The Top 5 Resistant Starches

Do you hear the word “starch” and automatically think “carbohydrate?” If so, you would be correct! It is one of the three forms of carbohydrates, along with sugar and fiber. Throughout this article, we will answer the question “what is a resistant starch?” and look closer at how to incorporate these into your diet. We will also consider the top 5 resistant starches.

Resistant Starch

What is a resistant starch? Let’s look at starch first.Any starch is a long chain of glucose (simple sugar). As a main building block of carbohydrates, glucose is a source of energy for the body. How is resistant starch different? First, it has less calories per gram than regular starch. Resistant starch is 2 calories versus 4 calories in regular starch. Second, simply put it is a starch that is resistant to digestion. Resistant starch does not change much as it moves through your digestive tract… but it feeds the “good” bacteria once it reaches the colon, yay! When resistant starch is digested by the bacteria, gases, and short chain fatty-acids form. More specifically, butyrate is produced! Why is butyrate important? Well, it helps with digestion, calms inflammation, helps those with inflammatory bowel disease, combats insulin resistance and more! This is just one reason that resistant starches are a good choice for carbohydrates in your diet. Some other health benefits of resistant starch include lowered levels of blood sugar after eating and aids in feeling “full” or satiated which can help in weight loss.

Cooking and Cooling

What is the best way to eat foods with starch like potatoes and rice? Most often, these are all thought of as high in carbohydrates, and therefore, should be eaten minimally. Interestingly, cooking and then cooling these foods converts digestible starches into starches that are resistant. This process is called retrogradation. In this process, the amylose and amylopectin chains that breakdown during the cooking process rearrange themselves as they cool. Does this mean you should only eat cold potatoesand rice (never warm)? Well, they are higher in resistant starches served cold… but reheating them does maintain a higher level of resistant starches than you’ll find in the cooked (uncooled) version.

The Top 5 Resistant Starches:

1. Sweet potato – these are an energy-rich tuber that are incredibly nutritious! Sweet potatoes have less calories, protein and carbohydrates than a regular potato, but they have the same amount of fiber in a single serving. Because of the processing needed to break down the resistant starch (as described above), both regular and sweet potatoes do not act the same way in the body as other foods that are considered high in carbohydrates. This is a good time to remind you that all carbs are not created equal. Sweet potatoes are nutrient dense, offering a lot of vitamins and minerals to the body.

2. Green plantain– these are a type of large green banana that are not much like bananas at all! They have a very different flavor, and unlike bananas which are usually eaten raw, plantains are usually cooked as they are tougher and less sweet than bananas. Plantains are an amazing source of not only fiber but also resistant starch. A fascinating thing about bananas is that as they ripen, the resistant starches convert into simple sugars. What this means is that bananas, as most of us eat them – ripe and yellow, don’t contain as much resistant starch as green plantains do. Don’t let them ripen all the way, and you’ll get more resistant starch!

3. Beans and legumes – these include things like kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed pea, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), dry peas, and all varieties of lentils. There is a lot of debate about whether or not beans and legumes are considered part of the protein or vegetable food group. They are high in fiber and nutrient content like vegetables. But unlike most vegetables, they are also generally high in protein. Nevertheless, beans and legumes contain resistant starch. An important thing to remember is that these foods often contain lectins and anti-nutrients. It is recommended to always soak and rinse them well prior to cooking.

4. Oats – if you’re okay with grain, oats are a good way to add resistant starch. Oats are a species of grain, but it is grown specifically for its seed. There are several health benefits from oats including relieving constipation, aiding in balancing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, etc. Oats are nutrient dense and are high in antioxidants and fiber!Like potatoes and rice, the resistant starch increases after the cooked oats have cooled. When it comes to oats, skip the “instant” varieties as they are extremely processed often with added sugars! The most common varieties people choose are crushed or steel-cut oats. They do take longer to cook, but not as long as the fully intact oats do. Oats can be super convenient, especially for breakfast as you can cook and allow to cool overnight.

5. Rice –this is a seed of grass species Oryza Sativa or Oryza Glaberrima. It has a very high worldwide production as an agricultural commodity. It is very popular in Asia as a staple food in the diet. It is often considered a low cost food regardless of location.You might be familiar with both white and brown rice. In comparison, the level of resistant starch found in each of these is comparable. Brown rice does contain more fiber, as well as the micro-nutrients magnesium and manganese. As already mentioned, the resistant starch found in rice is maximized by cooking and then cooling before eating.

rice

Resistant Starches, In Summary

Starch is one of the three forms of carbohydrates. Throughout this article, we’ve addressed the topic of resistant starches and how they work in the body. There are many health benefits including improving gut health, aiding digestion, reduces inflammation, reducing blood sugar levels, among many other things! We hope that you have found ways to incorporate foods that contain resistant starches into your diet!

Check out our “Keto Recipe Tips for Beginners” Ultimate Guide.

