Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
26 Mar

The Definitive Guide to Resistant Starch

FloursA few years back, I briefly covered a throwaway Yahoo! article about how “carbs will make you lose weight” because so many readers had emailed about it. It turned out that the “carbs” in the article were resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that our digestive enzymes cannot break down. I’ll admit now, with regret, that I didn’t look as deeply into the matter as I might have. I didn’t dismiss resistant starch, but I did downplay its importance, characterizing it as “just another type of prebiotic” – important but not necessary so long as you were eating other fermentable fibers. While technically true, we’re fast learning that resistant starch may be a special type of prebiotic with a special place in the human diet.

Before I go any further, though, a series of hat tips to Richard Nikoley, Tatertot Tim, and Dr. BG, whose early and ongoing research into the benefits, real-world implications, and clinical applications of resistant starch have proved to be a real asset for the ancestral health community. Oh, and I even hear tell that they’re writing a book on the subject. Interesting…

In subsequent Dear Mark articles, I’ve since given resistant starch a closer, more substantial look, and today I’m going to give it the definitive guide treatment.

What Is Resistant Starch?

When you think about “starch,” what comes to mind?

Glucose. Carbs. Elevated blood sugar. Insulin spikes. Glycogen repletion. Basically, we think about starch that we (meaning our host cells) can digest, absorb, and metabolize as glucose (for better or worse).

Officially, resistant starch is “the sum of starch and products of starch degradation not absorbed in the small intestine of healthy individuals.” Instead of being cleaved in twain by our enzymes and absorbed as glucose, resistant starch (RS) travels unscathed through the small intestine into the colon, where colonic gut flora metabolize it into short chain fatty acids. Thus, it’s resistant to digestion by the host.

There are four types of resistant starch:

RS Type 1 – Starch bound by indigestible plant cell walls; found in beans, grains, and seeds.

RS Type 2 – Starch that is intrinsically indigestible in the raw state due to its high amylose content; found in potatoes, bananas, plantains, type 2 RS becomes accessible upon heating.

RS Type 3 – Retrograded starch; when some starches have been cooked, cooling them (fridge or freezer) changes the structure and makes it more resistant to digestion; found in cooked and cooled potatoes, grains, and beans.

RS Type 4 – Industrial resistant starch; type 4 RS doesn’t occur naturally and has been chemically modified; commonly found in “hi-maize resistant starch.”

It’s almost certain that different RS types have somewhat different effects on our gut flora, but the specifics have yet to be fully elucidated. In general, RS (of any type) acts fairly similarly across the various types.

Where Do We Get It?

We can get RS from food. The richest food sources are raw potatoes, green bananas, plantains, cooked-and-cooled potatoes, cooked-and-cooled-rice, parboiled rice, and cooked-and-cooled legumes.

We can get RS from supplementary isolated starch sources. The best sources are raw potato starch, plantain flour, green banana flour, and cassava/tapioca starch. Raw (not sprouted) mung beans are a good source of RS, so mung bean starch (commonly available in Asian grocers) will probably work, too.

The most reliable way to get lots of RS, fast, is with raw potato starch. There are about 8 grams of RS in a tablespoon of the most popular brand: Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch. It’s also available at Whole Foods.

For an exhaustive compendium of RS sources, check out this PDF from Free the Animal.

What Does It Do for Us?

Like any other organism, gut bacteria require sustenance. They need to eat, and certain food sources are better than others. In essence, RS is top-shelf food for your gut bugs. That’s the basic – and most important – function of RS.

What Are the Health Benefits of Consuming RS?

What does the research say?

Preferentially feeds “good” bacteria responsible for butyrate production. It even promotes greater butyrate production than other prebiotics. Since the resident gut flora produce the butyrate, and everyone has different levels of the different flora, the degree of butyrate production varies according to the individual, but resistant starch consistently results in lots of butyrate across nearly every subject who consumes it. Butyrate is crucial because it’s the prime energy source of our colonic cells (almost as if they’re designed for steady exposure to butyrate!), and it may be responsible for most of the other RS-related benefits.

Improves insulin sensitivity. Sure enough, it improves insulin sensitivity, even in people with metabolic syndrome.

