into the bloodstream in the small intestines. But, digestive enzymes in our intestinal tract can’t break up resistant starch molecules, so they’re not converted to sugar. Even more surprising, studies have shown that as resistant starch travels through the large intestines it triggers physiological changes that improve your results from any weight loss plan.
Resistant Starch Benefits
When resistant starch reaches the large intestine it is broken down by healthy gut bacteria. This process creates healthy fatty acids, including one called butyrate, which prevents the liver from using carbs as fuel. Instead, cells are prompted to burn stored body fat for energy. Studies conducted at University of Colorado found that eating just 1 meal with 5 grams of resistant starch can increase fat metabolism by as much as 30% for the rest of the day!
Resistant starch also stimulates the production of the appetite-suppressing hormone glucagon, prompting you to eat an average of 10% fewer calories following a resistant-starch meal.
Because digestive enzymes can’t break down resistant starch, the body absorbs up to 50% fewer calories from foods that contain it. Resistant starch also helps move fat molecules through the digestive tract more quickly, which cuts the amount of fat that is absorbed by the body. Food studies have shown that consuming resistant starch at meals can block at least 135 calories from being absorbed each day.
Examples and Serving Sizes of Healthy Resistant Starch Foods
3/4 cup hummus
1 cup red radishes
1/2 cup cooked beans
1/2 cup cooked lentils
1/2 cup cooked green beans
1/2 of a small baked potato (and cooled before eating)
1 small baked yam (and cooled before eating)
1 cup cooked green peas
1/2 cup cooked wheat berries
1-1/2 cups cooked bulgar wheat
1 cup cooked pasta (and cooled before eating)
1 unripe (green) banana
1/2 cup cooked pearled barley
1 cup cooked oatmeal (not including instant)
1/2 cup corn
Studies have shown that resistant starch has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, diabetes and other endocrine imbalances management, however, you should always check with your endocrinologist before changing your diet in any way should you have any of these conditions.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina “The Veggie Goddess” Matthews