The Definitive Guide to Resistant Starch

resistant starchA few years back, I briefly covered an 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.

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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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About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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441 thoughts on “The Definitive Guide to Resistant Starch”

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  1. Potato starch is something I keep intending to add to my nightly homemade kefir blend.

    I assume that the time of day you take RS does not matter?

    As is I eat cooked and cooled sweet potatoes several times a week, but I doubt that’s as beneficial, with respect to RS, as potato starch.

    1. according to freetheanimal, sweet potatoes have almost no resistant starch, neither raw nor cooked/cooled.

      1. In a recent post Mark talked about the very fibrous strain of potato/root vegetables that paleo person would have eaten. Can we grow these today? I’m starting a garden and that would be a great addition. Does anyone know anything about this?

        1. I think chicory root would be a good start. I am planting some in the garden this year to try. It is the highest source of inulin. But generally roots of all sorts are good sources of fermentable fibers. Yacon, turnip, daikon, radish, carrot.

      2. According to Bob’s Red Mill, their “unmodified potato starch” has no resistant starch at all because it is heated. People don’t fact check anymore.

          1. I’m afraid I can’t give you the reference because I’ve been all over the internet today, but I read earlier that apparently the reps at Bob’s Red Mill are indeed saying that, but it’s incorrect. Strange!

    2. I’d love to learn more about your kefir blend. Would you share your recipe?

    3. Is uncooked pasta (eating hard dried pasta) different than eating cooked (or cooked and cooled or reheated) pasta?

      1. Of course. The former is almost impossible (outside bombay mix) and the latter the way to cook it. But, cooked it raises RS if you cool it – so eat pasta salads – and it raises MORE if you reheat the pasta – so make lots for another day.

  2. I’m one of the ones who got headaches and worse sleep while taking potato starch, so I appreciate that you addressed that.

    1. Experienced the same, at least the bad sleep. But that was when I took the PS later in the day. I also had really bad gas issues, the smell was not roses and apples.
      Since then I’ve incorporated soil based bacteria in the form of not washing my vegetables and changed the timing to right in the morning and after those changes I’ve seen some, but not all, of the mentioned benefits.
      I’ve also upped my total carb intake and decreased my proteins and fats. I bake my own sourdough breads out of heirloom grains such as spelt, and since I started supplementing with PS I can eat, almost, as much bread I want and not notice any bloating or gas, wich was common before.

      To me it seems that everything boils down to having robust healthy gut inhabitants.

        1. So this is saying it’s good to eat grains and beans now? Paleo I thought was oppposite?

        2. I think it’s saying that it’s good to find out what works for each of us. 🙂

      1. I know I’m sensitive to nightshades, and am very disappointed to read about sweet potatoes being nearly useless for resistant starch.

        Guess it’s beans for me…


        1. next best thing to PS is raw Plantain and raw green banana

        2. Probably it’ll be green bananas for me because plantains are loaded with oxalates and one kidney stone was enough for me.

      2. I seem to not have trouble eating potatoes and tomatoes, but your point is one I considered.

        1. It could be that both tomatoes and potatoes are in the night-shade family as well as eggplant and peppers of all kinds I know that they can aggravate fibromyalgia, My flares and fibro issues were greatly reduced when I found this out and eliminated them, because I was a big consumer of tomatoes, peppers, and white potatoes, think that, especially the first 2 were healthy and good for me, we need to remember that all our bodies respond differently to foods, the biggest thing we must learn to do as we change our diets is to listen to our bodies what is good for one is not good for all, but also consider in some cases it could be a healing crisis, if this happens keep it up just maybe at a slower pace.

  3. Okay, I’m going to try the potato starch again. I bought some after reading about the benefits, but wasn’t sure how to take it. It tasted like raw potato, and that worried me. After all, raw potato is poisonous! I’m really keen to see if it can improve my GABA levels for that “everything’s going to be okay” feeling. Tamer blood glucose levels would be nice too.

    1. I have been eating raw potatoes since a child (64 now) and I’m not dead yet. Before I stopped eating wheat, raw potato sandwiches were an absolute favorite. Green potatoes from sun exposure is mildly toxic.

    2. Raw potatoes are not poisonous. If they were… I should be dead hundreds of times over.

      1. Potatoes contain substantial amounts of two glycoalkaloids, namely solanine and chaconine that can wreck havoc on a person’s bowels. These chemicals disrupt gut epithelial barrier integrity and aggravate or maybe cause inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There are more concentrated in the skin of the potatoes. There are other possible toxic reactions to solanaceae that are under appreciated. There is a reported case in 2008 of diabetes insipidus brought on by high dose solanine.

        1. Fair enough. They may not taste good, they may cause irritation and they may cause digestive issues. When I think if something as “poisonous”… I consider it to mean that it will kill 100% people stone dead, 100% of the time at the MLD (minimum lethal dose).

          Arsenic is poisonous. Raw potatoes are not.

        2. I suppose some may be sensitive too them like anything else. I remember hearing Nora Gedgaudas in a podcast say that potatoes would give her appendicitis-like attacks. I’ve never had such problems with potatoes cooked or raw. I used to eat them raw as a kid. It was something about the crunchiness of them that I loved.

          More recently, I ate so many raw potatoes one day that my pooh smelled strongly of what must have been butyrate. It wasn’t pleasant but was unlike anything I’d smelled before.
          Even then I didn’t have any digestive issues from it.

          Maybe it’s a case of having the right gut bugs. There are gut bacteria that produce phytase and can break down phytates for example.

        3. Have you ever read about the “reported case”? A number of factors played in other than eating potato skins (I don’t remember the specifics). Also, you’d need to eat a lot of green potato skin for a reaction. I believe one study showed a person would need to eat about 100lbs of green skinned potatoes a day for a few months to die from the glycoalkaloids. The dose makes the poison. The glycoalkaloids were poisons for much smaller animals, e.g. potatoes didn’t evolve to harm humans, but much smaller animals and insects. So, peal potatoes if the green scares you, otherwise, don’t sweat it. If you want to eat potatoes, eat them. I suggest Yukon Gold, or other yellow butter potato, they’re the tastiest.

      2. How anyone can eat raw potatoes is beyond me – They have to rank up there as one of the worst things I’ve ever tasted in my life!

        1. The dosage makes the poison.The problems with poisons is that many will not kill or you will develop problems instantly some may take 10 or 20 years to manifest. By the way the form of cooking also affect the concentration frying the potatoes increase the concentration of glycoalkaloids.

        2. Ummm, isn’t the Minimum Lethal Dose, by definition the minimum required to kill you? So……anything at the MLD would be a poisonous. Just sayin……

        3. Interesting! Raw potatoes have almost no flavor to me. Sometimes I soak them in vinegar water and salt for that reason – to give them some kind of flavor. Usually, I just eat them whole.

          I’m unusual though in that I’ve always liked the taste of commonly disliked foods such as liver and spinach but I chalked that up to having been fed those foods as a child. I was really surprised by how many people can’t stand the taste of liver and have to resort to hiding it in other foods.

          I was never “fed” raw potatoes as a child but I would eat them of my own volition when I found them in the pantry so maybe that has something to do with my liking them as an adult.

        4. A peeled raw potato with a little sea salt is a delightful taste and texture! I ate them all the time as a child.

        5. Slice them thin and put them to soak in some vinegar, dill weed and salt. (Which is also good on cooked/cooled potatoes). Go more for potato salad then pickles.

    3. yes, the raised GABA and better dreaming and sleep would be fab. Is there an more optimum time of day to take it?

      1. Fantastic about your Mom Mari Ann!! Congratulations to her ????. My mom has always eaten rutabaga raw while preparing it and she is 93 and healthy. Maybe it is the root veggie thing? I hope my Mom does as well as yours. ????

        1. Very cool, Krista! My mom is coming up on 101 and still going strong. Hoping the same for your mom. Tell her to keep on eating those starchy roots 🙂

  4. if you are feeding the gut then the gut inhabitants need to be there that can/will eat the RS. Maybe a few weeks of fermented foods to populate the colony before you try to feed it. But once that population is in place and happily fed it seems to me you’d want to keep doing it.

    1. This was my experience as well. After adding in some soil-based probiotics I had better results (less gas, started having much more vivid dreams, etc). If someone is having some negative reactions it might be worth trying before giving up.

  5. Im missing the number reasoning. What is the reason to supplement RS instead of get it from food? How much RS is “good enough” and how much real food would meet that amount?

    1. The “good enough” amount seems to fluctuate person to person. And I think the reason to supplement rather than get it from real food depends on eating preferences. Check out some charts for specific amounts of resistant starch in various foods.

    2. Supplementing is just easier in most cases. Unless you are willing to eat 2+ very green bananas, plantains or a couple cooked and cooled potatoes a day, then mixing up some raw potato starch in water is simply much easier.

      Most natural whole food sources of RS are not very palatable.

      1. Careful with those green bananas. They are also known as ‘jet fuel’ in our house! My three teenage boys will eat green bananas for sport… Unfortunately that sport is Xtreem Fart-off’s. Try them out for the first time on a weekend when you have no other plans is my advice! Start slow and let your body adjust. Half a green banana ‘disappears’ pretty readily into a kefir and fruit smoothie.

      1. try doing 30 to 40 grams of RS without using RUMPS (Raw Unmodified Potato Starch). good luck with that.

    3. I, too, am in favor of real food. Why on earth would anyone want to eat raw plantain or green bananas? Or potato starch, for that matter. If you eat a small amount of cooked potatoes in some form several times a week (which I do), that should be sufficient unless you have something really wrong with your GI system. 30 to 40 grams of RS a day seems ridiculously excessive and completely unnecessary.

      1. You really need to do some more reading before recommending cooked potatoes as a source for RS (which it is not, unless subsequently cooled) or calling 30-40g/day excessive, which it is not. There is a lot of good science put into this topic – 50+ years of papers.

        1. Nick, I state my own opinion. That doesn’t mean I recommend anything to anyone. In my opinion, this is just another one of those things that crop up from time to time and later disappears into oblivion, similar to the idea that eating a truckload of raw kale will cure anything that’s wrong with you. Seriously, haven’t you ever noticed the overkill that’s always part and parcel to any of these ideas?

          The flaw in most of these supposedly “healthy” nutritional ideas is that they just aren’t doable over the long haul. How many people do you suppose will still be eating cold potatoes, uncooked oats, green bananas (which make a lot of people sick), and potato starch two years from now? And how much RS is REALLY necessary? Does anybody really know, or are we supposed to just buy into the studies, which in themselves are usually notoriously flawed?

        2. Nick – research…I’ve just now started reading up on resistant starch, it’s benefits, sources, etc. And…I’m coming up with some contradictory information. Such as, the idea of simply cooking up some potatoes, cooling them, eating them may or may NOT be beneficial as not all potatoes are amylopectin. Most are not. They are amylose. And…to cloud the Bob’s Red Mill source – I called Bob’s Red Mill and evidently, since they don’t market their potato starch for the purpose of resistant starch seekers, they simply use “high starch” potatoes, cannot identify whether they are the high amylose or otherwise, plus, to further cloud the issue, they cannot state that the potatoes they use are organic – meaning non-pesticide growing techniques. I called because potatoes are listed on the “Dirty Dozen” list and therefore subject to a high rate of retention of pesticide residue. Saying all that above, to say this: I did find one amylopectin potato that has been cultivated by traditional methods (non-GMO like the others), called Avebe. So far, I have not found where these potatoes are available or grown in the USA, or marketed in any way, imported, or otherwise available to us here in the USA. It appears that they are Scandanavian? I’m a bit stumped at the moment, not really wanting to use Bob’s Red Mill, but after some thought, in our world today, an easy “fix” for our resistant starch need is most likely not realistic. I would love some input into this – some actual real testing for definitive starch content of the Bob’s Red Mill. Anyone done any lab tests at all?

          1. Romeo, it is over three years since your comment. I’m wondering if you have any newer research into RS. Also if you found any other cultivars of RS potatoes available in the US.

      2. Someone would eat these things to see if they helped with a specific health issue. You’re just speculating about the lack of benefits based on your own prejudices.

        1. “Nick, I state my own opinion.”

          The problem is that your opinion isn’t based on facts. Just like the people who tell us to eat bread and do lots of cardio to “sweat it out”, and tell us that primal isn’t good.

          We have this excessive praise of people’s opinions, as if they could reshape the laws of nature. If the majority has an opinion, then it’s therefore right, says the attitude that is a side product of democracy. This is something that is propagated because politicians don’t dare oppose it, since they would then lose votes. They, and by extension their institutions, have to tell us that our opinions are what matters, not reality. “Your opinion is worth just as much as anyone else’s”. People love that praise, and it saves them from having to study the hard, immutable, inconvenient facts.

          But that doesn’t fly when those you discuss with base their opinions on reality, on scientifically discovered fact. Speaking of science, it is not something you can slander and wave away with a down-to-earth-sounding “them damn scientists think they know it all, but I’ve learned from the school of hard knocks!”. Science is a method for finding the objective truth. It goes much farther in its studies than your own guesswork.

        2. Erik, my botany and zoology lecturers would have slapped me silly if I’d called science a method for discovering ‘objective truth’. It’s a human endeavour, and it is not perfect. It’s a great tool, when used properly, but how often is it used properly?
          Questioning existing explanations and findings is a major part of science. Which is what Shary is doing.

          ‘Will people really still be eating all those cooked-and-cooled potatoes, green bananas, etc. in two years time?’
          That’s a brilliant question. All the research in the world won’t help if we can’t put it into practice. It also raises another: how did Grok (European edition) eat 30 -40 g of RS daily? No potatoes, no rice, no bananas, no mung beans, no cassava… Were parsnips and carrots once a good source of RS? Or something else? If RS played such a key role in shaping us, what sources did our ancestors get it from? And why did they eat those foods? Certainly not because research findings told them to.

        3. You know, I’m getting sick and tired of people who push “science” and “facts” in the face of others. Believe me, science has been WRONG too many times to count, and your FACTS are not MY FACTS. Sure, we can’t argue about whether 2 + 2 = 4, but don’t get carried away and start telling me about this and that. First of all, there are many PHd philosophers who don’t even believe that science is learning ANYTHING about the truth of how things work or what they are. DId you know that? Read Thomas Kuhns the structure of scientific revolutions. They thought electricity was a liquid way back and they thought they knew the truth (plenty of people just like you castigating people like Nick), but now we know the truth about electicity – WRONG. The truth is that research/science/conclusions and facts are so subject to bias as to be worthless in almost every case. For every FACT about health and nutrition (carbs are good, carbs are bad) you can find many well informed “professionals” ON EITHER SIDE OF THE FACT!! That should tell you something right there. So leave people alone in their beliefs and stop waving the gun of “science” in their faces. Lots of kids right now getting forced chemo because of FACTS even when they or their parents don’t want it. You FACT people are scary. And yes, 2 + 2 does equal 4.

      3. I’ve eaten raw oats for years. It always felt better in my gut than cooked oats. Plenty of people eat cold potato salad.
        How much RS is necessary depends on how compromised a person’s gut health is. Compromised gut health is at the root of most chronic health problems, so a lot of people will benefit from feeding good gut bacteria more.

  6. Any idea if heating the potato starch (like using it as a thickening agent in soups/stews) negates its RS function? Since otherwise cooked and COOLED potatoes or rice are recommended–hopefully it will work this way. Potato starch is a classic thickener in a Hunan cookbook I have…and to think I could do a coconut-oil beef and broccoli stir-fry, add some homemade bone broth for liquid, and thicken with potato starch…sounds good on several fronts.

    1. Yes, as soon as it is heated past a certain point (I can’t recall the temp), it is no longer resistant. Same goes for cooled foods. Heated up – no longer resistant.

      1. 140 degrees F.
        Though some are more conservative and limit the heating to 130 degrees F.

        1. thanks to you both

          and hey, nice wheel, Paul…you get that a the PB dealership? 😉

      2. drat i was hoping the primal cravings pizza crust recipe with both tapioca and potato starch would qualify.

        1. I had that pizza crust last night. Awesome! I make 4 smaller crusts and freeze them. Then just dump stuff on it and broil for a quick dinner or snack. Going to try and make a cracker out of it also. The BRM potato starch is cheap. I just put some in a tall glass, stir with one of those little whisks you can get and then drink, whisk, drink, whisk until it is gone.

