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Benefits of resistant starch

Have you ever heard of resistant starch? If you like potatoes and feel guilty when you eat them this might be interesting for you.

Starch – we usually hear that it is not good for us, it breaks down quickly into glucose and can rise blood sugar level what impacts our insulin level and other hormones. However starch is one of the most abundant foods in the world and has been a primary food component in every diet - with maize, rice, wheat, potatoes and bananas – being the top starchy products.

So can turn it into our advantage?

Actually there is a type of starch which resists digestion in our digestive track – this starch is called resistant starch. The official definition says ‘Resistant starch is the sum of starch and products of starch degradation no

t absorbed in the small intestine of healthy individuals’, it is estimated that resistant starch represents around 4-10% of starch in food products.

However as our food is processe

d, the starch in our diets became more easily digestible and contains much less resistant starch and dietary fibre. Natural resistant starches are large, insoluble starch granules that ferment very slowly throughout the entire length of the intestinal tract. The physical structure of the starch granule ensures that the bacteria cannot digest the entire food source quickly. So the resistant starch is feeding our gut microbiome and keeps our digestive truck healthy! And we know what benefits this can bring:

-> healthy bacteria produce short-chain-fatty-acids which are main source of food for colon cells and keep them health

- > short chain fatty acids are also great fuel for our brain

-> healthy gut microbiome takes care of our immune system and keeps it in balance

So how to take the best advantage of resistant starch?

1) Eat whole food, least processed grains – dark rye bread, wholegrain spelt bread, use wholegrain flours for cooking. I still do not recommend eating wheat as this grain has been modified a lot and contains much more gluten which might impact our gut health.

2) Eat cooked and cooled potatoes, rice or pasta, as well stale bread – they contain retrograded starch that is created when starch is cooked and cooled. The glucose chains are released upon cooking, but some of them crystallize and form bonds that slow down digestion and feed our friends in the gut

In order to avoid blood sugar rise while eating starchy food please always add proteins to the meal as well fibre-rich food like vegetables and fruits. And keep in mind that the starchy carbohydrates should not take more than 40% place on our plate.

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