For the vast majority of people, the word "starch" may conjure up images of guilty pleasures and high-calorie treats like pizza, pasta or even doughnuts. Our brains have been repeatedly persuaded thatstarchy foods are unhealthy and should be avoided at all costs, if we want to stay in top shape and improve health. However, not all starches are the same.Resistant starch, for example, is actually a beneficial type of starch that has not insignificant health benefits.
What is a resistant starch?
Resistant starch is a type of starch that is not completely broken down and absorbed by the stomach or intestine. Instead, it passes into the colon and is convertedto short-chain fatty acids, which act as prebiotics to help nurture the good bacteria in the gut.
Because it is processed and metabolized in the same way as dietary fiber, it also offers similar health benefits. In fact, some research suggests thatresistant starch may help stabilize blood sugar, promote satiety, and make for better digestive health.
It is important to point out that resistant starch is considered, by some, to be kid-friendly and ideal for people wishing to follow a low-carb diet. This happens because it passes through the bodyundigested, without increasing blood sugar or throwing the body by ketosis. Best of all, resistant starch is found in a variety of sources and can easily be incorporated into a well-balanced, healthy diet.
The different types of resistant starch
There are4 main types of resistant starch that are often found in our everyday food, namely:
- 1 : in seeds, cereals, vegetables legumesas well as the endosperm of the whole seeds
- 2: in raw potatoes, green bananas and high amylose corn starch
- 3 : formed by a process called retrogradation by cooling of cooked starches such as potatoes or rice
- 4: chemically modified resistant starch found in some processed foods
It should be remembered that the amount of starch is particularly dependent on the method of preparation of the food as well as its maturity. Consider the example of bananas, which contain resistant starch while still green.
The positive effects of resistant starch on health
Starch resistant has several health benefits. It is especially known for its hypoglycemic properties, i.e. it stabilizes blood sugar levels. It is also a superfood to promoteweight loss, decrease inflammation, optimize digestive health. Tough starch is an ally you'll need to protect against colon cancer.
Resistant starch and blood sugar
Above a certain threshold, high blood sugar can lead to a long list of negative symptoms over time, ranging frominvoluntary weight loss to kidney problems and nerve damage. Several studies have shown that consuming resistant starch can help maintain normal blood sugar after meals. This helps to naturally reverse type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular and Alzheimer's disease.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for releasing glucose out of the blood and into the cells where it can be used as fuel. When you eat a lot of foods high in sugar, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream stays high, decreasing your body's ability to effectively use insulin and leading to a condition called insulin resistance. However, eating resistant starch has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, allowing your body to use this hormone more effectively to control blood sugar levels.
The benefits of resistant starch on weight loss
Resistantstarch is thought to help stimulate weight loss in a variety of ways. First of all, it contains fewer calories than regular starch. This means you can eat the same amount, but with fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss.
In addition, it can help promote satiety to avoid food cravings and make you feel satisfied longer. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, for example, showed that consumption of a supplement containing resistant starch resulted in a significant reduction in food intake compared with a placebo in healthy adults. Other studies have also shown thatresistant starch may be beneficial for reducing appetite. This happens because it acts as soluble fiber in the stomach to confer a satiety-inducing effect.
Resistant starch and colon cancer
Consumingresistant starch can have a powerful impact on the health of your gastrointestinal tract, especially your colon. In fact, some studies even suggest that it may help block the growth and spread of colon cancer cells to keep your digestive system in top shape.
This may alterthe metabolismof certain colon bacteria in an effort to help preventcancer. It has been shown that butyric acid, one of the compounds formed by the breakdown ofstarch, may be effective inreducing inflammation in the colon while preventing the spread ofcancer cells.
Despite these promising results, it is important to keep in mind that current research is limited to mostly test tube and animal studies. Further studies are still needed to assess the effects oncancer cells in humans.
Do you also know of other benefits of consuming resistant starch? Feel free to share them in the comments. We look forward to hearing from you.