        2. So that pizza crust recipe has mostly tapioca starch/flour (same) in it. (Also, not Potato Starch–potato flour) If I make the crusts and freeze them and then reheat and eat, would the RS still be usable? Same as the potatoes and rice I would think. So perhaps that is a go on the RS.

      3. Actually, John, RS3 (retrograded) retains its resistance when reheated. Moreover, repeated heating and cooling actually increases the RS somewhat. However, 90% of what you’re going to get comes in the fist bang.

      4. It turns out that the big jump in type 3 resistant starch after cooking and then cooling is not destroyed by re-cooking, in fact it is increased with each time the food is heated and cooled. Not by all that much, though… the major benefit is from cooling and then reheating the starchy, cooked food. So, make home-frys from your cooked, cooled potato. Or fried rice from your cooked, cooled rice. Or reheat your cooked, cooled beans before eating them.

        It’s actually really good news because a reheated starchy food is usually a lot more palatable than eating it cold.

        1. I now these are old comments, but…I’m very interested in understanding whether there is any resistant starch in cooked cooled and reheated potatoes, rice and beans. I cook white rice and heat it in the microwave and wonder if there is any value in that? I am not able to tolerate brown rice at this point. Also wonder if buckwheat pancakes have resistant starch?

  7. cooked and cooled rice – as in sushi? or does the vingar somehow negate the benefit of the resistent starch?

    1. The rice has to be either converted, or sticky (high amylose).

      1. long grain rice is highest in amylose (resistant starch), with basmati being especially high in RS. shorter, stickier varieties of rice are higher in amylopectin, which is easier to digest, raises blood glucose levels more, and lower in RS.

        converted rice is very high in RS, especially converted long grain rice.

      2. Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice. Easy to find. Same as parboiled rice, I think.

    2. Vinegar wouldn’t hurt. It may even be synergistic as It has some of the same properties of RS. Vinegar is also a short chain fatty acid (acetate). It won’t benefit your colon or gut biome in the same way however.

  8. My husband and I starting incorporating RS into our diet in January, in the form of raw potato starch. We experienced an initial increase in gas, but it didn’t last too long. We started off small (1 tsp) and worked out our way up (I’m at 1tbps, my husband’s at 2tbps), mixing it into our water or morning glass of OJ.

    One question that I’ve had difficulty finding an answer to: Do the benefits of RS outweigh the negatives of rice, legumes, potatoes, etc.? So far, I’ve been primarily adding raw potato starch. We cooked (and cooled, and reheated) rice once since we started adding RS to our diet, but I’m wary about adding rice (or legumes) back in on a more permanent basis.

    1. This sounds all well and good but who can eat raw potatoes, rice and beans? I suppose unless you are one of the few who enjoy the foods in that form then the best way to get it is to supplement.

      Both of my boys have intermittent bowel movement issues………perhaps having them take this will help with that.

      1. How about making a smoothie out of beet,carrot,a little potato,apple and coconut oil? Add a little honey for taste if necessary. You won’t even taste the potato in the mix. Very tasty. To me this mix passes for sweets and I use it to extract my sweet tooth on occasion 🙂

      2. Did you read the post? No one is eating raw rice or raw beans. Cooked and cooled potatoes, rice, and beans are high in RS. Reheating reduces the RS a bit, but not too much, especially if the reheating is done quickly (i.e. fried rice). Cold rice pudding is delicious, and cold potato salad and bean salads are not weird foods in our culture.

        1. I enjoy having rice again with my veggies. I have added back some safe starches from 2 years of LC and VLC paleo/primal. I feel much better and sleep better. There are some studies of long term LC/VLC that are showing some problems. Particularly with gut bugs having nothing to eat. Free the Animal has many posts on that.

        2. I’m quite confused now……if the stuff is cooked/cooled then it has been heated past 140 F……so I had the understanding that cooked food has a much lower amt of RS…..What am I missing here?

      3. best bowel movement ever and consistently too. Bristol Chart #4

    2. For more information you might want to take a look at the book ‘Perfect Health Diet’ by Paul & Shou-Ching Jaminet; also the website at Mark Sisson wrote the forward to their book which is not only a great read, but contains a lot of information on why certain starches (such as white rice, potatoes, taro, sweet potatoes, etc…) are important to include in any diet. Their website serves as a constantly-updated companion to the book and has several discussions on resistant starch.

  9. Mark, I’m curious about dosage. How much RS should we be consuming? You mention 8 g/Tbsp in Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch. Presumably this leaves 59 g of non-resistant, anti-ketogenic, starch per tbsp. (Yikes!)

      1. Alex

        The 10g figure for BRM has nothing to do with RS. It’s presumed that it’s going to be used in cooking, sauce thickening, so that is simply it’s starch value in that context.

        In raw form, it’s about 80% RS by weight and the other 20% is moisture, actually locked inside the RS structure–which is why they burst like popcorn when heated to 140F, becoming Mark 1, Mod A starch. Actually, there are about 50 naturally occurring starch structures, three of them are resistant to human digestion.

        Also, if you go to YouTube and search making potato starch, you can see it done at home. That’s right, you can easily make your own from raw potatoes.

    1. Check your math. 28g is an ounce. There aren’t 2+ ounces of anything in a tablespoon. Except Uranium maybe.

      1. Indeed – sometimes Google gives us “interesting” results. So potato starch is about 50%/50% resistant/non-resistant.

        But I’m still clueless about how much resistant starch we want to consume?

    2. In another article, people worked up to 4 tbs of Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch per day, in water, kefir or yogurt. Works in concert with probiotics.

      Many folks experienced gas for a few weeks, but then adjusted. I think it’s wise to work up to that dosage.

      I’m going to eat some slices of raw potato then have a smoothie with 1 tsp tapioca (which can be used instead of potato starch) and see how my gut responds.

  10. Hey guys and gals, don’t get fixated on potato starch…if it’s not working for you, as Mark says, there’s, green plantain, green banana (available on Amazon) and Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour (potato flour is flour, but tapioca flour is really starch) and can be found where ever Bob’s is sold (I’ve found potato and tapioca starch at just about every major super market and specialty stores in SoCal like Sprouts and Mother’s).

    Also, to reiterate Mark’s point, soil based probiotics (SBO as they are sometimes called) are really what puts you over the top. I started with Primal Flora and have added all the others mentioned on FTA…variety is the key. I take them all twice a day and will be begin adjusting when I feel everything is leveled out. Then supplementing intermittently as needed.

    I’ve also added apple pectin…this is like eating an apple without the sugar…I think this may be the part of the “apple a day, keeps the doctor away” that does the heavy lifting…

    Thank Mark once again for an excellent “definitive guide”…



    1. watch out for Tapioca Starch. In FTA they tested this and it spike BG.

      1. Who did it spike over there? I got the opposite advice (that it does not spike BG) and was encouraged to try it. I’ve done several glucometer tests and it did not spike my BG.

        1. I found that tapioca starch acted the same as potato starch though I didn’t feel quite as good on it – though not bad.

        2. I had to switch because PS was making me feel utterly terrible. It appears that people have widely variable results with these things

        3. Unfortunately I have to take that back. The tapioca starch does spike my BG now, after I took a larger dose to double check.

  11. Potato starch is the only thing that has gotten me regular in over four decades!

    1. Perhaps, instead, you can drink the Bone Dusters Paleo Ale, brewed from real fossils. It’s apparently coming soon from the Lost Rhino brewery.

      I love Scientific American!

  12. I did an N=1 on Hubby with raw potato starch, and it only lowered his FBG reading the first time we tried it–after that, it no longer worked. Strangely enough, we found that a once-weekly serving of cooked and cooled potato salad (made with red potatoes) did the trick, but he can’t have it any more often than that.

    We tried everything: beans, converted rice, bananas/plantains, tapioca starch, arrowroot…you name it.

    Have you ever seen psyllium rise BG levels? I have, and still can’t figure out why.

    1. interesting. thanks for sharing your data point–i’m diabetic, too, and haven’t gotten to check my fbg after starting the potato starch 3 weeks ago–i’m out of test strips, and they are out of stock at the store! it seemed like it helped, initially, and for a while, i felt a greater sense of satiety. but i really need to check glucose levels after meals to really know.

      1. i used to run out of strips until Wal-Mart introduced its Prime strips. $9.00 for 50 that’s 18 cents a piece. the fist strips is used to buy were a dollar a strip!

        1. wow, thanks for the tip! the target generic brand strips were still $.40 each.

  13. I am trying to eat better and have noticed that whenever I eat the bad foods it wrecks my gut the next day….maybe time to start eating some RS and seeing if it helps even out my gut flora. Could definitely get into eating a baked, then cooled potato every now and then. Would just melt some butter to pour on it.

    Or I can be a manly man and just take bites out of a raw potato….delish!

    1. I read you can reheat the previously cooled starchy things and that’s OK. I divide my converted rice after cooking and cooling into little 1/2 c. bags and then just reheat and eat. Been on RS since middle of January. Plus on some probiotics (including a soil based one) for about 3-4 weeks. All good so far–still some fartage but so what. It makes my hubby laugh and we tease each other about it. His is from other sources than PS.

  14. Been doing the Bob’s potato starch for a few months without a single side effect. Not even gas. Once or twice a week only.

  15. Right! It has to be RAW (or UNMODIFIED) potato starch! I made the mistake of supplementing with just “potato starch” for a week, then I found out it was modified…. I wondered why I had gained 3 pounds that week! 😛

    1. I hear all your posts in Phineas’ voice. Thanks for that.

      Hey,where’s Perry?

    2. You will gain 3 pounds in a week, especially if you have been low carb. PS or any RS will feed gut bacteria. They multiply many fold over night and over the next days so you will end up with some extra pounds of gut bacteria – but all to the good. They are doing good work. Many people report a 10 pound gain over a few months but not necessarily a change in body shape as the body changes a gut increase to a fat loss and a muscle increase.

      1. i hadn’t heard that before–that’s fascinating. where can i learn/read more about that?

        1. Total volume of gut bacteria in your large intestine is the size of a football.

          So yes, there could be over 5 pounds of biomass there.

  16. Potato starch has helped me have a more sense of satiety and better blood sugar control. I add 1 tbsp to each meal, and I also have 1 tbsp coconut oil with each meal. I did start out with gas issues which have improved, now that I’m on the 3rd week of trying it.

    1. What brand of potato starch do you use? I’m primarily interested in lower blood glucose and becoming less insulin resistant.

      1. I was using Bob’s Red MIll, but I’m no longer using potato starch. I tried it for several months, and finally, concluded that it was not helping my blood sugar. I’ve continued with my low-carb diet and short spurts of intense exercise, but dropped the potato starch.

  17. Cold potatoes continue to be my go-to solution when I cannot sleep. It knocks me out cold and I sleep like a log until the alarm clock goes off. Something about them makes my gut happy and calms my nervous system down. I’m thinking that maybe a bit of glucose and a bit of butyrate provides the energy my brain and liver need while I’m asleep.
    They used to make me really gassy, but after I started homebrewing kefir I’ve not had a problem with either lactose or RS.

    1. Read the book “Potatoes, Not Prozac” to learn why. She recommends a small potato before bed, eaten any way you like it, three hours after your last meal, and claims it raises levels of neurochemicals.

    2. What a great idea … how quick is that! Thank you. I eat bananas in middle of night when I cannot sleep. It works well! Now I know I can change it up with a potato too. I always have cold boiled potatoes in fridge now, adding them cold to meals, or cubed into slightly warm bone broth with other yummies. I feel much better, and warmer now, could also be the increase in good fats though too. 🙂

      1. Glad to inspire you! Ive tried eating a ripe banana in the middle of the night and I couldnt go back to sleep! Way too energizing, my mind was a vortex of thoughts and jokes lol, I read that bananas contain neurochemicals so maybe thats why. The potato starch calms me down like nothing else, it really works wonders

        1. Bananas to go back to sleep was my idea in desperation to combat chronic pain and the lack of sleep thereof. Later I read of the sleep enhancing effects of bananas. Mark’s article mentions unripe bananas, perhaps that for you instead of “ripe” bananas? I’ve never eaten unripe bananas myself, although now I am going to give them a try…*a wee shudder here* thinking about green bananas. Potatoes will be first on the snack in the middle of the night menu before dem green bananas *shudders again*.

    3. Would you share your “homebrewing kefir” recipe?

      Thanks, Nancy

      1. I bought kefir grains and once they were at full strength I use 1Tablespoon of grains in a glass quart jar with about a quarter cup of creme and then fill the rest with whole milk, stir with a plastic spoon – never metal unless stainless steel (but I use plastic). Cover with a coffee filter and a rubber band around it and let it sit on the counter anywhere from 12-24 hours. When ready the top will look almost like cottage cheese, slightly sour smell, stir well and strain with a plastic strainer. Pour into strainer and into another glass jar (never use plastic) and stir what is in the strainer to get it to thin out so it will drain. It should still be somewhat thick tho’. I do it until my glass jar is empty and you have collected the grains in the strainer, then I do it all over again, my kefir is delicious, thick and perfect. Start with good grains – buy online or get from a friend. They grow and multiply so the more you make kefir. The more grains you will have. (I give the extras to my dogs who love them!)

  18. I agree with Charlie—potato starch was okay for me, but not the be-all, end-all. I noticed my FBG was improved with properly prepared beans, white potatoes, and rice. Approach with an open mind!

  19. I think that body temperature is actually a much more accurate indicator of thyroid system function than other tests, in many cases. There aren’t any tests that can measure how well your cells are converting T4 hormone sent from the thyroid to T3, a critical step in your hormonal system. Body temperature is an indicator tho. It should average 98.6 over the course of a day. The range of ‘normal’ body temperature is much smaller, percentage-wise, than any thyroid-related blood test. See for more info. This guy is onto something.

  20. Question about “cooked and cooled” – what the heck does that mean? So, I cook it, and cool it. Does that mean I have to eat it cold to get the resistant starch? If I zap my bowl of bean soup and rice that came out of the fridge, when does it lose the resistance to digestion?

    1. I’ve heard yes & no to this question, & I’d really like to know! Some sources say reheating is okay, others that it isn’t.

    2. According to Richard at FTA, reheating up to 140 degrees F is ok.

      1. I’d play it a little safer than heating to 140F. The way to think of RS granules is like tiny popcorn (yes, there is moisture trapped in the structure). At around 140, they pop and they become rapidly digesting starch that you enzymes definitely will take up.

        If you want to see how this works, take a rounded tsp of potato starch in a glass, cover it with water. Stir, watch is settle to the bottom in a very tight pack, like clay.

        Then, nuke the think for a minute. You get clear hair gel.

      2. You only have to heat it to 100 to make it taste warm enough to be appetizing.

        But I love raw potatoes…have eaten them all my life. Russets peeled are the best raw…cut off any green as they make it taste bad.
        Will try eating them at night as I do occasionally have trouble sleeping.
        Thanks for all the good advice.

      1. That is not at all what he says! Nowhere does Tim or Richard say you have to eat it cold. In fact the table shows the same amount of potato cooked and cooled, eaten cold has less RS than cooked, cooled, then reheated quick and dry. Nor do any of the dozens of RS articles that Tim and Richard wrote ever state that potato and rice have to be eaten cold.

    3. Hi,
      This is discussed at Free the Animal in detail. You might want to check out the articles.
      Leftover (i.e cooked & cooled) rice and potatoes, reheated by any dry heat method (pan fried or oven) contains resistant starch in the RS3 retrograde form. If you reheat by boiling or other wet method the RS3 is not retained.
      My understanding is that beans have RS1 no matter what you do to them and RS3 if you cook, cool, reheat dry.

  21. I added 1 tbsp. potato starch and 1 tsp. psyllium seeds to my morning protein shake and it has really helped with IBS and loose bowels. I am Irish, so maybe I was missing the potatoes since going primal.

  22. Should the carbohydrates from resistant starches (for example, a cooked and cooled potato) still be counted in daily consumption if it is not digested?

  23. Good to know!

    My hubby misses bread, so in trying to steer him away from that I found a recipe for a “paleotillia” and worked it over into an extremely acceptable flatbread type of sandwich wrapper. Super easy and fast if you can the dairy!

