The seals continued to sing their songs and the otters tapped, tapped, tapped their mussels on the rocks below.
The Pacific breeze brushed across our faces. I looked into Vicky’s green eyes as she made this statement.
“I’d do anything for some fried potatoes.” Vicky said.
We sat on our favorite bench at Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove, California We looked out over Monterey Bay. The way Monterey Bay sat and how Lover’s Point jutted out into it, you could nearly watch the sun rise over the Pacific Ocean. I know the sun doesn’t rise over the Pacific Ocean, but in this spot it really did seem like it did.
Vicky was now in the third phase of my menopause relief course, The HOPE Protocol.
“Will I be able to order fried potatoes?” She asked.
We were on our way to The Awakening, a restaurant we love near Cannery Row. It was just far enough away that we could not inhale the aroma of any potatoes being fried.
Anyone that knows Vicky knows food is a passion of hers.
“Yes, I think its time.” I said
“But! Dave, I really don’t want to put the weight back on.”
Divers slowly walked backwards into the bay. They laid on their backs, peddled and slithered their way into the bay. Like seals, they slowly slipped into the darkness of the ocean.
The water was calm this morning. Kayakers sat still as they watched the divers slowly pull the ocean’s surface over them.
“There is a special micronutrient within potatoes, bananas, whole grains and beans.” I said.
She looked at with bewilderment.
Scientists have discovered a certain type of starch that actually will help you maintain your weight. Because of this starch, these foods are actually good for weight maintenance. Some studies actually show that will cause weight loss.
“And you’re telling me now!” She stated
“I have placed the foods that possess this starch into phase 3 and not earlier because I trust them for weight loss maintenance, but I am not convinced that they belong in our ketogenic diet. These vegetables, grains, and fruits that possess this starch are also known to be high glycemic. As you know, if you spike insulin, you will be thrown out of ketosis.” I taught.
“This Starch is composed of two types of polysaccharides: amylose and amylopectin. Amylopectin is easily digestible, which means it increases blood sugar levels quickly.” I continued.
“Amylose is difficult to digest. This is the sugar primarily found in this starch. Since amylose is difficult to break down, blood sugar rises more slowly and there is a less chance of an insulin spike. For instance, there are only 2 calories of energy extracted per gram from this starch. We extract 4 calories per gram from other starches. What that means is that 200 calories of energy comes from 100 grams of this starch. In 100 grams of other starches, there are 400 calories of energy.
“What foods are the best sources for this starch?” Vicky asked.
“Beans, bananas and potatoes, but rice and corn have their fair share.”
Vicky placed her hands on her head and said. “What? What’s the name of this starch?”
“Resistant starch. It’s a unique kind of fiber.” I answered.
“I have never heard of this starch.” She said.
“Resistant starch is a unique dietary fiber found in potatoes, fruits, some grains, and beans. Foods with resistant starch within them needs to cool to allow the starch to form. Since this starch is not digestible, it helps maintain weight loss by decreasing the feeling of deprivation, and due to its ability to make you feel full, it decreases your appetite. By being a low glycemic carbohydrate it also stabilizes blood sugar levels.
Due to resistant starch being bulky, it takes substantial space as it travels through our digestive tracks. And since it is not absorbable, the liver cannot convert it into fat. Recall, if we consume too many carbohydrates, the excess carbohydrates are converted into fat and stored.
“Isn’t this what all fibers do? There are plenty of other foods that have plenty of fiber without the possibility of spiking my blood sugar and my insulin.” Vicky stated.
“You’re right, but resistant starch ferments within our large intestines. This process creates beneficial fatty acids, including one called butyrate. This fatty acid blocks the body’s ability to use the carbohydrates as fuel. When the liver can’t use the carbs as fuel, it will use our stored fat instead.”
Vicky shook her head. I knew she was having a hard time wrapping her head around this. I knew it was my fault, because I had trained her to not spike insulin and now I was talking about her consuming foods that were not only known for spiking insulin, but the foods I was talking about were the big guns of the insulin spiking foods.
We both paused as tourists stopped nearby to take pictures of the sunrise.
As they moved away, I continued with my lesson.
“One study found that replacing just 5 to 6% of our total carbohydrate intake with resistant starch created a 20 to 30% increase in our fat burning ability after a meal.”
“Other studies show that the small chain fatty acids that resistant starch is broken into while it ferments triggers the release of hunger hormones like leptin, peptide YY and glucagon. You all know how much I love glucagon. These hormones shut down hunger and turn on satiety (fullness). By shutting off hunger, increasing satiety,we eat less. That’s the difference between the resistant starch and other fibers.”