Improves the integrity and function of the gut. Resistant starch basically increases colonic hypertrophy, making it more robust and improving its functionality. It also inhibits endotoxin from getting into circulation and reduces leaky gut, which could have positive ramifications on allergies and autoimmune conditions.

Lowers the blood glucose response to food. One reason some people avoid even minimal amounts of carbohydrate is the blood glucose response; theirs is too high. Resistant starch lowers the postprandial blood glucose spike. This reduction may also extend to subsequent meals.

Reduces fasting blood sugar. This is one of the most commonly mentioned benefits of RS, and the research seems to back it up.

Increases satiety. In a recent human study, a large dose of resistant starch increased satiety and decreased subsequent food intake.

May preferentially bind to and expel “bad” bacteria. This is only preliminary, but there’s evidence that resistant starch may actually treat small intestinal bacterial overgrowth by “flushing” the pathogenic bacteria out in the feces. It’s also been found to be an effective treatment for cholera when added to the rehydration formula given to patients; the cholera bacteria attach themselves to the RS granules almost immediately for expulsion.

Enhances magnesium absorption. Probably because it improves gut function and integrity, resistant starch increases dietary magnesium absorption.

What do user anecdotes say?

Improves body composition. I’ve heard reports of lowered body fat and increased lean mass after supplementing with or increasing dietary intake of RS. Seeing as how RS consumption promotes increased fat oxidation after meals, this appears to be possible or even likely.

Improves thyroid function. Many RS supplementers have noted increases in body temperature, a rough indicator of thyroid function.

Improves sleep, conferring the ability to hold and direct (in real time) private viewings of vivid movie-esque dreams throughout the night. I’ve noticed this too and suspect it has something to do with increased GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) from the increased butyrate. Another possibility is that resistant starch is feeding serotonin-producing gut bacteria, and the serotonin is being converted to melatonin when darkness falls.

Increases mental calm. Many people report feeling very “zen” after increasing RS intake, with reductions in anxiety and perceived stress. The latest science indicates that our gut flora can impact our brain, and specific probiotics are being explored as anti-anxiety agents, so these reports may very well have some merit.

Are There Any Downsides?

For all the success stories, the message boards are also rife with negative reactions to RS. They take it, maybe too much to start, and get gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea or constipation, a sense of “blockage,” headaches, and even heartburn. I think RS supplementation may be a good measuring stick for the health of your gut. Folks with good gut function tend to respond positively, while people with compromised guts respond poorly. The gas, bloating, cramps and everything else are indicators that your gut needs work. But it’s not the “fault” of resistant starch, per se.

What to do if you’re one of the unlucky ones? You’ve got a few options:

You could skip it altogether. I think this is unwise, personally, because the role of fermentable fibers, including RS, in the evolution of the human gut biome/immune system has been monumental and frankly irreplaceable. There’s a lot of potential there and we’d be remiss to ignore it.

You could incorporate probiotics. You need the guys that eat the RS to get the benefits of consuming RS. And sure, you have gut flora – we all do, for the most part, except after colonic sterilization before a colonoscopy or a massive round of antibiotics, maybe – but you don’t have the right kinds. Probiotics, especially the soil-based ones (the kind we’d be exposed to if we worked outside, got our hands dirty, and generally lived a human existence closer to that of our ancient ancestors), really seem to mesh well with resistant starch.

You should reduce the dose. Some people can jump in with a full 20-30 grams of RS and have no issues. Others need to ramp things up more gradually. Start with a teaspoon of your refined RS source, or even half a teaspoon, and get acclimated to that before you increase the dose.

You could eat your RS in food form. Potato starch and other supplementary forms of RS are great because they’re easy and reliable, but it’s also a fairly novel way to consume RS. You might be better off eating half a green banana instead of a tablespoon of potato starch.

My Experience

The first time I tried potato starch, I got a lot of gas. Not the end of the world, and I realize gas is a natural product of fermentation, just unpleasant. It died down after a few days, but it was only after I added in some of my Primal Flora probiotic that I started seeing the oft-cited benefits: better sleep, vivid dreams, a more “even keel.”

Now, I do potato starch intermittently. I’m very suspicious of eating anything on a daily basis. I tend to cycle foods, supplements, exercises, everything. Gas production goes up every time I re-start the potato starch, but not unpleasantly so and it subsides relatively quickly, especially when I take the probiotics.