    3/4 cup tapioca starch
    1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
    1 egg
    2 tbs cream
    2-3tbs water
    1-2 tbs whatever herbs strike my fancy
    Dash of salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders

    Add all ingredients and mix well. Should be about the consistence of pancake batter. Pour about the amount you would use for a traditional pancake in a skillet with a bit of coconut oil over medium low. Flip it when the batter becomes solid.
    Reheats well and stays flexible.

  24. Those who need to be in KETOSIS for medical reasons should exercise caution.

    Although some people state that resistant starches do not affect ketosis or blood sugars, this may not be true for all people.

    Eating fermentable fibres from real foods should be sufficient, like proteoglycans in meats and soluble fibres in vegetables.

  25. Is just eating Pistachio’s (or other seeds) enough RS to do the trick?

    1. According to Tatertot Tim, the effective range is 20 to 40 grams…anything above 40 will be wasted. So how much RS is in Pistachios? And, how much do Pistachios cost compared to potato starch?

  26. I’ve been doing an N=1 experiment since late December. I started with Bob’s Red Mill potato starch, 1 teaspoon/day for the first week, 2 tsp the second week, etc up to a full tablespoon twice a day.
    I got most of the benefits, better sleep/dreaming, felt full, lower blood glucose. Unfortunately, I ended up with looser bowels than ever and aching joints. I suspect I may have issues with nightshades…

    I’ve now moved to 4 tbsp of plaintain flour in a divided dose with much better results. Gut is happy, I’m sleeping like a log with interesting dreams, and I’m just not hungry. My body temp is up from a previous normal of 95-96 degrees up to 97-98.

    I also just came back from a four day vacation where I didn’t take the RS. I was fine the first day, after that I was hungry and slept poorly. Lesson learned – take the plaintain flour with me next time.

    1. Beth: Can you say what brand of plantain flour you’re using ? You also wrote you’re doing it in divided doses. Can you give more info on your protocol ? Thanks !

      1. Mike,

        I’m using the plantain flour from Berry Farms ( Dave Asprey mentioned it in the one decent post he did on resistant starch. (Side note – it took over a month to get my 5# order. They forgot to notifiy me they were out of stock until I asked, then I had to wait another 3 weeks to get it.)

        I do 2 tablespoons in the morning with my Synthroid and an acidophilous pearl and another dose of just plantain flour around supper time.

        Currently I’m also adding 1 1/4 tsp modified citrus pectin (MCP) as I’m having the mercury amalgam fillings taken out of my mouth. The MCP attracts and carries heavy metals out of the body.

        Any more questions, let me know.

        1. Good call on the Berry Farms, Beth. I use that too, as well as the Wedo green banana flour that recently came on the market. So, I have three sources of RS supplementation. Sorry about the out of stock. Been happening for months with potato starch too, even internationally, as there are thousands now doing this since I began blogging about it (90 posts and counting, going back to about April last year).

          Another thing people might want to try is simply eating green bananas. I’ve never been much of a fan of the sweetness and texture of ripe bananas, but I really like green ones and can get them often at Trader Joe’s.

          But everyone keep in mind that when the banana or plantain ripens, the RS is gone for good. No retrogradation. The RS is actually consumed and turned to sugar in the ripening process, so the RS content of the green fruits is on a curve.

          You can take green bananas and plantains, slice and freeze them in smoothie sized portions to preserve the RS. You can also dehydrate them and preserve the RS. Dried green plantains have a texture like saltine crackers and make a good dip substrate for like…hummus for example, another decent RS food.

        2. @Richard – Thank you!
          I started reading FTA in November for the RS posts, bit the bullet after Christmas, and have been playing with it since then.

          Another thing I noticed is gut pain, or lack thereof. If I have corn, corn syrup, corn starch, my gut lets me know with horrible pain (I’m also gluten intolerant). The RS seems to do something that either protects my gut or soothes it that if I do get some corn product I don’t hurt.

          The four day vacation proved that. My hosts were unfamiliar with GF/corn free foods, I didn’t read the box of crackers until later, and I’ve been in gut pain since Sunday. It’s slowly tapering off the more doses of plantain flour I get into me again.

          The gut bugs know what to do if we give them the right food. Hmm, kind of like the rest of the body…

        3. Modified Citrus Pectin…I took it when I had surgery for Kidney cancer a year ago to keep the cancer from spreading during surgery…haven’t had any problems since. A great product!

      2. I make my own from very green plantains. I peel and slice them an eighth of an inch thick. I dehydrate them in single layers, and then grind them into flour in the Vitamix.

  27. I had been a bit worried about potato starch as it is quite fast absorbing carbohydrate leading to blood sugar spikes. Same with tapioca starch. I feel it’s better to stick to things like plantain or green banana flour if you’re not going to go with a whole foods source.

    1. Starch is indeed a fast absorbing carbohydrate, but resistant starch is indigestible and therefore does not produce a blood sugar spike. I am diabetic and was concerned about this as well, but I took a full 4 tablespoons at once and my glucose level did not rise a single point. Then my fasting blood glucose dropped 10 points and I found I could handle more carbs with my meals without spiking. It did seem strange, but it is true.

      1. Yes, Anna, a very common anecdote. And, diabetics are also finding that the more carbs the eat (within reason, of course) the better the RS actually performs.

        Many have done tests where they eat a plain baked potato (salt & pepper only) and test their BG. 200+ is not uncommon. Then they take 4 TBS potato starch and in an hour, repeat the test and spike only to 140. Steve Cooksey, Diabetes Warrior has done a bunch of tests like this.

        1. Thank you for mentioning “plantain crackers”. This may actually be something I can try, or the plantain flour.
          I would appreciate feedback from people who have experimented with resistant starches and stayed in ketosis and also kept their blood sugars between 4.5 and 5.2 around the clock.

  28. I tried for a few weeks had some increase in ibs-c symptoms -just minor but felt great loads of energy but taking fermented food and probiotics with it gave me major urticaria. I did lots of reading and wondered if i was doing 1 taking probiotics that promote histamine or 2 feeding my bowel bacteria that produce histamine. I stopped everything but have started to introduce ps a teaspoon at a time. Does anyone know of probiotics that are purely histamine inhibiting?

    1. I have been diagnosed with chronic ucartia so I understand what you were dealing with. I found the following on Chris Kressler’s site. This corresponds to other info I’ve read/researched on histamine and probiotics.

      And the histamine-producing category is Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactococcus lactis, Enterococcus faecalis, and various types of E. coli. 

      And then the ones that seem to degrade histamine and be beneficial are lots of bifidobacteria species, but particularly Bifidobacterium infantis and then Lactobacillus rhamnosus and salivarius and sporogenes and Lactobacillus gasseri.

  29. Mark – great writeup! This is consistent with my experience with RS. It gives me terrible gas for a short period of time, but the benefits have been so extremely positive for me that it’s worth the discomfort and stinky fluffs.

    Full disclosure – the next part is kind of graphic. I have a “compromised gut” – diagnosed a couple years ago with IBD-unspecified (either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s) – and almost always have lots of blood and mucous in my stool, and the stools are usually partially formed. As soon as I began dosing 2-4 tbsp of potato starch per day, my stools improved dramatically, with far less blood and mucous. Lots of times, the stools are what I’d consider “normal” – no blood, no mucous, and fully formed – which is AWESOME for anyone who suffers from IBD. Both the degree of improvement and the immediacy of the improvement were fascinating, and I hope others might see similar benefits.

    Also, I didn’t make the connection until this post, but I’ve had lots of very vivid dreams recently. Last night, I dreamed I was in a bowling alley and watched a matchup between two teams of gorgeous ladies, one team in black lingerie and one in red, both teams wearing black high heels. TMI? sorry…but it’s the truth!

  30. Very timely and interesting post as I have recently added small amounts of white rice back into my diet and noticed great benefits. My colon has never been so happy, I remain satiated for longer after meals, and the big one – my sugar cravings have vanished. I realize rice doesn’t have much RS, but maybe I don’t need much to receive the benefits. Not sure about the cooling/reheating thing, but my rice is always cooled as I make a batch and refrigerate it, adding it to my meals in small amounts, maybe half a cup (cooked) each day. I often eat it cold – with coconut milk and fruit it makes a great dessert. This is, of course, extremely unscientific but it demonstrates the importance of experimentation in your own diet unless you are completely dialed in. Also I lost four lbs. without trying.

    1. Good info! Do you, or anyone reading, have a good primal rice pudding recipe? I grew up on the stuff and haven’t had it in years….yum!

  31. i also add about 1 tbls potato starch to the morning protein shake. also i throw in some hemp and chia seeds. Like many of us, the beginning was rough–lets just say even the cat avoided me–but i lowered the dose, stuck with it, and i’m very pleased with the results.

    1. Good question. According to the pdf., hummus comes in at 4.1

      You can make hummus with other kinds of beans that would give you a higher rs amount.

        1. The one listed above in Mark’s section. It is in the last line under the heading… Where Do We Get It

          P.S. Even though there is an optometrist in our family, your eye creeps me out. Love your art though

  32. I find taking a few tbs of potato starch a day has lowered my fasting blood glucose, and after a cheat meal ( I eat no wheat typically) of whole wheat pasta, my BG rose to only 105. In the past it could go over 200 on this kind of food. I won’t be adding wheat back to my regular daily diet but its good to know there is a safety net for the occasional pizza meal.

  33. Just for clarity:

    Cooking and cooling –
    An example: 1 very large potato (500g)
    Raw – 75g RS
    Cooked – 1g RS
    Cooked/Cooled – 25g RS
    Cooked/Cooled/Reheated – 26g RS
    Cooled again – 28g RS
    Heated again – 29g
    Cooled again – 30g

    The biggest increase after cooking is in the first cooling cycle when the starch molecules retrograde (crystallize). After that, they remain resistant. Extreme, prolonged heat can ‘melt’ this crytallization, as in boiling until they fall apart, but quick reheating as in stir-fry preserves the RS and can even build it slightly as mositure is driven out of the crystal structure.

    Works the same with rice and beans.

    The ‘cooling’ required is a temp af approx 50 degrees and at least 8 hours, so overnight in refrigerator is fine. Storing cooked beans and rice in freezer is even better and very convenient.

    Rice has slightly les RS than potatoes. Beans have slightly more,

    Tatertot Tim

    1. Great contribution, Tim.

      I’m assuming that microwaving would fall under the category of “quick reheating” and not have a negative effect?

      It’s really too bad I can’t wait 9 hours for my monthly baked potato. 🙁

    2. Tim, ( or anyone else with thoughts or experiences to contribute) what would be the best way to gradually incorporate RS into the diet for a person that has gut inflammation with chronic bloating?

      I get severe bloating from all pre- and probiotics, and a pinch of PS has the same effect on me. I’d love to fix this situation and be able to benefit from RS, but don’t know how to get there, as all recommendations seem to assume good tolerance of probiotics and only transient symptoms from RS. Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

      1. Just another n = 1, but last year when FTA commenters were reporting great luck with RS, I tried it for a couple of months with nothing but worse constipation. Possibly like you, I’ve had horrific, 8-months-pregnant bloat for a long time along with other gut issues and had either no effect or nasty cramping and bloating from the pre- and probiotics I’d tried.

        After reading more recent FTA and animalpharm posts and comments, I bought a bottle of Prescript-Assist for the soil-based organisms and have taken it for more than two weeks along with RS. I’m going with “low and slow”–started with a probiotic capsule every other day and 1/2 tsp RS (the usual Bob’s Red Mill potato starch). Now I’m at a capsule and a Tbsp each day.

        I am really glad to report that I am feeling better than I have in literally years after just these few weeks of combining the two. Bloating is slowly going down, random cravings are decreasing, my energy level is higher than it’s been in years, and maybe most importantly my brain is beginning to work better and depression is receding.

        Just got the news that my dad died of the dementia that has been slowly killing him (as it killed his father too). He had been on innumerable doses of Cipro over the past 30 years for recurrent kidney infections. I have to wonder if having no gut flora really killed him. Let us all do whatever we can to nurture those little guys.

  34. For “cooked & cooled” potatoes,
    1. is overnight cooling in a fridge enough cooling?
    2. Can I then microwave the cooled potato the next day without jeopardizing the resistant starch?

    1. From poking around the freeetheanimal site, it appears with regards to question 2 that reheating the cooled potatoes via microwave is fine and will not adversely the upped resistant starch.

      1. Thanks Basil. Do you know if sushi rice qualifies as resistant starch? It doesn’t seem that sushi rice is cooled at all in a fridge (just room temp).

        1. I would say sushi rice is a resistant starch. From the freetheanimal site “Some of the highest sources in food is cooked and cooled rice (parboiled is the highest, also lowest GI by far)”

          If sushi rice is as you say room temperature, then it would not have as much resistant starch as rice cooled in a fridge over night. But it would still have RS, even better than rice that is still hot from just being cooked.

        2. I’ve always looked down my nose at the supermarket sushi that sits in the fridge for hours. Maybe I should rethink this prejudice!

  35. Does this mean I can start eating sushi and potato salad??! 😉

  36. Hi,

    I get frequent vaginal yeast infections and UTI’s. I was told by my ND to stop taking resistant potato starch (Bob’s Red Mill) as it is a perfect food for candida. What are your thoughts on this and what research can you cite to support that?

    I know my gut is in serious need of some re-balancing and was hopeful that this would work.


    1. I think RS can feed persistent yeast overgrowths in small intestine, if you have that condition–get it fixed, fast!

      If you don’t have that condition, RS is probably the thing you want to increase in your diet, fast. Persistent vaginal infections/UTIs can be triggered from a gut full of pathogens. Pathogens run rampant in a gut with high pH same as in your ‘lady parts’. pH is vital to a healthy gut/vaginal microbial population.

      RS is every study, leads to a lowering of intestinal pH, but not too low. It makes it ‘juuuuuuust right’. The gut bugs do all the work. Once your gut is the proper pH, the pathogens that cause UTIs and other infections will be gone.

      Think about the probiotics as well. Take them alongside potato starch or RS rich foods.

      1. Are you saying that if you have SIBO RS can feed it in the small intestine? Or are you saying RS with probiotics can FIX ones SIBO?

      2. Oh, it’s Tatertot Tim! I have UTIs now too – as the woman above posted – and bloating. Constipation is much improved since eating fermented vegetables for months, a decent amount of protein, and increasing my fat intake.

        But the bloating is still there, as well as weird stomach irritation. I just started the PS – about 2 tablespoons with psyllium per day. No gas really – not more than the occasional usual. Should I up the RS? I’m also taking some SBO probiotics – Dr. Higa’s right now. But, I bought the other 3 recommended by Dr. BG.

        If you have a chance to share your thoughts, I’d appreciate it. Love listening to you on podcasts! Thanks so much for sharing this. I think RS might be the missing link in my diet – I lost 80 pounds over 25 years ago and kept it off, but with major constipation, some hair loss, no energy and more! Thank you!

    2. Here’s something I’ve figured out for recurrent thrush. This may be TMI, but it’s the only thing that has really worked for my recurrent yeast (and bacterial) infections. Instead of applying topical creams and pessaries, simply use probiotic capsules – insert them directly at night where you would normally put a pessary. Also use coconut oil on the surrounding skin and tissue – has an antifungal action and is an emollient. You may need to use a pad overnight because as the gelatin capsules dissolve they can “fall out”.

      Normal “good” bacteria do the best job ever at keeping the nasties away…
      Good luck, hope it helps.

  37. PS does NOT spike your BG.
    At least not for me and many others on forums. I found as a chronic low carber paleo person I couldn’t get my head around this RS idea but read and read on Richards blog and on HeartLifeForum
    Of all success stories so tried it
    I have been diabetic for 20 and never have my FBG and PP BG been so low,
    Chronic paleo low carbers often have higher FBG but its solved that problem,
    I use BRMPS uodified. I had to work up slowly, about 6 weeks and take 5 T a day. Richards group says taking it before evening meal gives best sleeps.

  38. Okay, I’m ready to try. Anyone have a recipe using raw potato starch that can be easily incorporated into a primal/paleo diet (meat, eggs, veges, occasional fruti)? I don’t do smoothies, nor do I do fruit juice or yogurt. It kind of seems like my only option is water (yech, sounds awful). Thanks.

