Resistant Starch = Free Calories!

Contrary to what we thought it might do, the internet and its unlimited wealth of information has confused nutrition, not simplified it. Everyone seems to know what carbs are, but common questions that I hear from clients are:

  • should I eat them?

  • how much?

  • what time of day?

  • which ones?

While I individualize the answers based on my client’s own health and fitness goals, what is known now (thank you microbiome researchers!!!) is that we MUST take care of our gut bacteria - and one main way is by eating the right type of carbs or starches. If we neglect our gut bacteria, we are in for a tumultuous future of heath maladies.

Fiber-rich plants, especially those containing resistant starches - like rice, oats, potatoes and legumes, are perfect food for gut bacteria.

So what is resistant starch you might ask?

Resistant starch (RS) is a carbohydrate or starch that resists digestion (read…. FREE CALORIES!) and travels intact all the way to the colon, where it feeds gut bacteria and imparts health benefits. You don’t metabolize it or break it down with your own enzymes like you do other carbohydrates. So resistant starch is classified as prebiotic fiber because it fuels healthy gut bacteria, helping it flourish.

There are 5 types of resistant starches. Raw/uncooked starches (rice, oats, beans, potatoes and green bananas) contain resistant starch type 1 and/or type 2. But when was the last time you ate any of these raw/uncooked foods? Me either. So today's focus is on type 3, the kind of RS we have the most control over.

Resistant Starch Type 3 comes from cooked then cooled starches, even when the food is later reheated All the make-ahead, bulk-batch home cooks rejoice!! Now that's a food hack if I ever saw one. I like to refer to these cooked, cooled starches as MAGICAL LEFTOVERS, because they.just.are!

Here is a pic of steel cut oats and brown rice in their raw and cooked, cooled forms.