So there’s a learning curve to RS. It’s not a cure all, but neither is anything else. It’s merely an important, arguably necessary piece of a very large, very complex puzzle.

Resistant starch is vitally important for gut (and thus overall) health, but it’s not the only thing we need. It’s likely that other forms of fermentable fiber (prebiotics) act synergistically with RS.

Hey, it’s almost like eating actual food with its broad and varied range of bioactive compounds, polyphenols, fibers, resistant starches, vitamins, and minerals tends to have the best effects on our gut biome! You can certainly enhance the picture with isolated refined resistant starches and fibers like unmodified potato starch, but they can’t replace what our bodies really expect: the food.

Let me know what you think, and I hope you find this guide useful.

What’s your experience been with resistant starch? Good, bad, neutral? Let’s hear all about it!

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  1. What if I cook the potato starch?

    Corn-starch: is not that good as well? I have it at home.

    Anna wrote on March 30th, 2014
    • If you heat up potato starch it changes from RS into hi-glycemic starch. It changes chemically, like popcorn exploding with heat per Richard N’s analogy. 😉

      Energy! wrote on March 30th, 2014
  2. I’m really a bit confused on what I should be eating to lose weight now, which diet for that? I have been LC for 5 months and the weight loss has been dreadfully slow (9 pounds, 5 months).

    It makes my IBS almost non existent, so I stick with it for that reason even though the weight loss sucks.

    I personally like the paleo/primal PHD diet the best, all that fat on the LC plan turns my stomach thinking about it, but I do it reluctantly. I’m sure that thought comes from the year I spent being a militant vegan, which is where I believe the IBS originated. I was so overboard with whole grains, my husband told people I was on the rocks, sticks and twigs diet. Was never sicker in my life, kept getting worse so thought I needed to be even more strict in my veganism and just made the vicious cycle worse.

    This site and Richards FTA has been an eye opener for me and I am so thankful for both of them. I see the errors of my ways and am trying to get towards better health. But I still need to lose 50 pounds. Im already doing LC with such slow loss that adding more carbs will surely make that come to a halt even though I’d love to do that. What method of eating would you recommend for weight loss now, knowing what we now know about safe starches?

    As a side note, I’ve done some self experimenting and kept meticulous notes about BG while adding RS In the form of unmodified PS. It did everything they said it does and more. I also had things start to happen beyond BG control. I treadmill walk an hour at a time and never sweat, not due to going slow, just don’t sweat. I’m walking at a good clip for my short little legs. After a week on the RS I started to sweat while walking at the same MPH I always walk at. I NEVER sweat. Sorry to be so descriptive here but I mean sweat, sweat with stink.

    I noticed my stomach acid start to act up (which is usually followed by IBS) so I stopped the RS and added in the mentioned probiotics and will pick it back up once I’ve added a few good guys to my gut.

    Thanks Mark and Richard (grace, tater) for the efforts you put in to this, I think there is a magic door to new understanding about health in this.

    Susan wrote on March 30th, 2014
  3. Doesn’t matter if its potatoes or sweet potatoes og whatever startch it is… If I eat it, I might as well go to bed. I end up being comatose…

    Karl Reinert Rasmussen wrote on March 30th, 2014
    • Me too, Karl. Used to, that is. Fall asleep in from of the TV at 8:30? That was me. No more.

      Now I can do meals with 8-100g of potatoes or beans and it’s energy and invigorating. Rice is a little iffy, but parboiled works, since its GI is only 40.

      Once you understand that it is completely abnormal and unnatural to go comatose with whole food starch in reasonable amounts, like up to 400 cal, you might be on your way to blaming yourself and your dietary practices rather than food that billions have existed on healthfully for centuries.

      Richard Nikoley wrote on March 30th, 2014
      • Not infront of the TV. Whilst driving cars. Taking a walk. Playing on computer. Lifting heavy stuff… One itsy bitsy tiny little bit of potato and I go nighty night…

        Karl Reinert Rasmussen wrote on March 31st, 2014
  4. I was very glad to see your article on resistant starches. With all of the clinical evidence of its health benefits, I am surprised that it does not get more attention from the nutrition community. Personally, I add Hi-Maize to my morning protein shake for all the reasons that you mention. I do want to make one correction. In your article you mention that High-Maize is RS4. It is actually RS2. There is no chemical treatment of the starch and it passes EU clean label requirements. I have confirmed this with the manufacturer. Also the corn used to produce the starch comes from a non GM grain.