    1. It’s really not bad at all in plain water! It doesn’t really have a flavor and dissolves almost completely. You could mix it into cold tea, or stir some into cool mashed potato or other mashed veggie.

    2. Water really isn’t so bad. I take my potato starch plain in water either first thing in the morning or shortly before bedtime. It tastes like…well…raw potato! If you have ever bitten into raw potato that is it. It isn’t a strong taste, so I suspect you won’t have much of an issue with it. Chase it with a bite of something flavorful if need be, but you might be surprised.

      1. Thanks. Will try. Saw the idea of taking it in coconut milk on another site and will try that, too.

    3. use PS as thickener on sauces. just make sure that the sauce has cooled down to about 100 before adding.

    4. I just mix it with water and be sure I have something else to drink right after. Kind of like a shot. LOL

    5. Most times I just stir it in water and chug it, but sometimes I mix up a bowl of room temperature canned organic pumpkin with pumpkin pie spice, some Z-sweet or Swerve, and a couple of Tbsp of Bob’s Red Mill unmodified potato starch. Pretty tasty.

      1. I’ve now gotten some and tried it in water. It’s fine! Not much taste. A bit of chalkiness to the texture. But fine.

        I guess I had in mind some cold potatoes I ate once that had a kind of gluey texture to them. This was nothing like that.

        Thanks, though for the ideas. The pumpkin dish sounds particularly good.

    6. I spoon the potato starch directly into my mouth, then drink water through it, chewing as I go.

      Unfortunately, if I sneeze, my shirt and table look like I have an abuse habit on par with Scarface.

      1. Correction, just took some more. I don’t chew, I wiggle my tongue to dissolve it.

        1. Oh, this is funny! You know how it turns into that ooblecky sort of texture when you put water into it? I’d be afraid that stuff would form and glue my mouth shut.

  39. I could use that increase in thyroid function. I’m going to have to try some of this RS. I’d never heard of it before today.

  40. Mark — this is the best discussion I have seen on just what resistant starch is. A diabetic support group was turning this idea around about a year ago. What we were told then was to cook waxy potatoes (something like Yukon gold being the best), Boil the potatoes whole in their jackets so that the starch is contained within the potato, some said cook for 30 minutes, others for an hour, and then cool, then put in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. It seemed the best use for these would be in potato salad. Some found they could heat the potatoes briefly before eating

    . Quoting your article now: “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.”
    I am wondering if you have a more definitive source on just how to convert potatoes, rice and legumes into retrograde starch and consume it properly. I am a Type 2 diabetic and generally these are foods we avoid while on a low carb high fat diet. Though I do eat small portions occasionally. Certainly they have far less impact on my BG than wheat has. Also I have wondered if potatoes you buy frozen such as fries or shredded hash browns would have resistant starch, but then heating them would maybe convert the starch back again?

    I have a family member with an auto-immune disorder and I am trying to get her to try a gluten free diet. Some of the benefits of the RS that you described could be very helpful. She is taking probiotics but I think we should check out the soil based probiotics.

    Thank you for such a comprehensive article.

  41. So what to use? Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch or Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour?

    1. I find the potato starch cheaper and easier to find in my area off the shelf. But that could vary in areas. I will stick with the PS as it agrees with me.

    2. Why not try both and see which works better for you, or rotate or mix them?

  42. I didn’t see any mention of traditionally fermented vegetables- a great way to get resistant starches easily into the diet. Fermentation method is key. None of that over salted whey ferments that are so popular right now.

    Instead, look up Harsch crocks or Pickl-it’s. They are such an amazing health tool.

  43. What about cooked cauliflower? I have been told it converts to a starch when cooked. Also wonder about powdered sprouted rice protein.

  44. I would just be very cautious with this if you have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), as RS is NOT advised for this condition. I have SIBO and don’t do well with most foods that are high in RS.

  45. I’m not a fan of supplements. One of the appeals of eating paleo/primal is that real food is the mainstay. So I think I’ll skip the potato starch and eat a real potato and some bananas now and then and hope that’s enough.

    1. nope it ain’t gonna be enough. 500g of Raw Potato = 75g RS. cooked and cooled = 25g RS only.

      so PS is a good gap filler.

    2. I agree. I’d rather spend $ on good food rather than supplements since I have to eat anyway! But then, I’m not in a bad way health-wise (if not yet optimal). I might try adding a little cooled potato now and then and see if I notice any effects. The other alternative might be some tapioca starch, though not sure how or what to add it to.

  46. I’m unwilling to do the grueling research, but willing to bet that raw young corncobs have some resistant starch or something similar. I’ve picked and eaten the baby cobs, which are like cauliflower wrapped in lettuce with sweet sprouts on top, and they make me feel better. It could have been GMO corn but I don’t think there was any pesticide used since I lived nearby and never saw anything sprayed and the corn wasn’t culled, so it was probably a rotation/fertilizer crop – farmers or those more educated about farming than me can chime in with the correct terms if they want to.

  47. Can the potatoes be fried in lard and then cooled? I would rather try a yummy food source then a powder.

    1. Susan

      The ABSOLUTELY coolest way I’ve found to do potatoes now is that I bake a bunch of them, toss them in the fridge. Then, I pull them out as needed, peel (sometimes not), slice or chop, depending on application. From these I can make mashed taters, potato salad, reheat for a baked potato and my favorite of all: cubed and wok fried for just a few minutes in RED PALM OIL.

      It’s the bomb.

  48. Argh….so potatoes are good for you when they’re raw, but then they’re awful for you when they’re cooked, but if you let them cool overnight and then use them in a hot dish (like adding them to soup or a curry sauce) then they’re good for you again?!

    Applying this same logic to stuff like refried beans or cooked rice, reheated left-overs have way more resistant starch than if you eat them freshly cooked?

    The skeptical part of my brain is sounding alarms.

    1. I know what you mean, I’m getting the feeling I had when I first read Gary Taubes and couldn’t believe how much I’d thought I knew but clearly didn’t.

      Having spent 4 years or so Primal and thought I had it dialled things I thought were no gos seem to be creeping in, and not even as whole food! Hey ho.

      I’ve recently switched up my eating to include more phytoestrogens/omega 3s (flax oil and some seeds) and cultured food via Fage eaten with half a pear and handful of flax/sunflower/sesame/pumpkin seeds. This has improved the slow transit no end (which from research re menopause I understand is important for flushing ‘old’ hormones) – I suspect there is RS involved in the list above and probiotics (obviously) in the live yogurt.

      1. kelda – I am always looking for ways to ease menopause symptoms – how much fage and much of the seeds are you eating?

        1. I have 2 dessert spoons of Fage with one heaped dessert spoon of the seed mix.

          1 tablespoon of the Flax seed oil.

          Also started taking Agnus Castus (chasteberry) which has a long history of evening out hormones, particularly testosterone, 2 capsules with breakfast and with dinner (1600 mg daily).

          I’ve also added some pecan nuts for zinc and taken out caffeine except for one teabag of black tea in the morning. Also taken out chocolate (for the caffeine and theobromine content) because I’ve read that these stimulants are associated with tender breast tissue. Stimulants include alcohol (but I stopped drinking over a year ago).

          Within the traditional Chinese medicine system (stems and branches acupuncture in particular) menstral problems are associated with excess heat (internal), so eating cold foods helps normalise cycles – peppermint tea, watermelon and cucumber are all good to reduce heat.

          I’ve replaced my caffeinated drinks with peppermint tea. So far so good, the excess heat was the explanation for a shortening cycle. It seems to have done the trick. BTW excess heat is seen to be generated through emotional issues so meditation/mindfulness etc, yoga is also very useful.

          In Chinese medicine any cycle that isn’t 28 days with just 3 no-pain bleed days is considered dysfunctional and treated with herbs!

  49. Very interest article Mark. A company here in Australia has been manufacturing & promoting banana flour which is produced from ground dehydrated green Lady Finger bananas. Might be time to cook more with this product based on RS Type 2 qualities.

  50. I’ve battled chronic constipation my entire life, and now am dealing with, in all likelihood, SIBO/GERD/slow gastic emptying. Can’t do the LC thing, too stressful, and I end up binging by the 3rd day on everything carb. Now I’m using PS, and within the 1st week, I’m feeding logs to the city’s sewer system anyone with digestive ailments would be proud of. I’m only 3 weeks in, so I don’t know how this will affect the SIBO, but I will say, it has not worsened it. Now I’m preparing to follow Dr. BG’s 7-Steps Paleo* Gastro IQ SIBO Protocol:
    My question is how safe is Bob’s Red Mill non-organic potato starch? From all the literature I’ve seen, it may be a real problem. It’s in any “Dirty Dozen” conventional food list. Here’s just one link out of many on how potatoes rely heavily on cycle after cycle of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that absorb into the flesh (so peeling ‘em isn’t an option) : I’ve been using the only organic one I’ve been able to find – and this is the lowest price – the one pound bag by Frontier Herbs at Frontier couldn’t answer if it is heat-treated (modified) or not, but I’m getting all the gas and happy results one could expect from PS.
    Anyway, if TaterTot, someone, could respond as to the safety of Bob’s Red Mill potato starch, and if anyone else has found a better priced organic potato flour, I would love the assistance.

  51. I have been using raw potato starch for a few weeks and have found the effects of initial increased gas, the vivid dreams and improved bowel habit. I took a break for the Primalcon Tulum trip as taking a lot of white powder in or out of Mexico seemed like a bad idea. Since returning to Australia and resuming the gas doesn’t seem to have been an issue. Angelo Coppola in his Latest in Paleo did a 2 hour interview podcast with Richard Nikoly and Tatertot Tim on the whole resistant starch issue.

    1. Thanks for mentioning the podcast with Angelo, Korree. But, everyone soould note that mine and Tim’s position on the Probiotics (as Mark has promoted here) has changed (Thanks to Dr. BG, our co-collaborator on the book). Seems we had a blind spot and kinda poo-pooed probiotics. But, then I tried them myself and wow! Really closed the gap on everything. For instance, unlike others I wasn’t seeing as big of a BG lowering in fasting and post meal. But now I do.

      Incidentally, in Angelo’s very latest podcast, he brought Tim on at the start of the show to clarify all of this, so if you listen to our original (LONG!) interview, then be sure to catch Tim’s update.

  52. I am using manioca starch and i have had vivid dream and better sleep .

  53. I’m on a ketogenic diet and still trying to find a solution for my high intensity/anaerobic workouts that have suffered in the absence of carbs. I’m wondering if the potato starch could be used similarly to the UCAN Superstarch pre and post workout? I have been giving myself time to make sure I’m fully adapted to keto but I was planning on trying out the superstarch. It is very expensive though. Has anyone experienced more energy from the resistant starch? Improved workouts? Know if this might work the same way as the UCAN? UCAN says they process the product a certain way for a slow release in the body and there is supposed to be no stomach discomfort. Still, I’m wondering if this could work ie. resistant starch vs. superstarch.

  54. I can’t find potato starch in my Midland backwater so grated potatoes in the blender and squeezed the result in muslin – as Richard described the starch sediments out easily – like clay.
    Good stuff tho – to quote the great Lustig “fart or get fat”

  55. Another satisified customer here! I’ve been supplementing with a tablespoon of potato starch at bedtime for close to two months now, and I’m definitely getting and enjoying those vivid dreams. My digestion is great, and I’ve noticed an increased tolerance for the few foods that tended to give me a bit of trouble (e.g.,nuts and seeds) if I overdid them.

    I’ve also noticed an improvement in mood, energy, and body composition, but I’ve been tweaking other aspects of my diet, sleep, and activity, so I can’t say for sure how much of a factor the RS has been.

  56. while on a ketogenic diet, what food could you eat to have decent amounts of resistant starch?

  57. Is glucomannan (konjac) considered resistant starch? I downloaded the PDF but things like Cassava, sweet potato and konjac are not there. Can you give me any idea about RS vs digestible starch in cassava? I am controlling diabetes with diet and cannot tolerate any starch/sugar. I already use a lot of konjac. Thanks.

    1. i read that konjac is almost 100% RS–great! i started out using cassava, but stopped because of reports that many tapioca-containing foods contain cyanide that naturally occurs in many varieties of the cassava root. so i switched over to the bob’s red mill potato starch. i also buy green plaintains at the local east indian grocery. i peel it, slice it thinly, and put it in the fridge in an uncovered container so that it gradually dries.

  58. What a wonderful post – but I feel we need even more! I’m not fully clear on the relationship between probiotics and the RS. If we’re taking probiotics without RS as well – what is happening? The bacteria in the probiotics are starving? But don’t they eat other stuff besides RS? Sorry, I know I sound like a boob, but – I’m still a little confused.

  59. Mark, I looked at a few of the studies you revered to and the starch used is high-amylose cornstarch. I just hope your readers realize this is not the same thing as regular cornstarch which is if I’m not mistaken very digestible.

  60. My head hurts. Too much info, too many questions… Arghhh. I’ll have to sleep on this and try to make sense of it all. I think this one needs a follow-up Mark – the DEFINITIVE Definitive Guide.

    Question for y’all: What about those par-cooked packaged rice bowls? (Korean and Japanese) – they are short-grain white rice.

  61. Wouldn’t raw fermented potato sticks be a two fer? Get your probiotic and your RS all in one?… without adding powders and such to ones diet.

  62. One more question – how does this need for RS fit into the Grok-lore? What did our Paleo ancestors do that we aren’t doing?

    1. “One more question – how does this need for RS fit into the Grok-lore? What did our Paleo ancestors do that we aren’t doing?”

      They ate a lot of dirty storage organs, roots, tubers, rhizomes, corns, and often raw. You can see videos of Hadza women and girls, for example, going out and digging up roots and tubers and chewing on them dirt and all. So, RS and soil based organisms all in one.

  63. I’m a little confused…how does one go about adding RS in whole food form without doubling or tripling their normal daily carb intake? I can’t see eating 1-2 green bananas and a couple raw potatoes each day, in addition to normal amounts of carbs from veggies and fruit (I usually have one serving of fruit a day– berries, if possible) and still staying under 100-150 carbs. Please, enlighten me!

    1. It looks like you’ve figured out one reason why so many LCers use the powders, at least early on. Not everyone can tolerate lots of easily-digestible starches. I don’t for one, though my tolerance seems to have improved some.

      It’s odd how there seems to be so much more skepticism, criticism and complaining about RS powders (such as potato, plantain, tapioca and mung bean starch powders) than other “processed” foods and food-like products like whey powder, almond flour, “Paleo” chocolate chip cookies, “Paleo” fritata muffins, low carb sandwich wraps, “fat bread,” coconut and flaxmeal pancakes, Paleo ice cream bon bons, Mg and other nutritional supplements, Lugol’s iodine, churned and pasteurized butter, coconut butter, lard, crispy fried bacon, “Paleo” energy bars, …. All of these involve some sort of processing (such as the very common one known as cooking). Why are kale chips more readily accepted than plantain chips?

      On the other hand, it’s a novel experiment to eat lots of RS powders every day, and, like Mark, I don’t like to eat the same foods every day, and I’m trying to gradually build up my tolerance for “whole” food sources.

      1. It’s that whole-food meme–a good one, but I just don’t have time to do all the RS prep crap. Putting a couple of spoons of PS in a glass of water, use a tiny whisk to stir, glug, glug, stir, glug, stir, glug. DONE. If I learned to love sardines and liver, I can down a glass with a slight taste of raw potato and then get on with my life. Easier to judge for me since I have a calculated amount of RS to gauge my n=1. When I am retired (next September YEAHH) I might play around with the food more, but cooking and cooling converted rice and keeping it in baggies for individual servings, is about all the extra I will do. But have fun the rest of ya.

  64. OK, so to get this straight, RS’s don’t count as carbs; therefore, they don’t contribute to our glucose needs, and we need to eat something else, non-resistant (hot rice/potatos, sweet potatos, fruit, maple syrup, etc,) to get glucose, if needed. Yes?

    What about sprouted legumes? or sprouted and cooked, legumes? (would they, too, need to be cooled)
    What about legumes that have been soaked, ground, fermented, and cooked into a bread, idili, or dosa? (and would that need to be cooled?)
    Likewise for grain, such a teff, in making injera?

