Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resistant starch

Resistant starch is a starch that resists digestion by regular digestive enzymes, passing through to the colon for fermentation by gut flora. In a post way back in the day, I addressed resistant starch and lumped it in with other prebiotic fibers like inulin, with the reasoning being that while it was certainly helpful and important, it was not some essential, magical nutrient. It seems I underestimated it. Resistant starch offers some interesting properties unique among other prebiotics.
Unmodified, raw potato starch is probably the easiest way to get resistant starch, since each tablespoon contains about 8 grams of RS. Richard Nikoley has spearheaded the promotion of resistant starch via unmodified potato starch as a way to approximate or emulate the ancestral microbiome over at his blog. He’s been covering the benefits and relaying lots of anecdotes from readers who’ve seen great improvements in sleep quality and blood sugar control, even when diabetic or while remaining in ketosis). He even came up with a way to make mashed potatoes that don’t spike your glucose. Interesting, compelling stuff.

I think it’s worth trying. Potato starch is only about $4 or $5 a bag (less if you order in bulk on Amazon), mixes well in water or smoothies without much of a taste. Start with a teaspoon or two and work your way up to as many as four tablespoons. Expect flatulence as your gut flora acclimatize to the influx of this food.

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