    Weasel wrote on March 31st, 2014
  5. Is consuming RS the only way to feed our gut?

    Terrell wrote on April 1st, 2014
  6. Would LC Inulin Fiber from Chicory Root work as well? The 0 carbohydrates seems more appealing to me.

    Zach wrote on April 1st, 2014
  7. I mix mine with 1/2 cup of kombucha and take a soil based probiotic at the same time. Haven’t had any problems with gas.

    Karen wrote on April 2nd, 2014
  8. I can eat potatoes that are baked, stewed or roasted without issues. I can’t do potato chips or fries…something about the oil, salt, starch combination. Fruit isn’t a big issue for me, thankfully, but I haven’t been buying it as much lately.

    Gena wrote on April 2nd, 2014
  9. Mark, I was wondering in your experience using PS how much were you taking both when you had the gas and didn’t? I’m asking because I’m taking about 2 tablespoons/day with some probiotic – right now I’m using Dr. Higa’s, which contains SBO – and no gas. Just wondering what that means, whether my gut is healthy or unhealthy, or I need to up the PS!

    Thanks a bunch for this post and the previous one.

    Debbie wrote on April 2nd, 2014
  10. So based on the info on this site I can have cold beans that have already been cooked, good to know as it is already in my diet. I like beans too much to give them up.

    nikko wrote on April 2nd, 2014
  11. Does this give me the green light on plantain chips, then?

    Tanya wrote on April 3rd, 2014
    • Store-bought plantain chips are likely fried in an industrial seed oil at a relatively high temperature that makes the starch digestable. I wouldn’t eat them.

      I dehydrate green plaintains at 115 deg F. This preserves the resistant starch. I just salt them a bit to make them palatable. They do tend to stick to the teeth, but, I think they’re a very good source of RS, and perhaps some other prebiotics. They might be better than potato starch, if you don’t mind the effort.

      Here’s one guide to making your own:

      John Es wrote on April 3rd, 2014
  12. hey..
    i am a bit confused.. i am doing carbbackloading and i have phases where i eat extreme high in carbs & super low in fat and then times where its the other way around.. during the low carb phase i would like to start eating some resistant starches, since from what i understood they wont raise my insulin and wont kick me out of the ketogenic state.. (am i correct?).. here is my question.. before i start implementing more starches into my diet i have to make sure i understand the differences between starch and flour since i have to make sure that i eat less than 20g of carbs during the ketogenic phase.. so what exactly is the difference? is there a starch of everything you can find as a flour? is tapioca flour and tapioca starch the same (someone mentioned it in a comment)? how do you extract the starch of the vegetables?

    nobu wrote on April 4th, 2014
  13. So can someone explain how this alleged wonder starch ended up as the ideal food component during our evolution that it made our bowels and gut flora respond this evolve to it?
    Might I recall that none of european ancestry, which is most on this site as I see those who atttend paleo seminars, non ahd ever access neither to rice neither to potatoes, and even less so sweet potatoes nor bananas EVER in 50.000 years.
    So our creator had us evolve to be responsive to the ultimate feel good supplement for our guts without ever eating it. My my.
    Me thinks all this is a hype and belony or there is something very wrong with paleo after all and we can eat much more fiber and starch as we thought.

    wolf wrote on April 5th, 2014
    • “Me thinks all this is a hype and belony”

      Cool, then I’ll just allow you to continue to think that, since you probably will anyway.

      Richard Nikoley wrote on April 5th, 2014
      • Hi Richard. If you would post a photo of yourself with your shirt off, we could see how your diet is working for you. Take one look at Mark and it is clear that his way of living works and that he is in the 5 percentile of men in health and fitness. He really walks the talk.

        johnny wrote on April 5th, 2014
        • Jonny:

          Can you guess how much I care? Can you guess my weight? How about my waist size?

          Besides that, why would anyone care what works and does not work for me, if it works for them?

