Resistant Starch


Many of the whole food carbohydrates in our diets are starches. Theses starches are long chains of glucose that are in root vegetables and grains. But some of the starch remains undigested and passes through the digestive tract unchanged. This means it is resistant to digestion, so it is called resistant starch, which is a form of soluble fiber. (Sure beats Metamucil!)  Other health benefits of resistant starches include lower blood sugar levels, improved insulin sensitivity and reduced appetite. Making sure you have a resistant starch in two meals a day is a good practice.

Overcooking root vegetables, (such as potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.), will create a simple starch and you will have lost the resistant starch. Much of the process towards healthy living is about learning how to cook and also in training your taste buds.

Resistant starch is  is found in some starchy foods, including raw potatoes and green (unripe) bananas. But seriously, who is going to eat a raw potato or unripe banana?  (You could include a piece in your morning smoothie though!)

When we were in Costa Rica, we had an abundance of yucca (see photo of John holding yucca he pulled out of the ground!) and plantains.
When we were in Costa Rica, we had an abundance of yucca & plantains. Here John show his harvest!

But when you undercook these starches or cook them al dente, AND they are allowed to cool, the digestible starches are turned into resistant starches in a process called retrograde. It is also important to note that resistant starch feeds the good bacteria in the intestine. When the bacteria digest resistant starches, they form several compounds, including gases and short-chain fatty acids. All good for our health and probably way more information than you want to know while you are eating this simple yucca (or al dente potato) salad. Here is the recipe for the yucca or potato salad.

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