The Top 5 Resistant Starches

Do you hear the word “starch” and automatically think “carbohydrate?” If so, you would be correct! It is one of the three forms of carbohydrates, along with sugar and fiber. Throughout this article, we will answer the question “what is a resistant starch?” and look closer at how to incorporate these into your diet. We will also consider the top 5 resistant starches.

Resistant Starch

What is a resistant starch? Let’s look at starch first.Any starch is a long chain of glucose (simple sugar). As a main building block of carbohydrates, glucose is a source of energy for the body. How is resistant starch different? First, it has less calories per gram than regular starch. Resistant starch is 2 calories versus 4 calories in regular starch. Second, simply put it is a starch that is resistant to digestion. Resistant starch does not change much as it moves through your digestive tract… but it feeds the “good” bacteria once it reaches the colon, yay! When resistant starch is digested by the bacteria, gases, and short chain fatty-acids form. More specifically, butyrate is produced! Why is butyrate important? Well, it helps with digestion, calms inflammation, helps those with inflammatory bowel disease, combats insulin resistance and more! This is just one reason that resistant starches are a good choice for carbohydrates in your diet. Some other health benefits of resistant starch include lowered levels of blood sugar after eating and aids in feeling “full” or satiated which can help in weight loss.

Cooking and Cooling

What is the best way to eat foods with starch like potatoes and rice? Most often, these are all thought of as high in carbohydrates, and therefore, should be eaten minimally. Interestingly, cooking and then cooling these foods converts digestible starches into starches that are resistant. This process is called retrogradation. In this process, the amylose and amylopectin chains that breakdown during the cooking process rearrange themselves as they cool. Does this mean you should only eat cold potatoesand rice (never warm)? Well, they are higher in resistant starches served cold… but reheating them does maintain a higher level of resistant starches than you’ll find in the cooked (uncooled) version.

The Top 5 Resistant Starches:

1. Sweet potato – these are an energy-rich tuber that are incredibly nutritious! Sweet potatoes have less calories, protein and carbohydrates than a regular potato, but they have the same amount of fiber in a single serving. Because of the processing needed to break down the resistant starch (as described above), both regular and sweet potatoes do not act the same way in the body as other foods that are considered high in carbohydrates. This is a good time to remind you that all carbs are not created equal. Sweet potatoes are nutrient dense, offering a lot of vitamins and minerals to the body.

2. Green plantain– these are a type of large green banana that are not much like bananas at all! They have a very different flavor, and unlike bananas which are usually eaten raw, plantains are usually cooked as they are tougher and less sweet than bananas. Plantains are an amazing source of not only fiber but also resistant starch. A fascinating thing about bananas is that as they ripen, the resistant starches convert into simple sugars. What this means is that bananas, as most of us eat them – ripe and yellow, don’t contain as much resistant starch as green plantains do. Don’t let them ripen all the way, and you’ll get more resistant starch!

3. Beans and legumes – these include things like kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed pea, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), dry peas, and all varieties of lentils. There is a lot of debate about whether or not beans and legumes are considered part of the protein or vegetable food group. They are high in fiber and nutrient content like vegetables. But unlike most vegetables, they are also generally high in protein. Nevertheless, beans and legumes contain resistant starch. An important thing to remember is that these foods often contain lectins and anti-nutrients. It is recommended to always soak and rinse them well prior to cooking.

4. Oats – if you’re okay with grain, oats are a good way to add resistant starch. Oats are a species of grain, but it is grown specifically for its seed. There are several health benefits from oats including relieving constipation, aiding in balancing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, etc. Oats are nutrient dense and are high in antioxidants and fiber!Like potatoes and rice, the resistant starch increases after the cooked oats have cooled. When it comes to oats, skip the “instant” varieties as they are extremely processed often with added sugars! The most common varieties people choose are crushed or steel-cut oats. They do take longer to cook, but not as long as the fully intact oats do. Oats can be super convenient, especially for breakfast as you can cook and allow to cool overnight.

5. Rice –this is a seed of grass species Oryza Sativa or Oryza Glaberrima. It has a very high worldwide production as an agricultural commodity. It is very popular in Asia as a staple food in the diet. It is often considered a low cost food regardless of location.You might be familiar with both white and brown rice. In comparison, the level of resistant starch found in each of these is comparable. Brown rice does contain more fiber, as well as the micro-nutrients magnesium and manganese. As already mentioned, the resistant starch found in rice is maximized by cooking and then cooling before eating.

rice

Resistant Starches, In Summary

Starch is one of the three forms of carbohydrates. Throughout this article, we’ve addressed the topic of resistant starches and how they work in the body. There are many health benefits including improving gut health, aiding digestion, reduces inflammation, reducing blood sugar levels, among many other things! We hope that you have found ways to incorporate foods that contain resistant starches into your diet!

Check out our “Keto Recipe Tips for Beginners” Ultimate Guide.
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2019-06-07T05:49:27-04:00