Benefits of Resistant Starch on Blood Sugar Management and Weight Loss

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Starches are long chains of glucose that are found in grains, potatoes, and various other carbohydrates in your food. But all starches are not the same. Some of them are digested, while others pass through your digestive system without any change. These starches that pass through your digestive tract unchanged are resistant to digestion and hence called resistant starch. Resistant Starch is known to improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, reduce appetite, and comes with various other powerful health benefits.

Types of  Resistant Starches

  • Type 1 : Resistant to digestion as they're enclosed within the cell wall. Examples are Seeds, Legumes, and Whole Grains.
  • Type 2 : Naturally occurring resistant starch, available in Bananas and Raw Potatoes.
  • Type 3 : Prepared by the process known as retrogradation, where starch-containing foods, such as Potatoes and Rice, are first cooked and then cooled.
  • Type 4 : Includes the starches that are prepared by a chemical process.
  • Type 5 : Prepared through a chemical process by combining certain non-resistant starches with fats to make them resistant by changing their structure.

Note : The amount of resistant starch present in food depends on the method of food preparation. For Example : Ripened bananas have less resistant starch when compared to Unripe Bananas.

Effect of Resistant Starch on Glucose and Insulin Sensitivity

Resistant Starch plays an important role in managing various metabolic conditions.

  • Improves insulin sensitivity, reduces cholesterol levels, and reduces appetite.
  • Increases the absorption of certain minerals that enhances your overall health.
  • Several studies have confirmed the beneficial effect of resistant starch on insulin sensitivity.
  • Overweight or obese individuals consuming 40 grams of resistant starch a day for 12 weeks can improve insulin sensitivity by 19%.
  • Acetate formed from the fermentation of resistant starch in the colon due to the presence of bacteria suppresses the metabolism of fat tissues and reduces the concentration of free fatty acid in the system. Some of the other short-chain fatty acids are propionate and butyrate.
  • Since the levels of Free fatty acids and the risk of insulin resistance are directly proportional, a person is at more risk of developing insulin resistance if there is an increase in free fatty acid levels in the body. Thus, by reducing the synthesis of free fatty acids, resistant starch helps in lowering insulin resistance and improving sensitivity.

Include Resistant Starch in your Diet

It is difficult to know the exact quantity of resistant starch you are taking in your diet, as there are no set guidelines about the daily intake of resistant starch and food labels do not specifically mention the amount of resistant starch in a food item. However, there are still ways in which you can add Resistant Starches into your diet.

  • Type 2 Resistant Starch : Incorporate at least Two T-2 Resistant Starch foods in your diet like oats, unripe bananas, cashews.
  • Retrogradation Process : Increase the amount of resistant starch by heating and cooling Type 3 Resistant Starch foods like Rice and Potatoes.
  • Supplements : Add supplemental Resistant Starch into your diet by sprinkling Banana Flour and Potato Flour.

Bottom Line

If you’re currently trying to break a weight loss plateau or have high blood sugars, including resistant starches in your diet is a good idea. Apart from being beneficial in optimizing your blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, resistant starches has several systemic and gastrointestinal advantages and is used to manage constipation, promote gut microflora, and reduce colon inflammation.

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