          Do have an ice day, though.

          Richard Nikoley wrote on April 5th, 2014
  14. So, German Potato Salad may be good, if I used maybe coconut oil and vinegar and bacon?

    Scott wrote on April 5th, 2014
  15. That’s probably why the Mcdougall approach has worked so well. I use the 80/20 rule as well. But the majority of my foods come from anti mark sisson approved foods such as brown rice, steel cut oats, sourdough bread and potatoes. They are my staples and they have served me a lot better health wise compared to the vegetables, low sugar berries and local dairy he recommends.

    Jame wrote on April 6th, 2014
  16. hey.. i have been using potatostarch and tapioka starch for the past days and i was wondering why does starch give you a feeling of satity even though you dont extract any energy from it?

    mike wrote on April 8th, 2014
  17. So if cooked and cooled rice provides resistant starch, does that mean rice cakes are a good source of RS? I imagine the rice has been cooked and then cooled to get it to puff up and then stick together. I used to like rice cakes as an alternative to wheat, but have cut right back on them lately due to the high carb count. Can I reintroduce them based on their RS value?

    PeaJay wrote on April 8th, 2014
  18. So can I just cut to the chase and take a butyrate supplement instead of getting it by taking some RS?

    Dwayne wrote on April 9th, 2014
    • “So can I just cut to the chase and take a butyrate supplement instead of getting it by taking some RS?”

      Nope. You can eat a stick of butter per hour and not a microgram of it will get to your colonocytes and other colonic elements that need it. It’s all absorbed. This is the primary key to RS.

      It RESISTS digestion by your acids and enzymes in stomach and small intestine, so that it can be exclusive food for the gut bugs, who in turn “poop” SCFAs, butyrate being one of them. Only way to get it to the colon where it’s needed. RS is but one of the fermentable fibers that do this, but the more unique and powerful.

      Richard Nikoley wrote on April 9th, 2014
  19. I’m sorry if this has been addressed 4578436 times, but there is so much info its hard to keep up. So..would hummus & cold refried beans work? I really dont like potatoes or green bananas & would like to try food before supplements..

    Ashley wrote on April 9th, 2014
  20. 1) is all the starch in raw potatoes and raw rice resistant?
    2) if so, when cooled (and reheated) after heating, does all the starch revert to RS3 or does some stay non resistant?

    If the answers are yes, does this mean that carbs in sushi rice, potato salad, refried beans, twice fried (Belgium style) french fries, etc. should be treated as fiber in a low carb/keto diet?

    Lowen Gatner wrote on April 21st, 2014
  21. I have been doing raw potato starch (Bobs) for about two weeks now. I generally do a low carb diet and have problems with constipation. Actually, I have had problems with constipation the better part of my life (I’m 57). This stuff is a miracle. Daily or twice daily, no strain, no pain. I do have some interesting gas, but in general it’s worth it. The raw potato starch doesn’t add any taste to my smoothies or protien shakes so I don’t even know it’s there. I have’nt gained any weight, my waist isn’t any bigger, I feel better; this is a win-win for me.

    Dave R wrote on April 24th, 2014
  22. Mark, this subject is very close to the subject of molecular hydrogen. We are now finding that H2, created from breakdown of resistant starches in the gut comes to an amazing 10-15L per day, and yet it appears that just small amounts of supplemental H2 has often profound therapeutic effects.

    Here’s a great video of H2 Expert, professor Tyler LeBaron talking to Keegan Smith, Performance and strength coach.

    Ian Blair Hamilton wrote on May 5th, 2014
  23. So, after intermittently fasting, it would seem a good thing to me to eat a small serving of potato salad. One has the resistant starch in the cold cooked potato, fat from the egg yolk and mayo and the protein from the egg white all in one dish. One can get away with some starch after fasting, so it would seem a good time to do that.

    Sharon Burress wrote on June 4th, 2014
  24. Forgive me if this has been outlined somewhere, but I’ve looked to the best of my ability and come up with nothing. I suspect it’s there, but hiding. Waiting. Watching. The PDF also sent me into tears of confusion. I understand everything about everything except how these translate into carbs (aka, the carbs that are converted into glucose).