    Plantains are only resistant when raw? or can they be cooked and cooled (ie plantain chips/crackers)?

  65. Does not compute!! I’ve been avoiding legumes and carbs to avoid the blood glucose spikes, and now I am reading that rice and certain starches are okay.

    I looked at “the perfect health diet” that Mark wrote the preface of and I see that they don’t see a problem with white rice and potatoes. I get not eliminating so many things from ones diet is necessary, but I have been avoiding rice like mad because I have been trying to stay within the 50-100grams but I would LOVE to have sushi again and not feel guilty.

    Is this now cool… and some roasted potatoes leftovers?

    1. Just adding some converted rice and a baked potato here and there has made me HAPPIER. I am in good health. These additions have re-energized my meals and planning again. I am following the Perfect Health Diet to a major extent. Needed the carbs, actually for energy, mood and gut bugs, it seems.

  66. “What about sprouted legumes? or sprouted and cooked, legumes? (would they, too, need to be cooled)”

    Not sprouted. RS is part of the fuel for sprouting. So, mung beans, for instance, lots of RS. Bean sprouts: zero. You want to soak. Eat some fresh, then double the RS value by refrigerating or freezing the rest.

    “What about legumes that have been soaked, ground, fermented, and cooked into a bread, idili, or dosa? (and would that need to be cooled?)”

    Yea, probably, since retrograde is resistant to degradation. However, I’d go easy on the cooking methods.

    “Likewise for grain, such a teff, in making injera?”

    I hope to someday be able to find out if teff has any RS. But, it’s gluten free and injera topped with a great Ethiopian spicy stew of meat is to die for.

    “Plantains are only resistant when raw? or can they be cooked and cooled (ie plantain chips/crackers)?”

    I do not think the RS in green bananas and plantains behaves the same way for retrograde. Perhaps Tim can weight in. We’ve discussed this before, but can’t remember. The safest way to preserve RS is to freeze them when green, or dehydrate.

  67. As someone with autoimmune disease, I found resistant starch increased my inflammation. I think it’s worth the n=1 experiment, but for some of us, it hurts instead of helps. The microbiome is so complex, and there is the theory that a particular type of bacteria in our gut contributes to the symptoms of our autoimmune disease. My theory is that RS feeds this in me, along with the beneficials, resulting in more harm than good for me personally. This was following a protocol like the one Mark recommends – choosing food sources, small amounts and building up slowly, with the result that my inflammation also built up slowly until eventually I flared. Even with caution and daily probiotics, RS was a negative for me. I don’t say this to scare anyone away from experimenting, but just to bring some balance to the discussion. RS may have been universally beneficial in ancestral times, but I’m guessing autoimmune disease didn’t exist back then. It’s not surprising that my body responds differently than a healthy individual.

    1. I was going to mention this as well. My arthritic autoimmune condition (ankylosing spondylitis) has been linked to the bacteria klebsiella pneumoniae. The more these guys feed on starch and reproduce the worse my arthritis pain is. (Among other things, I can’t walk due to the extreme hip pain with a bad flare-up.)

      The key here, seems to be fixing the gut bacteria balance so they have more competition. In the mean-time I have to keep my diet virtually free of resistant starch so they don’t over-populate and provoke my immune system.

    2. Many thanks for mentioning this, as I have seen the same.

      I personally do well with soluble fibres (leeks, onions, proteoglycans from meats) and had adverse effects with these starches.

    3. Eileen,

      Are you aware that autoimmunity involves autoantibodies and a perforated/permeable gut that is usually missing commensal residents and suffering from pathogen/parasitic overgrowths? I think delving into a 16S rRNA stool testing by Genova + looking at the microbial/fungal dysbiosis urinary markers may yield more info as to why and how you experienced the failure with fiber/RS. Figuring out what are the root problems in the gut may save you time and fast track your successes.

      Thank you for your comments and sharing your story! Once I believe you have vetted the pathogens out by weeding weeding weeding hopefully you may experience the reversal in autoimmunity/sibo/sifo and improvements in ‘sealing’ the gut as shared by several cases below.

      1. Hi Grace. I’m definitely aware of that connection. Like Seth, I have addressed this through diet, so now my pathogenic counts are very low. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have been flare-free for over a year, take no immunosuppressant nor steroid medication, work full-time, have tons of energy, and digest all other food very well – including fiber, prebiotics and all fruits/vegetables (except nightshades). If I was still flaring or experiencing setbacks in my healing, I would consider the antibiotic route. That was the original alternative treatment for RA, but it’s important to note it’s a lifetime prescription, not a one-time cure. Personally, I prefer the real food prescription of simply listening to my body and feeding it foods it likes and avoiding the foods it doesn’t.

        Regarding the case studies, the autism one seems to just be snapshot of one moment in time with a suggested prescription, rather than any treatment results, and the others are pretty new experiments (although quite hopeful.)

        I know that you and your co-authors are passionate about RS, and that drives discovery and knowledge. I just caution everyone riding this RS wave to remember that this science is in its infancy, which means there is far more that we don’t know about the microbiome. It’s hubris to make too many claims at this point, especially universal recommendations.

        1. Eileen,

          Congratulations on your health recovery — that is almost unheard in modern healthcare! Concur, I would not advise antibiotics for RA unless the huge risks outweigh the marginal and longterm gut consequences. Just like Crohn’s there will be new insights as technology allows knowledge about the gut to realize the impacts on the commensals from broad spectrum antibiotics. The latest research spells disaster for Crohn’s who receive antibiotics.

          We are passionate because everything that opens conversations about the gut are fantastic (and how modern factors and food kill, maim, amputate it).

          In my patients with autoimmune arthritis, 100% invariably have parasites and/or microbial pathogens (bacterial, fungi, etc). Have you ever considered having this assessed? Parasites are often hard to diagnose requiring 3-5 day sampling. These do not remediate easily on the ‘food prescription’ and need some care. Ancestral societies all engaged in proper botanical care, no? Clay, charcoal, antiparasitic and antimicrobial botanicals that are far less likely to harm the commensal symbionts.

          These 16S rRNA stool and urinary fungi and bacterial dysbiosis marker tests are cutting edge yet shamelessly underutilized

          If a part of one’s gut were missing (like a commensal benficial Clostridium, Bacteroidetes, Bifido or Lacto strain) or ‘amputated’, previously we would not know or be aware, no?

          Now tools exist where we can tell an ‘arm’ or ‘heart’ are missing or maimed. These strains keep nightshades and other common food ‘allergens’ from breaching and triggering hypersensitivity from the immune system fyi. They keep Candida and Klebsiella from translocating and triggering arithritis reactions in joint tissues because candida and Kleb resemble the same strings of amino acids found in joints and other mammalian tissues.

          I think you’ll find these cool. Crohn’s and autism are autoimmune as well. The autism one is where they add a commensal bacteria that is frequently wiped out by antibiotics in babies, moms and everyone, and VOILA, neuroatypical autism signs and symptoms nearly ALL REVERSE.

        2. “remember that this science is in its infancy”

          Interesting. If you open advanced search in Pubmed, you get the following:

          (microbiome OR biome) AND gut = 4,251

          resistant AND starch = 1,503

          (paleo OR paleolithic) AND diet = 109

          Resistant Starch has been studied for 30 years. 180 studies have been published since Jan 1, 2013.

        3. Eileen,

          We are not just into spreading lies and deception about RS — but also all fiber like Glucomannan, Inulin, FOS, ROS, GOS, and breastmilk HMOs. Let’s not forget evolution’s favorite food.

          Have you heard of Glucomannan? It’s much like RS fiber with also an impressive ancient history known as konjac root routinely in Asia. If you look up horchata or tiger nut which are rich in resistant starches and fiber for its beneficial botanical effects for ulcers, infectious diarrhea and women’s hormone disorders, you might find surprised like I was!
          Study of new ways of supplementary and combinatory therapy of rheumatoid arthritis with immunomodulators. Glucomannan and Imunoglukán in adjuvant arthritis.
          Bauerová K, Paulovicová E, Mihalová D, Svík K, Ponist S.
          Toxicol Ind Health. 2009 May-Jun;25(4-5):329-35. doi: 10.1177/0748233709102945.
          PMID: 19651805 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

          Glucomannan reduces neutrophil free radical production in vitro and in rats with adjuvant arthritis.
          Drábiková K, Perecko T, Nosál R, Bauerová K, Ponist S, Mihalová D, Kogan G, Jancinová V.
          Pharmacol Res. 2009 Jun;59(6):399-403. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2009.02.003. Epub 2009 Feb 14.
          PMID: 19429472 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

          Glucomannan in prevention of oxidative stress and inflammation occurring in adjuvant arthritis.
          Bauerova K, Ponist S, Navarova J, Dubnickova M, Paulovicova E, Pajtinka M, Kogan G, Mihalova D.
          Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2008 Oct;29(5):691-6.
          PMID: 18987599 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

        4. Grace, thank you for your thoughtful response. I will certainly look into all of the studies you linked. I want to be clear that I don’t think you or your co-authors are lying. I think RS research is fascinating, and I really look forward to reading your book. I’m also looking forward to seeing how our understanding evolves over the next decade. Because Richard, in spite of those pubmed articles, there is a ton we don’t know. The microbiome has only recently been sequenced, and since we’re all unique, many more samples need to be sequenced before we can begin to truly understand it. Just read any interview by the scientists of the American Gut Project or the Human Microbiome Project and you’ll see them refuse to give recommendations and caution people about drawing conclusions. I haven’t heard that same caution from you in terms of RS recommendations, but maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe your book will present both sides – that some people benefit and some people don’t benefit from RS supplementation. In the meantime, I’m a big believer in n=1. Just because RS isn’t beneficial to me (at least right now) doesn’t mean I think it’s beneficial to no one. I wouldn’t have tried it myself if I wasn’t intrigued by Tatertot Tim’s experience, nor would I have suggested my husband do his own RS experiment after mine failed. I just don’t believe in advice written for n=everyone.

        5. Dr. BG

          What do you think of helminthic therapy? That’s where you intentionally infect yourself with specific worm species because our gut bugs evolved symbiotically with them. People report it can beat candida, as can fecal transplant.

  68. Any thoughts on the resistant starch found in Quest Bars? Quest Bars contain isomalto-oligosaccharides. The makers claim this is a resistant starch.

  69. I have been trialling resistant starches for over 3 months now and for someone with a compromised gut, autoimmune and other immune problems it hasn’t been a panacea. I am persisting with the resistant starch despite mixed problems as a basic medium- low carb paleo was becoming more and more unsustainable. To start with on paleo I got great results with 80% compliance (as long as the 20% non-compliance wasn’t too over the top). After 5 years I had to have 100% strict auto-immune compliance all the time and even then I had blood sugar spikes, poor sleep, hot flashes at night and a loss of mental capacity and physical strength. So I’m looking for a better result than that.

    Initially I got a flare with my auto-immune disease each time I increased my doseage and when I trialled tapioca in place of PS. The potato starch didn’t make my rheumatoid arthritis flare much more than it was already and it settled down to the old level within weeks. The ankylosing spondylitis is a bit more problematic, but manageable and I only took pain relief on one occasion. I know when something is different if I get a minor flare, but I haven’t had one for a few weeks now.

    I did try two days of banana starch (Australian version) and despite it being sold as from green bananas and full of resistant starch for me it was like swallowing a huge bolus of sugar each time with lots of hot flushes and feeling like crap. Now I only tried it for two days so I hesitate to bag it entirely given that others have great results, but right at the moment I have to be careful, so I’ve put it to one side in the meantime.

    Things have been complicated because as an Australian I can’t get the probiotics Richard, Tim and Dr Grace recommend unless I send them to someone in the US for them to forward to me. I’m in the process of doing this but mail from the US can take 6 weeks (by air!). Amazon won’t send them direct here whether from the US or UK.

    Richard has suggested I really mix up what I’m doing to shake up my system. I know my body adapts if I do exactly the same every day.

    Initially I got fabulous Bristol 4 results (after years of IBS) – now after 3 months, mostly Bristol 4 with occasional diarrhoea days, say once every two or 3 weeks. Adding psyllum (itsp x 2 per day) destroyed all the benefits I had started to get from RS. Sleep didn’t become sound till I was on over 4 tbs PS a day, with carefully controlled everything else. I developed a much, much better pattern of sleep to about 11 weeks when I trialled the banana starch when it was destroyed over night. A week later I’m starting to improve again.

    I know I’m compromised in many ways but I believe that resistant starch is an important component and I’ve had enough good results to keep on with the trial and error. I think Dr Grace might be absolutely right that you can’t feed an empty cage – and I have to get an outside source of probiotics – the ordinary ones available here in Aus haven’t done any good at all and while Primal Defense do help they obviously aren’t enough. Hopefully the US one’s I’m trying to get will make a difference.

    This is long and involved but I hope those who are in a similar situation and who haven’t got an immediate great response won’t give up too early.

    1. Harriet,

      I appreciate your story and hope you feel better soon.

      Do you have access to volunteering at a local garden, farm or CSA? Dirt is our friend (if healthy, organic, biodynamic)! As Mark always jokes, Grok ate probiotics. It was called DIRT 😉

  70. I made a batch of dehydrated plantains the other day. My husband took a liking to them. I turned my head and he had polished off the whole baggie. Whoops. He wasn’t in on the resistant starch story. It was a very musical night to say the least!

  71. Well I have tried RS for the last 4 months, ramping up slowly to 3 tblsp every morning in my first glass of water. I spent those 4 months farting, cramping and bloated. It was bad every day at work, every evening, I was blowing off steam as it were and could not stop. I had some cool dreams but saw no other obvious changes and frankly I had to stop. I have lost a pantsize due to the bloating being gone and I have not had to farm in a few days. It was bad, it was hell, it was my own personal Ragnarok most days but I stuck with it and waited. It never got better.

    Any suggestions as to what I could do differently? Does Richard or tatertot want to add my unique butterfly data to the mix I would be happy to help. Just dont make me take the stuff again.

    1. “Any suggestions as to what I could do differently? Does Richard or tatertot want to add my unique butterfly data to the mix I would be happy to help. Just dont make me take the stuff again.”

      A few:

      1. Try some of the probiotics. Mark has one (which I’m going to be adding to my recommendations) and the three SBOs brands I’ve recommended. What I did was got them all and pounded them for a week, along with the RS, then backed off and now I take one of just one brand per day, and I rotate. In this way, cost goes way down.

      2. Mark was very perceptive in suggesting that you don’t take this stuff day in, day out. you also don’t take the same dose. Some days it’ll be 1 TBS, some days 4-5, and some days 2-3, and then I’ll skip altogether at LEAST one day per week, more often two in a row, and sometimes three. I learned this last memorial day when I went on a camping trip and forgot the PS, and wow everything got good and when I resumed things were better.

      3. Or, don’t worry about PS and try to get it from one or all of the primary foods: green bananas and plantains, or cooked and cooled rice, beans, potatoes. Maybe toss in a TBS or two every now & then.

      In any case, I would definitely be doing #1. Things were pretty good for me with just the RS in various forms, but I didn’t know how good it could be until introducing the variety of probiotics.

  72. I tried potato starch around 2 Tbsps before bed for a couple of weeks. My sleep improved and I did have more vivid dreams. My headaches enduced from bruxism (teeth clenching) was unbearable while supplementing potato starch, I had to stop. I also felt lethargic and down. Not sure if its a nightshade sensitivity or if my gut needs better bugs (probiotics) Would love to hear anyone elses experice who can relate. Facinating how much the gut and brain are connected.

    1. I had some tooth clenching/grinding, and for me it was needing more magnesium. When my kids or I make significant changes in our gut, we tend to need more magnesium through the transition, and then it drops back to our normal levels. Since tight or twitchy or spasmy muscles are often (though not always, of course) helped with extra mag, it’s worth a trial.

  73. Don’t forget shiritaki noodles, supposedly they are quite high in resistant starch plus they are very low carb only a few carbs for a big handful and so ar great for diabetics. They have close to zero flavor so if you put them in sauce they just taste like the sauce. They are easy to prepare and add to variety in meals.

