Sunday, April 21, 2024

Chilled Grains and "Resistant Starch"


IRRI Images, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

"Resistant starch" is in the news.

There is evidence that cooking and then cooling starchy foods (rice, pasta, potatoes, legumes, etc.) transforms some of the starches into "resistant starch". 

Resistant starch is so named because it "resists" breakdown in the stomach and small intestine, instead being broken down by the "good" microbes in the large intestine. It is thus a prebiotic. It is similar in some ways to soluble fiber.

Because it is less digestible, one gram of resistant starch has 2 calories, compared to 4 calories per gram of typical starch or sugar. And resistant starch also takes longer to digest, thus spiking blood sugar less than regular starch.

This is all good news for anyone who is trying to increase their intake of prebiotics, decrease their blood sugar variability, and decrease their calorie intake. Which means that it's good news for an overwhelming majority of people in developed countries, and an increasing number of people in developing countries too.

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