    RS Type 1: Beans, grains and seeds.
    So if I were to soak and then cook a cup of kidney beans, that 37 g of carbs wouldn’t “count” toward my carb count, correct? Or do you subtract the amount of RS it has (I’ll go with the 10g), and thus only 27 would be regular old carby carbs?

    RS Type 2: Raw Potatoes, bananas, plantains.
    So if I eat a banana, it wouldn’t go towards my carb count?

    (Type 2 RS becomes accessible upon heating.)
    Was this an error? Because that sounds like Type 3… and from what I’ve read elsewhere they’re supposed to be raw. Or do I have to eat warm bananas? Mmm… warm bananas.

    RS Type 3: Cooked and cooled potatoes, grains, and beans.
    Yes, I just keep asking the same question. But I must know, specifically, for each type!!! If I eat some cooked and cooled or cooked and cooled and gently re-heated rice, or potatoes, or grains — all no carbs?!? NO CARBY WARBIES?!?!?

    The reason I’m being such a problem child is because I’ve seen both said: that they don’t go toward your carb count, but also that they do, and you subtract the amount of RS from the carbs. Since I’m currently sticking to 100g of carbs a day, I want to make absolute certain so that I don’t dive into a vat of potatoes only to gain no less than three trillion pounds.

    Thanks for your time, and feel free to publicly shame me if this is all spelled out somewhere.

    Tom Hanks wrote on June 5th, 2014
  25. Hey Mark, thanks for a comprehensive article… Your site has been a wonderful source of information since I was diagnosed with IBS a year and a half ago and applied the concepts of Paleo eating to my life.

    I have been wondering about type 3 RS though. Is there any research out there that discusses what happens if you reheat the potatoes or rice? I tend to use them as part of my cooking (like stews and crusts for pies), and I would rather have those as hot meals. If the reheating reverses most/all of the RS formation then I should look more closely at other sources.

    NT wrote on June 15th, 2014
  26. If I understand this correctly then rice contains two different types of starch. Depending on the type of rice, the amounts vary.

    If I cook rice, and then allow it to cool, the cooling process will convert one of the starch types to resistant starch. Generally long grained rice contains more of the kind of starch that can be converted to resistant starch, basmati being particularly well suited.

    Question 1: Some suggest that sushi would be a good option, but traditional sushi rice is short grained, so should I try a different kind of rice for sushi?

    Question 2: Once the starch has been converted to resistant starch, will it revert back to ordinary starch by reheating it, or is the transformation permanent?

    Any pointers for making this clear to me would be greatly appreciated.

    Anton Lauridsen wrote on June 21st, 2014
  27. I know this is an old conversation, but I just wanted to add a way to eat green plantains that I have found to be AWESOME!!!!!! Just slice them thin with a mandolin, pour coconut oil over them and toss till they are all covered. Then sprinkle on cinnamon and a little Stevia, Toss again. Dehydrate 12 hours on 115 degrees.

    Linda wrote on June 21st, 2014
  28. Mark mentioned colonic sterilization, as before a colonoscopy. Since I’m due to have go through this in a week or so, I’m wondering how to repopulate my colon with the “good stuff” it needs, once the procedure is over and done with.

    Dale Diane wrote on June 25th, 2014
  29. I use potato starch (make a roux w grass fed butter then slowly add in wine, broth , starting w pan drippings , shallot )to make pan sauces for meats. Glad to hear this news!

    Lisa wrote on June 27th, 2014
  30. I had a few questions and if someone would take the time to answer I would be incredibly grateful. First of all, does timing matter? (morning/night, after meal/before meal). I have the Bob’s Red Mill’s Unmodified Potato Starch, can I just mix it with water and take it straight up or do I need to heat it or something of that nature? Do the different types of RS have different properties? (potato vs plantain vs banana) Is it better to spread the 4 tbsp out or one dose? Thanks, even if you only answer a portion of it I would be very appreciative! :)

    Christopher Lind wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • I have been a diabetic for 22 years. I have been testing resistant starch fiber made from corn for 8 years. It lowers my blood sugar, keeps my weight down
      keeps my energy up. Potatoes and rice raise my blood sugar like crazy.
      cold potatoes do have resistant starch fiber if cold. The corn based resistant starch fiber is extremely easy to use. It can be hidden undetected in many other foods. I put resistant starch fiber in my hot mashed potatoes it keeps the potatoes from raising my blood sugar. If used correctly the corn based
      resistant starch fiber will break a carb addiction and take off weight.