    1. Does anyone know how many grams of RF are in shiritaki noodles?

      I am one of the folks who can’t eat nightshades. (Hubby is allergic to bananas so I don’t usually have them around). Seems like this might be the answer 🙂
      Hoping this will fix the fact that I have had constipation issues since going AIP protocol :p (consuming plenty of fiber & water, so its something else).

  74. So it sounds like I can have cooked beans that are cold from being in the fridge. Does that also apply to sweet potato hash?

  75. I am pretty confused. I understood that going paleo meant no potatoes, beans, grains or other starchy foods and very little fruit. This article says yes to the potatoes, beans, green bananas, plantains and tapioca. Once I’m eating those things am I even eating a paleo diet any more?

    1. Jenny

      I looked at that a while back. Suffice to say I don’t think Ray Peat has a clue of what he’s talking about in terms of starch granules clogging blood vessels. At the time, Tim gave that a good look, can’t recall, and we dismissed it. Maybe he’ll see this and refresh my memory.

      Otherwise, I don’t have hard and fast numbers but those who have the toughest time with resistant starch seem to be uncannily associated with people on chronic VLC or ketogenic diets. What can I say? I just don’t think they’re healthy for most people long term. I think they’re best seen as an intervention that ought to come from a warning label. I was just looking at three studies done on the Inuit to measure their blood levels of ketones. Guess what? Normal. Not in ketosis except as for anyone else, in a severely fasted state (which is how ketosis should be done: IF).

      I recommend go with Mark’s sane carbohydrate curve (see he got it right way back when) and/or Paul Jaminet’s stuff. Funny, if you go to Paul’s site and click on the Reader Results tab, he has it all organized by complaint or condition and when I look down that, it looks just like the names of all the complaints I’ve seen in my comments for years from people years on VLC or Ketogentic, especially older folks.

      Atkins was fabulous for me at 30-y-o. At 45+, LC Paleo was great for two years and then unless it was 75 deg or more, I had cold hands and feet. Now, after really focussing in on upping starches to the 100-200g daily, I’m toasty. This weekend my wife was away, I didn’t bother turning on the furnace, the hour went from 60-63 during the day and I felt fine working where I’m sitting now, all day in shorts and a t-shirt, with toasty hands & feet.

      1. Hi, Richard, thanks so much for your helpful reply.

        I think I’m diabetic, so I’m one of those people who’s maybe been on VLC too long. I’ve been cold a lot, and some of my hormones seem out of whack–hair’s thinner, no period, although I am 40 and breastfeeding, which could be some of it. Every time I’ve upped my carbs in the past, I’ve had issues, but maybe it’s time to try again, and try not to be so tied to low glucose measurements. I’m going to take a look at Mark’s glucose curve and Jaminet’s site again.

        It makes sense that the persorption issue can’t be as bad as it sounds from Ray Peat. If so, we would all need to minimize starch, even if it’s from “healthy” sources such as roots and starchy squashes, so that they don’t produce micro-emboli in our bloodstreams.

        1. Jenny:

          Here, check this out. My story of how I used safe starches in reasonable amounts to totally correct years of high FBG numbers as well as high post-meal, now totally back to normal. This is not going hog wild. It’s essentially Mark’s carb curve.

          But it’s always funny to me. Everyone always talks about Mark’s original curve in the under 100g part and almost never in the 150-200g range.

          Thing is, note I’m doing several things at once, here, so there are confounders (but what do I care? I’m not writing a paper for peer review.).

          1. I’m using supplemental RS via PS and others.

          2. 80% of my starchy intake is beans, rice, potatoes cooked, cooled and eaten cold or reheated (I have come to like cold beans with an o/e egg or two on top.

          3. I introduced the probiotics. I was already doing better, but introducing the probiotics along with getting over my LC habit (I had been doing it for so long, it was actually hard to get starch regularly)

  76. Can someone explain this to me in more simple terms? I thought we shouldn’t be eating rice, and only eating potatoes after a vigorous workout. Maybe I’m missing the point. Halp 🙂

    1. Traditional peoples generally have one or more sources of starch such as tubers, sago palm, coonties, nut sedge “nuts” and so on…lots of recent paleontological evidence for prehistoric people, also. There have been a lot of overly simplistic, inaccurate descriptions of the foods our ancestors ate. Who wouldn’t want to eat the local equivalent of mashed potatoes when it was available? 🙂

  77. Would you recommend avoiding sweet potato at night if trying to lose weight?

  78. Hi Mark, I tried potato starch for a while and experienced the expected initial gas and bloating but also knee pain, which doesn’t make any sense (isn’t the starch in potatoes devoid of inflammatory compounds?). I’ve switched to green banana flour and, while I’m not tracking blood glucose, etc., it feels okay. Do you have any idea what happened with the potato starch?

  79. Jenny, go to Free the Animal – though I don’t know exactly where on the site the info is. Look for posts about PS not being a weight loss choice.

  80. I am all over this. I simply wasn’t feeling good on VLC any more and Richard Nikoley’s Resistant Starch-based dietary guidelines make a lot of sense to me (and some of the comments on that post in relation to starch’s effect on mucus, since I’ve had so many sinus/congestion problems over the last couple of years). Only been eating this way for a couple of weeks, and despite a bit of discomfort bloating wise, feel much better and happier already.

    1. Same here. I just wasn’t feeling good (LC/VLC paleo/primal) any more after 2 years. Been using RS, (potato starch) and added safe starches-converted rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes since middle of January. Some probiotics (especially a soil based one) I feel very much bettter, sleep better, my eczema cleared up along with strange itching all over. Lots of energy. I don’t have a weight issue and quite healthy, but feeling and motivating well is the end issue for me. Not sticking like glue to rapidly outmoded thoughts about an eating plan. I still stay away from gluten, wheat, corn, and processed food. Mainly Paleo/Primal. I actually follow the Jaminet Perfect Health Diet, which makes sense FOR ME. (65 YO woman in a family full of autoimmune disease–all my 3 sisters and my daughter and various nieces and aunts). I am clear as far as I can tell, but then I have always tried to take care of my health.

      1. I had some really bloated and “full” feeling days at first, along with burping, but that has died down and I feel good around my middle again. Nice trips to the bathroom. I stopped the PS for a couple of days this week (a recommended action) and started again this morning. It has been fun experimenting. If I plan to eat more foods with resistant starch that day, I leave off my evening dose I take before I eat supper. My normal dose is 4 T now, twice a day.

  81. How about potato salad? – Cooked & cooled yet still palatable.

  82. Mark you said:

    “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.”

    This is confusing. Why would people with already healthy gut function respond positively or even need RS? They already have good gut function. Seems to me that if they respond positively, they then did NOT have good gut function before.

    And if RS is a good way to feed the good gut bug as you said it was, how can it cause detriment to a compromised gut? Isn’t it supposed to help?

    1. “They already have good gut function”

      So why would someone with good metabolic function ever need to consider the number of carbohydrates in their diet, eh Fred?

      “And if RS is a good way to feed the good gut bug…”

      Some pathogenic ones eat it too. It’s the good ones that keep the bad ones in check. Once the proper balance is restored, one doesn’t need to worry about feeding the bad ones too.

      In our book, we have an entire chapter on “Chemical Warfare, all written in military metaphor. It is quite remarkable how these things communicate in 2 chemical languages (one species specific and one common to all bacterium) and essentially have all battlefield roles you see in modern warfare. Keep in mind you’re dealing with 500-1,000 species and no two individuals have anything close to all the same ones, nor in the same proportions.

      1. Richard said: “So why would someone with good metabolic function ever need to consider the number of carbohydrates in their diet, eh Fred?”

        ***Why? Well, so that they aren’t raising their blood glucose levels past what is healthful and, over time, potentially causing hormonal disruption. Your example is akin to saying “Why would someone with good lung function ever need to consider the amount of cigarettes they smoke?” A few won’t hurt you but a lot over time just might.

        I’ll have to read your book. Given what you said however it seems to me that it would be near impossible to improve your good gut bacteria over your bad bacteria when you have no idea what it is you have.

        1. Fred:

          This is my point. There are tons of reasons why good gut function gets damaged.

          1. Top dog is antibiotics, especially oral where they are absorbed in the gut.

          2. Crap diet that feeds pathogens.

          3. Crap diet that staves beneficial and commensals.

          4. Low fiber diets that starve good bugs, allowing bad ones to get out of control and good ones to feed off mucosal lining.

          Fred, you need to really wrap your mind around the fact that there are 100 trillion of them in a single gut. The total number of people that have ever lived on earth: 110 billion. Humans have 25,000 genes. The gut biome genome is 3 million, more than 100x greater.

          A single cup of native soil contains on average 200 billion bacteria, 20 million protozoa, 100,000 meters of fungi, 100,000 nematodes, and 50,000 arthropods.

          Bacteria, on average, go through 6 generations per day, and they’ve been doing it for 3 billion years. They synthesize many vitamins, as well as targeted antibiotics in their 3 billion year old manufacturing facility.

          I’d add that Grok didn’t do showers or wash his hands before eating, and at most, he just brushed the dirt off stuff. We’re one with the soil and the biome of the earth.

          This has all been a HUGE blind spot for LCers and frankly, it’s the paleo’s who have begun to connect dots.

          Everybody is in a different place with gut health, which is why some people respond great to RS and some not at all. But it is unequivocally necessary for good gut health and as Dr. BG “Grace” says, RS alone won’t help if you’re feeding empty cages, which is why for many for whom RS did little, nothing, or gave adverse reactions, once they began getting soil based organisms via probiotics like Mark’s and three others I recommend, things changed rapidly for most.

        2. Fred,

          That is a common misconception that we “have no idea what it is you have” with functional medicine lab testing from Genova and several over labs now. I wrote this on pg 2 of MDA’s post here but I’ll repost below.

          The litmus test is RS (or inulin or adding beans or adding salads/fiber).

          IF there is no gas, no results or adverse results or excessive gas for an excessive duration, then this may be a strong indication that the gut may not house the requisite and mandatory commensal organisms necessary for longevity, optimal health and immunoprotection (cancer, autoimmunity, athletic and brain performance, etc).

          “In my patients with autoimmune arthritis, 100% invariably have parasites and/or microbial pathogens (bacterial, fungi, etc). Have you ever considered having this assessed? Parasites are often hard to diagnose requiring 3-5 day sampling. These do not remediate easily on the ‘food prescription’ and need some care. Ancestral societies all engaged in proper botanical care, no? Clay, charcoal, antiparasitic and antimicrobial botanicals that are far less likely to harm the commensal symbionts.

          These 16S rRNA stool and urinary fungi and bacterial dysbiosis marker tests are cutting edge yet shamelessly underutilized

          If a part of one’s gut were missing (like a commensal benficial Clostridium, Bacteroidetes, Bifido or Lacto strain) or ‘amputated’, previously we would not know or be aware, no?

          Now tools exist where we can tell an ‘arm’ or ‘heart’ are missing or maimed. These strains keep nightshades and other common food ‘allergens’ from breaching and triggering hypersensitivity from the immune system fyi. They keep Candida and Klebsiella from translocating and triggering arithritis reactions in joint tissues because candida and Kleb resemble the same strings of amino acids found in joints and other mammalian tissues.”

  83. I’d really like to know if adding vinegar to rs foods negates or lessens their value. I’m a vinegar fan both for taste & for its digestion-aiding qualities, but would the latter be a downside in this case? For instance I love a good, sharp potato salad, with vinaigrette instead of mayo…

    1. Hey, as far as I know, vinegar has the same effect as RS. I use vinegar everyday in my salad. Vinegar is known to regulate blood glucose. So RS and vinegar would definitely be an enhancement (cooled potato salad).

  84. My husband and I have recently started making tapioca flour tortillas and they are delicious and an excellent, fast, filling meal when filled with delicious meat and veggies. I had no idea that they were this good for us though! We were treating them as an occasional treat. Gonna go make a big batch! They break down to about 2 table spoons per tortilla so they are maybe an easy way to get in the RS. If anyone wants to try them, I found the recipe here:

    1. Lindsay

      Unlikely your tapioca four tortillas have much RS. 2 reasons:

      1. Nobody seems to know just how much RS is in tapioca flour. Using potato starch as a control, which gives no spike, people who have tested tapioca flour are all over the map.

      2. But even if it does have appreciable amounts, cooking them (like steaming, nuking, or flaming them over the gas stove) will kill the RS.

  85. People mention Shiratake noodles and shiratake rice as resistant starch.
    Is this correct?

  86. I have a question for Richard Nikoley. Richard, what is the RS situation in the following 3 scenarios:

    1- steamed potatoes cold from the fridge (leftovers) fried up scrispy into hashbrowns on Saturday morning (with onions, yum)

    2-Same leftover potatoes, microwaved in my leftovers at work for lunch

    3-leftover cooked, cold rice made into fried rice the next day

    Sorry if I missed this info somewhere, there’s so many comments now and I haven’t had time to read them all.


    1. Dan:

      I don’t think there’s going to be a big enough difference between 1 & 2 to worry about. Cover all bases and do both. I do prefer to cube my cold potatoes (I bake a 5lb sack at a time, toss ’em in the fridge). I cube and fry them up with red palm oil (the real stuff from east Africa) in a wok. Ready in about 5.

      When I microwave, I do so minimally. I don’t think there’s any specific info on how the microwave affects RS. It works specifically on water molecules, so, could help (by driving more water out of the retrograded structure, making it more resistant to digestion) or hurt (by busting the structure apart). Don’t know. Best way to test would be to compare the same amount of freshly cooked potatoes, measure BG at intervals, then later, do the same thing with the cooked and reheated in the nuker. If you have substantially less BG reaction in the latter, then you’ve got good RS in there.

      In terms of rice, it’s normally a bit less than potatoes (but fried rice is the best way to do it) and beans are a bit more. However, parboiled rice has about double the RS to start with, and lots more nutrition.

      (If anyone wants to bring up the arsenic issue, please see the comments on that post first. Totally hashed out, utter and complete red herring. Make sure and read the linked article about the “arsenic eaters.”)

  87. As a type 1 diabetic and paleo dietitian I took on the usage of RS as a personal experiment. While it lowered my fasting BGs, it also got a little dangerous and I would be able to eat meals with no insulin. Yet, it almost had too much of an affect; I would have to eat more to keep my blood sugars up. I lowered the dose of RS (I was using 1 heaping tsp of potato starch), I still had extreme low BGs (when working out I went from 135 mg/dl to 32 mg/dl in 20 minutes. So overall, after many episodes like this I have dc’d the use of RS. Perhaps more ideal for metabolic syndrome pts or type 2s….just my feedback on the topic. Interesting though, no doubt.

  88. I’ve never seen maca listed as a source of RS.. Does anybody know if it has any?

  89. Wait — is the following really true??


    I get frequent vaginal yeast infections and UTI’s. I was told by my ND to stop taking resistant potato starch (Bob’s Red Mill) as it is a perfect food for candida. What are your thoughts on this and what research can you cite to support that?

    I know my gut is in serious need of some re-balancing and was hopeful that this would work.


    Marci wrote on March 26th, 2014Reply

    I think RS can feed persistent yeast overgrowths in small intestine, if you have that condition–get it fixed, fast!

    If you don’t have that condition, RS is probably the thing you want to increase in your diet, fast. Persistent vaginal infections/UTIs can be triggered from a gut full of pathogens. Pathogens run rampant in a gut with high pH same as in your ‘lady parts’. pH is vital to a healthy gut/vaginal microbial population.

    RS is every study, leads to a lowering of intestinal pH, but not too low. It makes it ‘juuuuuuust right’. The gut bugs do all the work. Once your gut is the proper pH, the pathogens that cause UTIs and other infections will be gone.

    Think about the probiotics as well. Take them alongside potato starch or RS rich foods.

  90. I had 18 inches of my small intestine and 8 inches of my large intestine (also the iliocecal valve) removed due to an infection 10 years ago. Does anyone know how RS affects that? I take pre and probiotics daily, I do my best to eat what I call healthy, mostly primal except I do not eat pork or shellfish and corn as I am allergic to these. What can I do to ensure that I absorb the most from RS and other foods. I find that gaining weight can be tough, but I still have fat that I want to decrease…. Any suggestions would be most appreciated! Thanks

  91. They did an update on Resistance Starch in the “Latest in Paleo” podcast, episode #103 “Probiotics, Antibiotics, Meat and Obesity” which contained updated information from Tim Steele.

