Starch has a pretty bad rap in the healthy eating community, but what if we told you there's a special type of starch that's really good for you? Yes, it exists and is found in raw potato skins. This good starch is called 'resistant starch' and helps you to lose weight, increase metabolism and maintain your blood sugar levels, which is good news for diabetics.
Resistant starch is the kind of starch which does not get digested in the small intestine, which is how it got its name. The bacteria in the intestines instead process the starch to create good molecules that help to build healthy gut bacteria and balance blood sugar levels. Basically, when you eat resistant starch, it literally resists the digestion process and doesn't cause a blood sugar or insulin spike. You can think about resistant starch as a fertilizer or compost for producing healthy intestinal bacteria or gut microbiome, which has a huge impact on nearly every aspect of your health. Researchers have found the connection between gut bacteria imbalances to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, depression, bowel diseases, anxiety, and autism.
One of the best ways to get your gut balanced is to consume prebiotics, which helps your intestinal bacteria to thrive. Prebiotics are found in various forms such as soluble fiber from psyllium husks or high amylose plants like potatoes, rice and green bananas and resistant starch is actually a prebiotic. When a resistant starch enters the gut, numerous species of bacteria ferment and digest the starch. This process helps create various good bacteria that will also eliminate the bad type of bacteria. When your intestines begin to heal, they can function optimally to digest your food and properly assimilate the nutrients. When the good bacteria flourishes, they regulate your hormones, eliminate toxins, produce vitamins and create healing compounds that help the gut to stay healthy and work optimally.
So, back to resistant starch. This compound is beneficial because it helps to improve your sensitivity to insulin and lowers blood sugar levels after eating a meal. Resistant starch becomes a powerful ally in your fight against diabetes. In a study, it was found that consuming 15 to 30 grams, or roughly two to four tablespoons of resistant starch from potatoes improved both fat loss and insulin sensitivity in obese men. Research has proven that resistant starch can also provide cardiovascular benefits. Adding resistant starch to your diet will help optimize cholesterol and triglyceride levels while simultaneously decreasing fat. Thus, when you eat prebiotic-rich foods such as resistant starch, you alter the gut bacteria to help improve health and weight loss.
Potato starch is an inexpensive and optimal source of resistant starch as it is tolerated by most people. However, be careful to use only potatoes and NOT potato flour. Mix two tablespoons in a glass of room temperature or cold almond or coconut milk, which complements the potato taste.
Keep in mind that resistant starch will alter the bacteria in your gut which causes gas. This is called the die-off effect. The positive bacteria enter the system and take out the bad bugs, which causes bloating and gas as a result. This occurs less often once the system adjusts to the changes. Start with two tablespoons of resistant starch everyday and work up to four if you want.