      Check it out at

      Rosalie Misco wrote on September 25th, 2014
  31. I am surprised some of you are able to buy green bananas or plantains at your grocery store. Maybe it’s where I live in Japan but we never have anything but perfectly ripe bananas in our stores, and on top of that they especially like to sell the ones bred for increased sweetness. We as a nation focus way too much on gourmetness and excellent flavour and food tradition so that nutrition is rarely discussed from a scientific standpoint. It would be great to have more knowledge of resistant starch and more access to it here, as they are just starting to even have the term known. Cooled rice is a source, I suppose, but just try eating onigiri straight from the fridge, especially if a day or old or so – it is not the best experience, for sure.

    L Mitama wrote on July 24th, 2014
  32. Is this good with gin?

    Jeanne wrote on September 23rd, 2014
  33. Has anyone here heard of tiger nuts as being an amazing prebiotic? I will soak tigers and blend them with water and after straining them through a nut milk bag have a delicious beverage. I notice that after the milk sits in the fridge awhile it had a starchy sediment in the jar. Apparently this is a good prebiotic starch.

    pam wrote on October 12th, 2014
  34. It’s been several months since this resistant starch mania really took hold in the primal/paleo world, and I was among those who decided to add it into my diet and see what would happen. The long and short of it: It wrecked my digestion and overall health, and I am just now in the process of recovering from the damage.

    To answer a few of the basic things that people will wonder: Yes, I was very healthy and by all measurable and experiential standards had very good gut health before starting the experiment. Yes, I did a lot of research on it before adding it to my diet. Yes, I did it right. Yes, I added it slowly. Yes, I tried a lot of different sources for it. Yes, I added other fiber supplements along with it in varying amounts (as recommended by the leading proponents of RS supplementation). Yes, I considered the possibility (for far too long, in hindsight) that the bad symptoms I began experiencing were simply “die-off” of bad bacteria, or were a temporary blip which would soon be replaced by health or digestive improvements at some point.

    Though I can’t say for certain that I had perfect gut health and digestion prior to my experiment, I was very healthy and energetic, with good daily bowel movements. I enjoyed a wide spectrum of healthy paleo/primal foods in my diet. The negative turn my health and digestion took started out slowly, and I tolerated a lot and attempted to make a lot of adjustments before finally crying “Uncle!” a couple of months ago and abandoning my experiments with RS altogether.

    Among the symptoms I developed at one point or another (none of which I had ever experienced prior to experimenting with RS, including prior to 2010 when I stopped eating the Standard American Diet in favor of Primal/Paleo)… swollen lymph nodes; fever and chills; severe emotional disturbances, including anger and agitation unlike anything I’ve ever known; aches and inflammation in random joints throughout my body; muscle aches and pains; pulled muscles and severe random stiffness; severe brain fog; headaches; disturbed sleep patterns; tingling and strange neurological sensations in my arms and legs (like a sense of loss of control of fingers and toes); severe indigestion; bloating; constipation and diarrhea; acid reflux; intolerance of probiotic supplements; numerous new food intolerances; and probably a lot of other symptoms I’ve forgotten or omitted at this point.

    As I said, I should have stopped a lot sooner, but I was reading a lot of the “this will work for everyone who is otherwise healthy, and if you are having problems it’s probably just healing or die-off” stuff from the big RS proponents.

    It’s worth noting that I blame nobody but myself for this. I take full responsibility. The advice I found on the internet was freely offered, and I freely applied the recommendations to myself with poor results.