  92. Interesting… From time to time I really enjoy cooked and cooled lentils with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice… Glad to hear it may be doing some good!!

  93. What exactly is unmodified potato starch? Where I live (Germany) I can only buy potato starch (in stores or on amazon), which doesn’t say unmodified or modified on it. It is regular starch used for cooking (binding sauces etc). Is that unmodified?

  94. Richard said:

    “This is my point. There are tons of reasons why good gut function gets damaged.

    1. Top dog is antibiotics, especially oral where they are absorbed in the gut.

    2. Crap diet that feeds pathogens.

    3. Crap diet that staves beneficial and commensals.

    4. Low fiber diets that starve good bugs, allowing bad ones to get out of control and good ones to feed off mucosal lining.

    Fred, you need to really wrap your mind around the fact that there are 100 trillion of them in a single gut. The total number of people that have ever lived on earth: 110 billion. Humans have 25,000 genes. The gut biome genome is 3 million, more than 100x greater.”

    *****You’re being aggressive, argumentative and creating strawmen. None of what you said above did I argue or refute.

    “A single cup of native soil contains on average 200 billion bacteria, 20 million protozoa, 100,000 meters of fungi, 100,000 nematodes, and 50,000 arthropods. Bacteria, on average, go through 6 generations per day, and they’ve been doing it for 3 billion years. They synthesize many vitamins, as well as targeted antibiotics in their 3 billion year old manufacturing facility. I’d add that Grok didn’t do showers or wash his hands before eating, and at most, he just brushed the dirt off stuff. We’re one with the soil and the biome of the earth. This has all been a HUGE blind spot for LCers and frankly, it’s the paleo’s who have begun to connect dots.”

    ****You seem to be suggesting in response to virtually every comment I write that low carbers are idiots and paleo peeps are smart. Like you are trying to create fictitious warring factions. Why?

    “Everybody is in a different place with gut health, which is why some people respond great to RS and some not at all. But it is unequivocally necessary for good gut health and as Dr. BG “Grace” says, RS alone won’t help if you’re feeding empty cages, which is why for many for whom RS did little, nothing, or gave adverse reactions, once they began getting soil based organisms via probiotics like Mark’s and three others I recommend, things changed rapidly for most.”

    *****This is evasive. And for most? You are, once again, being argumentative. I am not suggesting nor have I suggested that RS isn’t good. I was pointing out some issues regarding RS that seemed illogical to me. Try not to be so defensive.

    1. Fred, I’m not being defensive.

      Make no mistake: I am taking VLC and ketogentic advocates as lifestyle, to task. You didn’t surmise that?

      I have been doubling down on that bet for a year. All is going to plan. After all, it’s you out defending your turf, right?

      I mean, you’re here in the first place because this is a clear potential undercutting of the entire VLC catechism from forever, and it’s all over the place.

      You, sir, are the one being defensive.

      I am on the attack.

      1. “You, sir, are the one being defensive.I am on the attack.”

        ****I like that. Of course, if what you’re suggesting is that you are on the offensive, remember that the best offense is a good defense. But I get it. You’re just being YOU.

        You’ve dazzled me with your inexpert knowledge of the human gut biome, but you haven’t addressed my statement that it seems somewhat illogical to say on one hand that RS is good for the gut but only for someone with a healthy gut and potentially bad for someone with an unhealthy gut but if you have an unhealthy gut you need RS.

        So what do you and Mark suggest one feed the good bugs and not the bad bugs if you have too little good bugs and too many bad bugs?

        I realize that neither of you are experts (meaning, not scientists or physicians who treat these issues professionally), but from your layman’s view point.

        If this has been addressed in your book, blogs, etc. then I apologize but I have not read all of your and Mark’s work on the subject yet. I am just beginning to learn about all this. (I’ve been spending most of my time on Dr. Art Ayers site).

        So if you could give me a link to a post that answers this I’d be grateful. And you’ll be rewarded (if you can call it a reward) with a free Slow Burn workout at my gym and a steak dinner (with lots of carbs) next your in NYC. 🙂

    2. That said, Fred, I’m a huge fan of ketogentic and VLC.

      It’s called a fast. One does it for 24-30+ hours every week or too.

      Hormetic, and autophagic.

      Otherwise, one avoids LC like the plague, as any animal naturally would.

      BTW, Fed, homework for you. Try to calculate how many hundreds of carbs African cats get from liver and muscle glycogen from a fresh kill, before it degrades (which it does rapidly). Then, cross reference with that with stories on northern hunters who ate liver on the spot because it made them feel so good.

      Finally, get hold of the three studies on Inuit that measured blood ketones and found them never to be in ketosis.

      Oh, yea, and find out how they used animals to ferment carbohydrates for the winter.

      I could go on and on. It’s all on my blog. 🙂

      1. “That said, Fred, I’m a huge fan of ketogentic and VLC.”

        ****I know. I read your blog regularly.

        “It’s called a fast. One does it for 24-30+ hours every week or too.”

        ****Yes, I know.

        “Hormetic, and autophagic.”

        ****I’ll have to look those terms up.

        “Otherwise, one avoids LC like the plague, as any animal naturally would.”

        ***ANY animal? You mean like a dolphin or a tiger or a frog or a spider or a polar bear or a praying mantis or a…you lost me here big fella.

        “BTW, Fed, homework for you. Try to calculate how many hundreds of carbs African cats get from liver and muscle glycogen from a fresh kill, before it degrades (which it does rapidly). Then, cross reference with that with stories on northern hunters who ate liver on the spot because it made them feel so good.”

        ****You’ve said this before. You’ve said that a fresh polar kill would supply lot’s of carbs from the still present glycogen in the animal suggesting that a lion or tiger eat a high carb diets. I think you said that the typical Inuit ate ~100 grams of carbs a day. You said this to me as if I thought this would be taboo and turn these people into raging diabetics.

        First, rather than make me do homework like your my dad, it would be friendlier if you could cite your sources. You’re the one making the claim and the burden of proof lies with the claimant.

        “Finally, get hold of the three studies on Inuit that measured blood ketones and found them never to be in ketosis.”

        ****Would you be so kind as to cite them since you have them? I’m sure Dr. Eades and the entire LC physician world would be interested in this since they never make mention of this.

        “Oh, yea, and find out how they used animals to ferment carbohydrates for the winter.”

        ****Seal flipper snacks and such. Yes, I have read about it. So what? These are NOT The type of carbohydrates we are talking about when we discuss LCD.

        “I could go on and on. It’s all on my blog.”

        ****As I said, I read your blog. Are the references I asked for there? A link would be friendly.

        1. “*Would you be so kind as to cite them since you have them?”


          They are cited in the post that’s currently top of the blog:

          “The Numbers Matter and Only the Numbers Matter”

          You’ll find them in one of the block quotes.

        2. @Fred – “the burden of proof lies with the claimant”

          There’s no such universal rule. It’s more the rule is that the burden of whatever (including bearing the costs) is on a beneficiary or a potential beneficiary. A legal notion of the claimant being obliged to provide evidence of the claim can be derived from the former rule – what you go to the courts for is to get some benefits from someone. We also have customs of expecting people to be elected to provide some justifications (far from proof) that their proposed policies would work, or in case of debaters since they get paid for the debate we also expect them to bring some proofs. Same with scientists – we expect them to provide proofs if they received some grant money.

          Opposite to that asking a normal person in a normal conversation to explain themselves for whatever they say is recognized as bad manners, Try this yourself – go to a party, and for every sentence your interlocutor makes ask intensively for him to prove it; and do a detailed quality assurance on his answers!

          Notice not providing evidence is not only a stress-reducing custom, but also a time optimization – you can get much more information in the same amount of time. It also opens this whole area of knowledge where the way of getting it should not be disclosed (like protecting one’s informants, or getting the info illegally or just in some not-so-moral way). Things one just wouldn’t get at all if proving claims would be somehow obligatory. Besides – outside of those who are paid of a few percent of those who just like arguing with evidence as a hobby – why would anyone bother provinding evidence?

          As if people don’t have better things to do than arguing with some malicious types who treat people giving them some good advice worse than people who are not interested with helping them at all by bombarding the former with pretentious proof demands, while treating the later better?

  95. I stumbled onto the Paleo lifestyle because I read about the strength among Indians in the books of Lewis and Clark and David Thompson. There I made the connection between diet, lifestyle and strength. This connection in 2008 brought me to the Paleo world and by extension Mark’s realm.
    Six years ago I weighed 196lbs, heavy for my 5’10” 48year old frame. Today my weight fluctuates between 156 and 158lbs. I go to the gym six days a week, three heavy days with compound lifts and sprints and three light days. I look good (not as good as Mark but close) and am happy with my progress.
    As a First Nations guy I knew some traditional Aboriginals ate starch in the form of wild onions. It turns out that raw wild onions contain RS starch. (My people ate wild onions raw and they ate a lot of them. However, I’m not speaking for all aboriginals just my small group) Since I do not have time to look for wild onions I’ve been following the Potato starch protocol since July of last year, two tablespoons a day since July and three tbsp since December. Results: weight – no change, body composition –no change, strength – moving up incrementally but I cannot attribute it to RS, sleep – I have always slept the sleep of the just, passing wind- zero before last July and a occasional toot today.
    I have made a commitment to do it for a year because the rationale behind the protocol makes sense and RS is Paleo in my corner of the Aboriginal world. I’ll report back in August with my results.

  96. i believe that grok didn’t ponder about these things. he ate what was available

    1. Paleozeta

      That’s right and the evidence shows that paleoman had tone of resistant starch available.

      It’s in our book, and lots of new refs from 2013 and 2014.

  97. RS was a “missing piece” in my personal nutritional puzzle. Benefits include higher energy level that lasts into the evening, no more hypoglycemic “have-to-eat-or-I’ll-faint” feelings, no more “brain-fog” so now can focus on my work, reduced appetite and cravings, better sleep. Am also taking probiotics in various forms and trying many types of fermented foods and foods with fiber.

    A few weeks before starting RS I had begun adding more starchy carbs (potatoes and rice) which was helpful, though nothing dramatic ensued. However, the weekend after starting RS I was able to do yard work all day long both days…my hubby was amazed, because for years and years I have only been good for an hour or two, if that. It has been three weeks now and I’m getting several hours of my life back every day, instead of being dragged out much of the time. Have never been diagnosed with anything in particular but have had fatigue problems for decades related to food, blood sugar, etc.

    I’ve read a fair amount about nutrition over the years yet had pretty much overlooked the importance of gut health and how it all works. Nutrition is complicated and at times I’ve neglected to inform myself and have relied on simplistic theories like “eat low carb” without knowing enough about the ramifications. There is a ton of misinformation floating around and it can be tough to sort it out. Huge kudos to Mark/MDA, TaterTot, Richard/FTA, Paul/PHD, and others for helping to bring more information to light.

  98. When I try anything pre or probiotic, I immediately experience gas, bloating, then constipation so bad that I have compromised sleep for days and feel fatigued. RS had the same effect. On normal paleo and as long as I keep caffeine down, I feel amazing. Is my gut still off or am I just sensitive to anything that changes my flora?

    1. You might want to check out some of the discussion about resistant starch and fodmaps sensitivities on Chris Kresser’s site or listen to the podcast Chris Kresser did with Robb Wolf (on Robb’s site). They talk about people who are sensitive to other prebiotics increasing their digestive robustness (I mean, reducing the type/amount of things that cause digestive or other problems) by very slowly increasing resistant starch intake. And often needing some/several of the supplemental probiotics.

      1. Thank you for that. I’m beginning with 1/2 a teaspoon of potato starch every other day or so. Maybe I’ll eat some coconut yogurt, but very little at a time and move up to more.

    2. Dave, due my own experience (I’m 53) and reading 10,000 comments in over 90 posts, seeing friends and family members, I would have to guess that you have a severely bad gut. Sorry, but basically 1%, so it’s you, man.

      You should probably go to Dr Grace’s blog and search around.

  99. Why does the PS have to be raw? What if I cook it for example to thicken my vegetable meal?

    My other question is, that does potato flakes make as well? As far as I know, they are already cooked and dried flakes.

  100. It’s ironic… all you people w/ your arbitrarily restrictive paleo diet… and all you’ve done is screw up your gut.

    I’ve eaten carbs my whole life. I took the bob’s red mill for a few months.

    It did nothing.

    Why? Cause my gut isn’t screwed up to begin with… cause I’ve always eaten carbs.

  101. Could this be a reason why those 30 bananas a day freaks dont get the diabetus?

  102. Three days of potato starch in water before bed. So far, so good. I guess I can return the gas masks I bought for the wife, kid, and dog just in case.
    Haven’t noticed a change in my outlook or dreams yet, though.

  103. I was interested in this, especially that potato starch made the list. I have tested my blood sugar 1 & 2 hours after eating white potatoes & find they elevate my sugar too long (150). I have insulin resistance. But am not full blown diabetic. I would encourage others to consider how adding these foods might increase the production of insulin (a fat storing hormone) when adding these types of starches back in. I didn’t read all of the comments, so apologize if this is a repeat comment.

  104. For those of us who cannot understand the science of this stuff, can someone just tell me how to add this into my diet? Break it down into plain Betty Crockerish recipe. 🙂 I have to confess, I’m so very confused with all the science that there are many things I have no idea how to try – I really and truly don’t get how to add them to my life. And please, don’t be mean to me. I’m very intelligent in other areas but science and math are not ‘my thing’. And I’m not alone. Friends have given up even trying primal/paleo because the arguments get bogged down. Thanks in advance!
    *Mark and worker bees, I do very much appreciate you all – I just wish I could understand you. 🙂

  105. So why the initial gassiness, followed by no gassiness, does anyone know? Is it that RS is feeding both helpful and less helpful gut bacteria, and after a while of using RS the “good” bacteria become predominant, being somehow better adapted to thriving in the human gut?

    I’m trying to figure out whether I should try to prevail with RS, despite the fact that it exacerbates to my pre-existing abdominal bloating.

  106. I never tried it yet, but since tapioca flour does count too, I sounds like I could make some bubble tea like drink. ^^ (Maybe cold tea with bubbles?)

  107. Does the tapioca flour have to be mixed with water and drank as is, or can it be cooked as in a pancake? Same w/ green plantains. Does cooking change them. Green banana flour: how is it used?

  108. What if I cook the potato starch?

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

    1. 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. 😉

  109. 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.

  110. 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…

    1. 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.

      1. 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…

  111. 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.

  112. Would LC Inulin Fiber from Chicory Root work as well? The 0 carbohydrates seems more appealing to me.

  113. 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.

  114. 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.

  115. 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.

    1. 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:

  116. 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?

  117. 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.

    1. “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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

  118. So, German Potato Salad may be good, if I used maybe coconut oil and vinegar and bacon?

  119. 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.

  120. 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?

  121. 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?

  122. So can I just cut to the chase and take a butyrate supplement instead of getting it by taking some RS?

    1. “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.

  123. 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..

  124. 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?

  125. 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.

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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.

  130. 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.

  131. 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.

  132. 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.

  133. 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!

  134. 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! 🙂

    1. 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

  135. 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.

  136. 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.

  137. 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.

  138. 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

  139. 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.

    1. 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”.

  140. “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

  141. parboiled rice
    does not need to be cooked and cooled? for the RS factor
    does it need to be soaked to remove phytic acid?

  142. 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!

  143. “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.”

    OK, and you claim that it’s not the fault of the starch, but it totally is. After struggling for decades with my gut I can tell you with 100% certainty that ALL flora that digest starches produce gas. All of them, all of the time. Some of them, like the sulfur eaters, can reduce the volume of gas, but the gas is ALWAYS produced first, and then later reduced by another troop of bacteria. Reduced, not eliminated.

    People like me, who get debilitating back pain from gut gas should not take resistant starch or any other fermentable thing. Or if you insist on taking it, then take it with sauerkraut (the living not canned kind) for the sulfur digesting bugs it contains. When you do that, you will be increasing your intake of histamine containing and histamine releasing foods. It’s natural of course, an increase in flora means your immune system will also increase activity, that’s just the way our bodies keep their equilibrium. However, some people already have autoimmune diseases and cannot tolerate an increase in flora or histamine. Some may even be on a low histamine diet already.