“One of the small chain fatty acids made by this fermentation of resistant starch is called Butyrate. This fatty acid has also been shown to protect the lining of the colon. This makes me think that I must discover a way to introduce resistant starch into our gut protocol. My only concern is that the gut protocol assists ketosis and I have yet to discover a way to use resistant starch without out spiking insulin and knocking you and our clients out of ketosis.”
“You also know how important pH is to the colon. Resistant starch has been shown to drop pH levels and that will boost the absorption of calcium and block the absorption of cancer-causing toxins.”
“Another benefit resistant starch has for our guts is the role it plays in balancing the gut’s bacteria. Resistant starch feeds the good bacteria, and the more good gut bacteria we have within the gut the better the balance. When there is a better balance between the good and bad bacteria the better our immune system functions.”
“The research that impresses me the most about resistant starch is its ability to stabilize our blood sugar levels. When blood sugar is stable there will be a less likelihood of developing insulin resistance and the heart disease that accompanies it. One thing that most of us don’t realize is how our energy levels are directly related to our blood sugar. High blood sugar exhausts you and low and low blood sugar makes you weak.”
“Obviously, I don’t want to eat too much of the foods that have resistant starch. How much do I have to eat to make it beneficial and how much is too much?” Vicky asked
“Most developed countries consume processed foods so we consume a lot less than those countries that consume whole foods. I have seen in other articles that within ‘The Great American Diet’ there are between 3-9 grams of resistant starch consumed per day. Developing countries’ intake of resistant starch tends to be around 30-40 grams per day.”
“Since we and our clients have been taught to eat whole foods, I am going to guess that we fall somewhere in between, but we do seem to avoid the foods that resistant starch is plentiful, so I may be wrong. From my research, I believe we should try to consume 40 grams of resistant starch every day.”
“It has been quite some time since either one of us has eaten foods that are plentiful with resistant starch. Should we be cautious?” Vicky asked.
“It is wise for you and I to titrate our intake upwards. The resistant starch ferments in our colons and release gases. If you have ever eaten a meal of chili beans, you will get my drift. We need to grow a tolerance.”
“You had mentioned something earlier. I want to make sure I understood what you said. Did you say that the resistant starch vegetable, fruit, grain or legume should be eaten cold?” Vicky asked.
“Resistant starch is created while the food cools. When you cook starch it absorbs water and swells. As it cools the starch crystallizes. It is in this cooled state that resistant starch resists digestion. If you reheat the food, the resistant starch disappears.”
“I’m still not convinced, because I know that by avoiding these foods I have gained my premenopausal weight. Where do we begin?” Vicky asked.
I chuckle. I am sure resistant starch will be the next dietary trend. It is in the beginning stages at the moment.
She looks at me with that look that says are you going to answer me.
We will start by adding these dishes into our menu:
1/2 cup of cooled beans. That will provide us with 8 grams of resistant starch. I like making a dip out of chilled pinto beans. Hummus will also supply me with about the same amount of resistant starch as pinto beans. I also suggest that we add chilled black beans sprinkled throughout the salad, like we see in salads with a southwest flare.
Resistant starch’s go-to fruit are bananas. Each banana has approximately 6 grams of resistant starch. We can roll sliced bananas in uncooked unrolled oats and mix them into our Greek Yogurt.
“We can also make banana chutney.” Vicky said.
She could tell from my face that I wasn’t sure what that was.
“That’s when I dice and toss the banana with lemon juice, salt, and onions.”
By the way, 100 grams of uncooked unrolled oats have nearly 11 grams of resistant starch within them.
Potatoes and Yams
Potatoes and yams have about 4 gm per half of a cup. Potato salad or chilled red potatoes or pureed cooked white potatoes to make a chilled potato soup.
Vicky licked her lips.
One last way we can attain resistant starch is with chilled brown rice, mixed with raisins and cinnamon.
Those are just a few suggestions. I looked into those green eyes and read them. Yes, you can have fried potatoes, as long as they have not been fried in vegetable oils. Ask the chef to use butter from grass fed pasture raised cows.
Vicky smiled.and said but only after they have chilled.
Summary and Recommendations
The great American Diet is filled with processed foods. When foods are processed they are digested too quickly and our blood sugar levels increase rapidly. With higher blood sugar levels, the more insulin spikes we have. Insulin spikes make us store fat. The reason other cultures stay thin is because they eat whole foods. The more we learn, the more I can see why cultures stay slimmer than we do even though their diet baffles me. In this case, they consume more resistant starch than we do. Think of cultures that eat lots of rice, beans and breads, but are thin. Resistant Starch is part of the answer.
Try to slowly add the suggestions above to increase your Resistant Starch, but go slow or you may have a digestive upset.
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If you would like to learn more about starches and dieting, try reading John and Mary McDougall’s book by clicking below.