    I was pretty dismayed with the severe health problems I developed at first, but decided I should be proactive about restoring my health to what it was back in April 2014, before I started the RS experiments. What has largely worked for me: For a couple of weeks, I ate very low carb. I started each day with kombucha and apple cider vinegar, I ate a lot of meat and fat based meals with small amounts of sauerkraut or other fermented veggies for each meal, and avoided starches and sugars completely. I supplemented with collagen or bone broth. This seems to have helped turn the tide against the acid reflux and abdominal pain/bloating. I suspect I developed SIBO due to the excess RS and fiber. For the last few weeks, I have been using a paleo variant of Norm Robillard’s Fast Tract Diet to introduce more starches and fruits back into my diet. I have had great results and am starting to feel much better now. My goal is to get back to where I was previously — basically eating a Perfect Health Diet version of the paleo diet. I will eventually get sufficient RS back into my diet, in normal and healthy amounts, as part of a varied and normal PHD paleo diet. I will no longer attempt to emphasize one unbalanced element in my diet in abnormally high doses as I did with the RS.

    Everyone’s body is different, and we all have to find what works best for each of us. For me personally, this was not in supplementing large amounts of RS, or trying to deliberately increase the RS or fiber in my diet. I believe that I eat enough fruits, vegetables, and other healthy fiber and natural RS sources in my diet to feed my gut bacteria in a healthy and natural way, without needing to supplement or consume excess amounts of them.

    George wrote on November 19th, 2014
  35. Mark wrote:
    “Improves sleep, conferring the ability to hold and direct (in real time) private viewings of vivid movie-esque dreams throughout the night. I’ve noticed this too and suspect it has something to do with increased GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) from the increased butyrate. Another possibility is that resistant starch is feeding serotonin-producing gut bacteria, and the serotonin is being converted to melatonin when darkness falls.”

    You can read a detailed explanation/hypothesis for this phenomenon here:

    Why Resistant Starch & Prebiotic Fiber Improve Sleep and Dreaming

    “…at least two cytokines, IL-1 and TNF are involved in the regulation of sleep.”

    “SCFAs downregulate cytokines that increase NREM sleep and decrease REM sleep.”

    more REM sleep = more dreams

    Michael wrote on November 21st, 2014
  36. In 2012 I became vegan and very focused on healthy living. I lost about 55 pounds very fast. After reading about RS I realized I was doing this without knowing. My appetite was so suppressed after the first year I could go alllllll day without even a tiny spark of hunger. With my busy lifestyle, there were times I did. I was in ketosis. But didn’t even know what it was. I ended up in the hospital bc I was urinating large chunks of stuff I never saw before and was the most pain I’ve ever felt. No doctor could tell me why or seemed to care bc of my crazy nutritional smarts and basically blowing their minds. Was I pering out ketones? Fat? Sugar? What?!?! I looked back at some medical records and I was high blood pressure n all the other signs for pre-diabetic. The resistant starch makes me feel better when I feel crazy after not eating or eating too much sugar. What the heck is my body doing? I gained 12 pounds back. Help me.

    Trisha wrote on February 18th, 2015
    • The vegan diet is unhealthy for all humans. “Ending up in the hospital” is usually a clue that’s something’s pretty off.

      If you have been eating vegan for 2+ yrs, you are probably very deficient in essential fats. I recommend you look into grass-fed, organic butter and organic eggs (I say organic on the animal fat because animals store pollution in fat). Also coconut oil is a good source of naturally saturated fat. Strictly restrict wheat, corn, so-called “vegetable oil”.

      Jeffrey of Troy wrote on March 18th, 2015
  37. “Raw” Mung Bean starch?
    or just mung bean starch
    I have uncooked organic mung beans at home
    u say sprouted is not the way to go for the RS factor
    can I make my own mung bean starch
    I don’t trust an Asian grocery store would have raw organic anything

    if I use raw mung beans and grind them into a flour
    shouldn’t I first soak to remove phytic acid?

    as I am not doing well with potatoes and bananas

    teresa wrote on March 21st, 2015
  38. parboiled rice
    does not need to be cooked and cooled? for the RS factor
    does it need to be soaked to remove phytic acid?

    teresa wrote on March 21st, 2015
  39. Two questions:

    1. Type R2 becomes “accessible” when heated; does that mean the starch is no longer “resistant” if cooked? I.e. if I eat plantains in the form of plantain crepes (blended in a food processor then cooked about 2 minutes in the skillet) am I still getting RS or would I need to eat the plantain raw?

    2. Re: the butyrate benefits: can I get the same benefits by simply eating [grass-fed] butter?

    Sorry if this is redundant in the comments, and thanks for any help!

    Madeleine wrote on April 5th, 2015

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