Don’t Resist This Starch
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Don’t Resist This Starch

I’m Alan Christianson, Dr. C for short, and I have been recommending resistant starch for quite some time now. It’s one of my favorite foods out there, and I really believe in its benefits.

Names like the skinny card, resistant fiber, and resistant starch are often used. No matter what you call, research shows it can help you lose belly fat, feel fuller for longer, lower your blood sugar, and increase your helpful gut bacteria.

Sound good? I agree! Let’s talk a bit more about it, and all the reasons why I believe you shouldn’t resist this starch one bit…

How Does it Help?

Let’s think about it like this: The more your blood sugar goes up and down, the more you gain weight and put yourself at risk for complications with diabetes.

Basically, resistant starch helps stabilize your blood sugar more than any other known compound out there.

In fact, it was first discovered in 1984 as an effective treatment for a fatal genetic disorder that causes unstable blood sugar, called glycogen storage disease.

People with this disease could never go more than 90 minutes between meals without life-threatening hypoglycemia—even at night. Imagine never being able to sleep for more than 90-120 minutes at a time!

Dr. Yuan-Tsong Chen wrote a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, showing that resistant starch was so slowly digested, it gave the sufferers 7-9 hours of blood sugar and allowed them to sleep through the night for the first time in their lives.1

Unpacking “Diabesity”

The much more common condition, in which blood sugar is poorly controlled, is known as type 2 diabetes.

In this condition, people experience growth of visceral fat, fatigue, poor mental function, and numerous complications, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancers
  • Kidney damage
  • Premature brain aging2

We now know that many of these same complications occur with obesity even when diabetes is not yet apparent.3

Because the conditions overlap so greatly, Dr. Francine Kaufman coined the term “diabesity” to express their interrelatedness.

Resistant starch has been shown to lower blood sugar, which can lower the complications of diabetes.4 It has also been shown to reduce the buildup of body fat and lower the medical risks associated with obesity.5

Cortisol Metabolism

You may have heard cortisol is a hormone that causes stress and weight gain.
What you may not have heard, though, is it also plays backup for controlling your blood sugar.

The more stable your blood sugar is, the better your cortisol levels will be. It’s even shown that those with healthier cortisol levels have fewer risks of developing diabetes and fewer complications, such as obesity.6

Bowel Flora

Resistant starch works differently than other carbs because it’s mostly digested in the colon by intestinal flora.

Other carbs are absorbed in the small intestine. So, it takes food longer to reach the colon – which is why resistant starch has a gentler effect on blood sugar.

Since it’s absorbed by healthy bacteria, these bacteria multiply and improve intestinal health by raising the amount of butyrate and other short-chain fats in the colon.7

Higher levels of butyrate can reduce gas, bloating, and many food intolerances. It can also cut the risk of colon cancer and may also reduce the risks of autoimmune diseases, like arthritis.8

Which Foods Have Resistant Starch?

So, how can you incorporate more resistant starch into your diet? It’s relatively easy! So many foods, when prepared correctly, are high in resistant starch. This makes it seamless to incorporate into your diet.

Let’s start with the basics:

  • Potatoes – Especially when boiled and refrigerated (those with purple flesh are the highest).
  • Beans and Legumes – Particularly white beans like navy, northern, and cannellini beans.
  • Unripe Bananas – Even their skin is good (when from organic ripe bananas). That’s right, you can eat banana skins!

How Can You Get More Resistant Starch in Your Diet?

As I mentioned, it’s really simple. There are a few handy tricks that I swear by to help bring more resistant starch into your diet.

Here they are:

  • Boil potatoes with purple or red flesh, and refrigerate overnight. Dice and add ¾ cup of potatoes to stir-fry dishes after heating.
  • Add ½ cup of navy beans to your salad with lunch.
  • Get ripe, organic bananas. Trim the stem and the tip. Cut in half, and freeze overnight or longer. Use half of a banana with the skin in your protein shake. Be sure to use a strong blender.

Want a great way to get resistant starch? Check out this Reset Diet approved potato salad recipe!

The Beauty of Resistant Starch

I really hope you have the chance to incorporate more resistant starch into your diet. As I mentioned, it’s a great way to get some of the best health benefits out of your food – and it’s so easy!

Now that you know more about it, the next time you’re in the grocery store I hope you’ll reach for the extra-ripe organic bananas. And, hopefully, you’ll be willing to try eating the skin, too!

1 – Chen Y-T, Cornblath M, Sidbury JB, “Cornstarch therapy in type 1 glycogen-storage disease,” N Engl J Med 310:1721–1725, 1984.

2 – Johnson EL, “Glycemic variability in type 2 diabetes mellitus: oxidative stress and macrovascular complications,” Adv Exp Med Biol 2012;771:139-54.

3 – Jung U.J., Choi M.S., “Obesity and its metabolic complications: The role of adipokines and the relationship between obesity, inflammation, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease,” Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014;15:6184–6223. doi: 10.3390/ijms15046184.

4 – Robertson M.D., “Dietary-resistant starch and glucose metabolism,” Curr. Opin. Clin. Nutr. Metab. Care, 2012;15:362–367, doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e3283536931.

5 – Zhang L, Li HT2, Shen L, Fang QC, Qian LL, Jia WP, “Effect of Dietary Resistant Starch on Prevention and Treatment of Obesity-related Diseases and Its Possible Mechanisms,” Biomed Environ Sci., 2015 Apr;28(4):291-7, doi: 10.3967/bes2015.040.

6 – Paredes S, Ribeiro L, “Cortisol: the villain in metabolic syndrome?” Rev Assoc Med Bras., 2014 Jan-Feb;60(1):84-92.

7 – Bird A.R., Conlon M.A., Christophersen C.T., Topping D.L., “Resistant starch, large bowel fermentation and a broader perspective of prebiotics and probiotics,” Benef. Microbes, 2010;1:423–431, doi: 10.3920/BM2010.0041.

8 – Ibid

P.S. Whenever you are ready, here is how I can help you now:

1. Download and use my Favorite Recipes Cookbook Here
2. Check out my podcast Medical Myths, Legends, and Fairytales Here
3. Come see one of my Doctors that specialize in Thyroid Care Here

Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet and The Metabolism Reset Diet.

Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest.

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