    This is once again a case of “what’s good for the healthy is not good for the fat and autoimmune impaired.” I’m glad it works for you, but you’re a thin, muscular man and I’m a fat woman who can’t gain an ounce of muscle because her body doesn’t support muscle. My body responds to weight bearing exercise by causing me agony (inflammation), not muscle gain. My body responds to all gas by making me unable to sleep, unable to expel the gas as my gut shuts down and rumbles, and giving me debilitating (overused word… what it means is I CAN NOT WALK) pain in my back. You expect me to tolerate this because it’s “for my own good”? I don’t think so, I have decades of personal experience that proves you’re wrong.

    Again, you’re preaching to a choir of healthier and thinner people, and not helping the ones who need help. I’m very happy with my ketogenic fiber free diet, stop trying to sell me new products. Aren’t you happy I like Kerrygold Butter? Be content.

  144. Would noodles made from sweet potato starch be a healthy food source for RS? Also, what about Mung Bean noodles? From a chart over at Free The Animals, Mung Beans are really high in RS–and they don’t mess with my blood sugars the way a white potato does.

  145. Just playing Devil’s advocate.

    Don’t these findings undermine a key premise of paleo? If we absolutely need RS and it naturally occurs mainly in grains and legumes than paleos’ injunction against both is actually bad for humans in the long run?

  146. The research backing this stuff really doesn’t seem that strong…Am I crazy?

  147. Wait so now potatoes and rice are good again? I thought ALL grains were “bad” for paleos no matter what? I just don’t know what to believe anymore with nutrition.

  148. Thanks for posting this Mark, it’s a very interesting read. I just recently got a vegetable spiral do-hickey and was wondering your thoughts on cooking a shredded potato in bacon fat, then cooling it to eat with a full fat dip?

  149. I think i have some Form of leaky gut so therefor i drink kefir everyday.

    I usually do a second fermentation with prebiotics/RS like Onions or plátano/banana starch to give the probiotics a head start on consuming them before they arrive the small intestines in csse i have SIBO.

    Does this make sense?

  150. So interesting the comment about the vivid dreams! I have noticed that since I have increased my intake of RS in the form of Tiger Nuts (one of the best and most tasty sources!) I have noticed an incredible increase in vivid dreams and the ability to remember them. Sometimes when I wake up I just have to smile about the incredible and involved scenarios! Anyway, so yourself a favor and start incorporating it (slowly at first!) into your diet!

    1. Vivid strange dreams happened to me & a friend when we were taking melatonin for sleep. Some were violent–even nightmarish, so we stopped. Sounds like RS and even “natural drugs” the body produces like melatonin affect REM sleep & dreams. P.S. Sleeping unbelievably well now without anything. Walk hr+ daily on beach in AM–morning sun helps the body clock…& playing Mexican Train dominoes at night instead of watching big-screen TV or on PC for several hours–more artificial light reduction!

  151. I don’t know if it is the flavor of RS 3, but something about a baked potato that sits in the fridge a couple days is, IMO, delicious with no condiments or seasoning whatsoever.

  152. I just have a small question..What about eating Minute Rice? Does it have a RS that is good for a person?

  153. Hi! I have a gotten some problems ever since I went over the top on resistant starch. I lift weights and eat a lot of food. I go low carb during the day and I take my starches in the evening. I’ve eaten about 3500 calories. 50% fat, 30% carbs and 20% protein. For fats and protein i’ve eaten mainly meat and fish, dark chocolate, hazel nuts, coconut oil and large amounts of butter.

    I had for months eaten between 1 and 2 pounds of potatoes every evening, cooked, but re-heated in the microwave. Sometimes alternating between Sweet Potatoes and rice as well.
    I have to add that in for breakfast I ate approximately 1,5 pounds of vegetables and strawberries. Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and the like, everything cooked.

    I did not have a problem with this diet. I ate approximately 6 pounds of food. My belly was flat and fine.

    Than I read of resistant starch and went over the top. I started with 175 grams of rolled oats and two big greenish bananas in addition to 1,5 pound of cooked cold potatoes in my evening meal. I got a distended stomach, I assumed it was bloating or constipation. But I did not feel constipated, no problem going to the bathroom, actually better than before.
    I thought it must be the oats and bananas that was giving me the distended belly, so I cut those out and added even more potatoes, this time approximately 2,8 pounds, cooked and cold. It did not get any better, I still had the distended stomach. So i figured it must be the resistant starch.

    So for the last few weeks I’ve cut out all the vegetables and potatoes and gone stricly low carb, but my stomach is still distended even after cutting the overall food intake to about half.
    The last few days I have been adding some rice and considering adding some white potatoes again. My starches are mainly white rice from now on, cooked not cooled. Don’t know what to do.

    Any viewpoints on why I could be having this distended stomach? Have I gotten a problem with my digestion? have I been eating too much?

    After a quick count I ate around 50-90 grams of fiber, and between 40-80 grams of resistant starch. Over the top?

  154. I’ve recently started incorporating way more white potatoes into my diet and I’ve found the side effects to be wonderful. I sleep awesome, I have much better glucose control and no more reactive hypoglycemia, I am much more satiated and get full more quickly when I eat them. The best part is I really do have much better and sustained energy levels throughout the day. Low carving and ketosis just didn’t work for me long term and this is likely why. My gut loves the potatoes. I’ve even started working in a little bit more cooked and cooled rice as well as oat groats or steel cut oats.

  155. I posted this a few days ago on the RS-Your Questions Answered site. That appears to be mostly dead, no responses, so I’m re-posting here. Can someone with the expertise please clear this up for me. Someone asked about cold pizza crust made from tapioca flour, etc. The marksdailyapple answer was, “I don’t think it works like that. For retrograde RS to form, it has to be in its whole form – potatoes, not potato starch; cassava, not tapioca starch; rice, not rice flour.”
    So — the references that say that cooked/cooled pasta made from potatoes or rice (presumably from potato or brown rice flour) have a good amount of RS — are incorrect? Type 2 RS is destroyed with heat and neither that nor the remaining starch will form retrograded Type 3 RS when cooled, leaving very little RS in cooked-and-chilled potato or rice pasta? If so, this also means that gravies or other things thickened with unmodified potato starch (heated = RS gone) won’t form any retrograded Type 3 starch when cooled? And: all the great paleo breads I’ve been baking using cassava flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, unmodified potato starch, even almond and cashew flour — no significant RS after baking and then refrigerating the bread? Re-heating any of the above would presumably destroy any trace residual RS? It looks like cooking with paleo-friendly high-starch flours simply result in paleo-friendly high-carb dishes.
    The following excerpt, from “Dough Rheology and Baked Product Texture”
    By H. Faridi and J.M. Faubion, reads like maybe you would need to leave the bread out at room temp long enough to go stale in order to gain significant RS. Need a food scientist to translate, though.

  156. Potato Starch and Konjac Flour combine nicely with water, becoming spongy cake with the consistency of mochi. With some spices in the flour mix and soy or fish sauce in the water, it can be savory.

    Hint: Mix the wet and dry separately, then combine in a screw-top shaker and pour off quickly into small shaping containers. Makes a great, tasty substitute for shirataki noodles.

    One advantage might be it uses potato starch without heating. When the combination happens, the result is structurally stable whether you heat it or boil it in liquid.

    I’d be interested to find out if heating the potato starch in this form increases its digestibility – but I suspect it might not. It binds with the konjac.

  157. wheat dextrin is also resistant starch. wheat dextriin is the “brown stuff” on the crust of bread, or on the surface of toast.. formed by the “Browning” or “Maillard” reaction. Wheat dextrin is also the “fiber” in several fiber supp0lements. Reisistant starch is said to behave like soluble fiber. In small amounts it helps constipation. In large amounts, especially with inadequate fluid intake, disastrous constipation and fecal impactions may result.

  158. Mark, somebody needs to do some research on the effect of cooking congee (chinese rice porridge) for many hours. Chinese accupuncture tradition contends that cooking congee for a long time (~24 hours or even more) has a much more profound healing effect than congee cooked only a couple or a few hours as is customary. I’ve scoured the Internet and can only find reference to this in a Chinese medicine website as, “The longer you cook the congee, the better.” But apparently there are no studies. I believe the reason the longer-cooked congee is better is because it converts more of the starch to resistant starch. I wish I had the lab to test this theory but I don’t. Any ideas?

    When I make congee, I wash it until rinse water is clear, add 2 tsp coconut oil per cup of long-grain rice, cook it in a pressure cooker for 90 minutes, then leave it on simmer setting for another 20-24 hours, then cool it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. I believe all these steps are important for max increase of RS, but I don’t have the means to prove the importance of the 20+ hours of cooking time. These other steps are well-known, but not the long cooking time. I thought of you and Dave Asprey as possible bio-hackers for such a study.

  159. Oh my goodness!

    I’ve been paleo for years, but still struggling with extra weight, high blood sugars and depression.

    Only 6 weeks ago I discovered “Spud Fit” (Andrew Taylor) and the potatoes only diet. His experience convinced me to give it a try. I’ve been on it for 5 weeks.

    After only three days of eating only potatoes (always organic, of course), my life-long depression lifted! And it’s gotten better!

    Within two weeks I my blood sugars were in the low-normal range!

    Also within two weeks I lost 18 pounds! It’s been only 5 weeks and I am down 24 lbs! (Please excuse all the exclamation points; I am just very happy and excited.)

    But wait! There’s more! (c: My memory is improving! I was hoping to stop the decline, at best. But my brain is healing! I have more energy and motivation to do small and great things! I am more “regular”!

    Even my primary care doctor is astounded by my recent blood sugar levels. She has been giving me drugs for diabetes for two years. They made my memory loss increase, which is horrifying when you’ve been diagnosed with MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) aka Early Dementia. I stopped the drugs last year, after my MCI diagnosis.

    I am not selling or promoting anything. I just want to share in case anyone else out there is needing help with their eating.

    It is also very cheap. It costs $1.50/day for my food.

    And I like potatoes plain! I used to LOVE potatoes because of the fats I put on them (butter, cheese, bacon, etc.) Now, I never get tired of eating them. I am not addicted to them. I just feel good!

    I think I must feel like the alcoholic/drug addict/smoker who has kicked their habit.

    I have realized the extent of my serious addiction to fat (hence the reason I loved the paleo diet – and the Atkins Diet long ago), and also to sugar and chemicals in processed foods. Without those foods, I am actually able to think rationally about food for the first time in my life. Seriously!

    I was raised on the SAD (Standard American Diet) and have been addicted to processed foods, fat and sugar ever since. Always at least a little overweight. Sometimes quite obese. I am eating healthier than I ever have in my life. I have never felt this good before. And I’m 65 years old!

    Very long post; hope it was helpful to someone out there. Take care!

  160. Do you have any experience with yuca? I believe it to be an excellent source of “real food” resistant starch. Are there any concerns for people who have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or diverticulitis? I feel confused about whether resistant starch helps or hurts under these conditions?

  161. I’m not getting this idea of eating raw potato starch. We’ve always been taught not to eat raw potatoes. and since it is not something we would naturally eat, I still just don’t get it. If you can’t find a food that people are known to eat, then it can’t really be a necessary part of the average diet.

    1. The potato starch is not raw. It is created by repeatedly cooking and cooling potatoes. Five iterations seem to be the magic number. This modifies the properties of the starch.

  162. Great post. I saw someone comment about RS when you have SIBO. I personally have struggled with SIBO and find that it IS important to incorporate resistant starch. There are a lot of diets that advocate removing all starch but I tried going on a strict SCD diet and felt that it did more harm than good because my body got a lot weaker and it prolonged the healing process. After adding starch back in I felt my bodies stress response was better, I started to gain some necessary weight back on, and my overall mood got better. I think the important thing if you are dealing with SIBO is the amount of RS you consume. Definitely, with SIBO you will have to limit the amount of RS you eat and stick to small quantities but I think it’s important to include it in the diet for a healthy overall microbiome and immune system. It’s most important to address motility because a lot of people with SIBO have dysmotility and if they can improve motility that will help with RS tolerance as well.

    I created an awesome resource for SIBO if anyone wants to check it out. Think it might be helpful:

  163. Insulin Resistance…… What resistant carbs can i eat to help me lose weight and reverse my insuline resistance?

  164. If this is the DEFINITIVE guide, then we are all in trouble! It didn’t answer even one of my questions, informative though it was. Nor did it mention the study I read about recently, involving pasta and the subject of cooked and cooled versus reheated. If it said anything about any studies, I missed it.

  165. I figured nuts, seeds, and legumes would contain resistant starch and according to a quick look at search results apparently some of them are good sources.

  166. I would like a list with a bunch of food , telling me if there is RS in it and how much there is

  167. I heard Dr Alan Christianson in a podcast interview about his new book, Metabolism Reset Diet. It’s a liver detox lasting 4 wks based on resistant starch. At the end my triglycerides were cut in half, & my total cholesterol dropped 100 points. HDL was 55, & blood sugar was 70. For me resistant starch worked, & I incorporate it into my maintenance diet every day. & no, this isn’t an ad for Dr Christianson & his book.

  168. Potato resistant starch calms me in a subtle way …. not really like magnesium does. It probably helps with sleep, too, for that reason. It seems to be having a good effect on my digestion/elimination – I just began yesterday! Since I drink home made kefir daily, that probably made the difference with starting out without problems though at the very beginning after having eaten the potato starch with a meal, I was worried with a slight sense that … this is going to be one of those experiments I have done not beginning slowly that creates problems for me. But, after some time, things smoothed out inside; the sense of foreboding left me and I had the sense that my body accepted the new offering (!)

    It is very interesting to know the metaphysical qualities of the potato. For information on that, look up Pegasus Products on the Internet and download the pdf on Flower Essences (foods reflect the flower’s meaning an carry the same vibrations). Here is a description from the pdf about the Potato. The source for the information was a person with incredible gifts who may now be deceased who called himself in his now out of print books, ‘Gurudas.’ The information varies enormously from flower to flower and food to food; no, this is not gobbledygook – it is an accurate representation in a rough form of what God’s great love for his creatures put into His creation. That’s the only true way of seeing the level of systems orientation in the universe. (Those who don’t believe anyone created them out of nothing are deceived!)

    Potato (Solanum tuberosum) – Psychic Function
    This essence enhances clairvoyance, clairaudience, and other psychic abilities. With potato, one can develop the ability to see into all the dimensions. It aids in drawing energy from many sources and then helps in combining them, working with them, and putting these energies to practical use. There is stimulation of the 6th chakra, as
    well as the 8th, 9th, and 10th. The astral body awakened. The emotional body is cleansed.

  169. This is a test; I cannot tell whether the comment I just sent was received by the site!

      1. I post this because UNTIL someone sees it it is useless to them. I had to actually read the truth from the company by doing exactly what they suggest in posts I have seen and copy pasting it will bring it home…. [before I buy more on sale]… contact the company..
        Here is fresh yesterday…BOB’s Potato Starch, the truth:

        Hello Nancy,

        Thank you for your email and for your interest in Bob’s Red Mill products.

        Our Potato Starch is not a resistant starch. The process of removing the starch component from the potato, which our product undergoes, eliminates any resistant starch benefits. Our Potato Starch is not considered to be raw as it is heated during the drying process.

        We don’t sell this as a supplement, purely as a baking aid, as well as do not have information to support any benefits, methods of using or studies. I apologize for any confusion regarding our Potato Starch product.

  170. Colitis
    Cook white organic basmati rice.
    Alow to cool for 12-24 hours.
    Place in fridge if required.
    Reheat and consume at least twice daily.
    Lunch and dinner.
    Add good amounts of organic sea salt.
    For the first few days of treatment, try not to add anything else to rice, as this will dilute the prebiotic effect.
    Try and eat 2 good sized plates daily.
    After several days, weeks and months, you can add very small amounts of organic carrots 1-2 tablespoons, organic chicken, organic eggs, sheep milk yogurt and organic cheese.
    Go very slowly, and only introduce 1 food type at a time.
    Your diet must still consistent of 80% white rice.
    You’ll notice a dramatic improvement in all digestive problems.

  171. Is resistant starch destroyed if blending cooked and cooled rice for milk? I use a Vita-mix which certainly heats but temperature unknown.