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Resistant Starch…What Is It and Why Should We Care?

Do you even know what resistant starch is? I’m sure not many people do so hopefully you can learn a little something about it here. According to The Johns Hopkins Patient Guide to Diabetes it’s a carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine and ferments in the large intestine. As the fibers ferment, they act as a prebiotic and feed the good bacteria in the gut.


Typically when starches break down they convert quickly to glucose, which raises blood sugar. Because resistant starch doesn’t break down in the small intestine, it doesn’t raise blood sugar. Additionally, the fermentation process provides nourishment for the beneficial flora in your gut causing it to increase the good bacteria while decreasing the bad.

Beyond providing bacterial balance, resistant starch aids in the feeling of satiety, relief from constipation, lower cholesterol levels and improved glycemic control. It can also lower the riskof colon cancer.

Food Sources

  • Plantains and green bananas – the more they ripen, the more regular starch is produced
  • Beans pean and lentils – lentils and white beans have the most resistant starch
  • Whole grains including oats and barley
  • Cooked and cooled rice – both white and brown rice although brown rice has more nutrient value than white

In some cases, the resistant starch level decreases with the application of heat as in the case of plantains, green bananas and oats. The opposite is true with rice however, as long as the cooked rice has been cooled before consumption.

Adding Resistant Starch to Your Diet

  • Cook potatoes, pasta, rice and beans a day in advance and cool in the refrigerator before reheating. In these cases, reheating does not decrease the level of resistant starch
  • When using oatmeal, rather than cooking it try making overnight oats in the refrigerator
  • Add lentils to soups or salads

These small changes to the way you consume the foods that provide resistant starch may have  a significantly healthy impact on your risk of diabetes and colon cancer.  Isn’t that worth changing it up a little?

As a health coach, I work with women who are facing serious health challenges like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes or who have been diagnosed as having a precursor to a serious health issue such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar. I help them make food and lifestyle changes so they can get healthy, live longer and enjoy a fuller, happier, more energetic life. If you would like to have a free consultation about the health challenges you have and the improvements you would like to see in your health, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.

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  1. Mary Ellen Zung on October 14, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Great information Karen, especially when so many are concerned about carbs. This shows the benefit for our overall health, balance and gut health.

  2. Karen on October 14, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks Mary Ellen…I learned a little something too while I was researching it.

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