Resistant Starches...What are they? To be honest, their name says it all. They are the type of starch that is resistant to digestion! Meaning that they aren’t fully broken down or absorbed by the body, but rather turned into short-chain fatty acids.
How does this transformation occur?
Resistant starches react in the body similar to fiber, passing through the gastrointestinal tract without being digested. It instead gets fermented in the large intestine, where short chain fatty acids (SCFA) are produced. SCFAs can be absorbed into the body from the colon or stay put and be used by colonic bacteria for energy. It has been shown that SCFAs stimulate blood flow to the colon, increase nutrient circulation, inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria, and help us utilize various micronutrients!
A 2015 research study; Effect of cooling of cooked white rice on resistant starch content and glycemic response conducted by Sonia Steffi, et al. found that the temperature at which you consume forms of starches can play a major role in your bodies responses towards blood glucose levels and satiety. All of which occurs from the changes in resistant starch!
In this study, the effects of white rice consumed at different temperatures were examined to see how the 15 test subjects blood glucose levels would respond using Accu-Chek® Active glucometer at time 0 (time of the first bite of food) and 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after that. The rice was either consumed warm immediately after being finished in the rice cooker, cooled at room temperature, and lastly, refrigerated.
Upon the completion of testing, measuring, and analyzing data results showed that the refrigerated white rice posted the following response; “This study demonstrated that cooling of cooked white rice increased its RS content. Cooked white rice cooled at 4°C for 24 hours then reheated had higher RS content than cooked white rice cooled at room temperature for 10 hours. In the clinical study, ingestion of cooked white rice cooled at 4°C for 24 hours then reheated produced lower glycemic response compared with ingestion of freshly cooked white rice at the same portion. Cooked white rice cooled at 4°C for 24 hours then reheated was also accepted nearly as well as freshly cooked white rice.”
Like we stated earlier in the article, when we eat resistant starch it ends up in the large intestine, where the bacteria digest it and turn it into short-chain fatty acids. One of these fatty acids produced is called butyrate, which is considered to be the primary fuel source for our colons cells.
With this fuel source now present, it can help to reduce our bodies pH level, inflammation, and may be useful for various digestive disorders; Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, constipation, diverticulitis and diarrhea.
Where or How can you implement RS into your nutritional protocol?
Resistant starches can be added to your nutritional protocol either through various whole food options or supplementation. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) suggests that a daily 10-20g of resistant starch could aid in overall benefits. If whole food sources are you first choice, you should be aware that there are four different types of resistant starches.
Type 1 is found in grains, seeds and legumes and resists digestion because it is bound within the fibrous cell walls.
Type 2 is found in some starchy foods, including raw potatoes and green (unripe) bananas.
Type 3 is formed when certain starchy foods, including potatoes and rice, are cooked and then cooled. The cooling turns some of the digestible starches into resistant starches via a process called retrogradation- Let them cool before serving!
Type 4 is man-made and formed via a chemical process
The preparation method or time of ripeness in which you choose to consume them can and will put a major effect on the overall amount of resistant starch in the food.
**We here at MAH suggest to start small and work your way up, as too much RS can lead to digestive issues. Begin with only 5-10g per day and work your way to 30g**
Need food source ideas? Below you will find some of our favorite ways and foods which we here at Modern Athletic Health utilize to add resistant starches to our diets!
-Jasmine rice; Fully cooked then cooled overnight
-Red/Yukon/Russet Potatoes- Fully baked in the oven as fries then cooled at room temperature
DISCLAIMER: Thomas Munck is not a doctor or registered dietitian. The contents of this document should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem - nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.