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  • Writer's pictureSrdjan Savic

"The Power of Resistant Starch: A Key to Health and Longevity?"

One of the simplest things we can do for our health is to avoid white powders and starchy foods. This is because of their rapid digestion, which spikes insulin and glucose levels, ultimately leading to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases.


But there’s a special type of starch that’s an exception to this rule: resistant starch. Unlike ordinary starch, resistant starch offers myriad health benefits without the adverse effects on blood sugar levels.

In fact, improving blood sugar and insulin sensitivity are some of its benefits.


What Exactly Is Resistant Starch?


While other starches quickly break down in the small intestine and convert to glucose, which is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, resistant starch resists normal digestion—hence its name.


Instead of breaking down into glucose, it passes through the digestive tract undisturbed until it reaches the colon. 


Once there, it acts as a prebiotic, supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and transforming into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) with numerous health benefits.


The Spectrum of Benefits: From Gut Health to Longevity


Promotes a Healthy Gut: As a prebiotic, resistant starch fosters the growth of healthy gut flora, one of the most critically overlooked factors of longevity and disease prevention.

Boosts Short-Chain Fatty Acid Production: SCFAs formed from resistant starches like acetate, propionate, and butyrate have been linked to reduced inflammation and lower risks of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Enhances Insulin Sensitivity: Studies indicate improvements in markers such as fasting insulin and glucose levels from consuming resistant starch, suggesting a potential for weight management, diabetes prevention, and mitigating age-related chronic diseases.


Impacts Glucose Tolerance and Appetite Control: Resistant starch can slow gastric emptying, reduce post-meal blood sugar spikes, and promote feelings of fullness—and this impact isn’t just limited postprandial (after a meal) but can even extend to subsequent meals.

Integrating Resistant Starch into Your Diet: Practical Tips


Incorporate Prebiotic-Rich Foods: Aim for a daily intake of asparagus,artichokes,  beans, lentils, green bananas (the greener the better), and onions.

Cook, Cool, Then Reheat Your Starches: When starchy foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, and legumes are cooked and cooled in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, their starches transform in a way that makes them more resistant to digestive enzymes—resulting in significantly improved glucose spikes after eating them.

Diversify with Carbohydrates from Vegetables: A balanced diet rich in vegetables like broccoli and asparagus supports gut health.

Consider Supplementing: Potato starch, such as Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch, can be an easy way to increase your intake. Starting with two tablespoons per day and gradually increasing can help minimize potential digestive discomfort.


A Note on Digestive Responses


The introduction of resistant starch can initially lead to gas and bloating due to changes in gut bacteria—a temporary “die-off” effect.


However, persistent discomfort could indicate underlying issues like SIBO or yeast overgrowth, necessitating consultation with a Functional Medicine practitioner.


Conclusion


Resistant starch stands out as a dietary powerhouse with its array of health benefits spanning gut health, metabolic regulation, and potentially, longevity.


By rethinking how we prepare and consume starchy foods, we can harness these benefits, paving the way for a healthier future.


Whether through diet modifications or supplementation, incorporating resistant starch offers a simple yet effective strategy for enhancing overall wellness.

 




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