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Resistant Starch Diet: 10 Foods for Healthier Gut Flora

Can't seem to keep your appetite under control?
I know how you feel. Until finding the resistant starch diet I was packing for snacking. Find out how you can too.

Resistant Starch Diet: 10 Foods for Healthier Gut Flora

What do you gain on a resistant starch diet? - For one thing you don't have to worry so much about gaining weight. Theses miracle nutrients may not seem like more than fibers that come out the same way they came in, indestructible by your digestive system. However, what matters is what happens in between. During the time spend by resistant starches in your body something happens, your metabolism speeds up. Call it a miracle if you may but before we all sign up on a path down the river of faith, let's discuss what resistant starch means in your diet for weight loss.

What it is: the resistant starch diet?

The resistant starch diet is a diet method built on eating low-carb low calorie foods containing resistive starch over high-carb high calorie foods. The concept that the resistant starch diet is built upon is that resistant starches spend considerably longer amounts of time in digestion. That means expanding as they soak up fluids in your body stimulating satiety giving you effective control over your appetite.

Types of resistant starch

Resistant starch can be though in terms of 4 different types of resistant starch based on structure and how they are processed by your body. Each type of resistant starch varies in the level of resistance it has against digestion in the colon.

Type-1 Resistant Starch (RS1)

RS1 starch is physically protected against digestion in the colon. You could say that it is like the Iron Man of starch or Tony Starch. RS1 resistant starch consists of seeds, legumes, and fully or partially processed milled whole grains. Resistance is minimized meaning to become digestion--friendly of this type of resistant starch done through milling during processing or chewing during eating. Try eating seeds without chewing and you will find out fast why it is so important to minimize resistance before digestion.

Type-2 Resistant Starch (RS2)

RS2 starch is not physically protected in the same way against digestion in the colon like RS1 starch. However, its structure makes it hard for digestive enzymes to break it apart during digestion. RS2 resistant starch such as raw potatoes, green bananas, and some legumes are what are referred as ungelatinized resistant granules. Resistance of this type can be removed through food processing and cooking.

Type-3 Resistant Starch (RS3)

RS3 starch also known as retrograde starch is start found in precooked potatoes, some breads, and cornflakes that finds ways to escape digestion in the small intestines. The resistance this type of resistant starch has against digestion depends on how it is processed during manufacturing. Sources of RS3 resistant starch consists of precooked foods and process foods.

Type-4 resistant starch (RS4)

RS4 starch is starch that is modified chemically. RS4 is not found in nature. Foods containing modified starch contain type 4 resistant starch. They are said to be less digestible in vitro.

Resistant starch foods

Unripe bananas contain resistant starch. That practically makes it makes it kissing cousins of the morning banana diet. However in actuality, bananas contain only a minuscule amount of resistant starch compared to other sources of resistant starch. Practitioners of the carbs lover diet hate it for no reason. The resistant starch diet is not the Atkins diet. No worries you can still eat carbohydrates, but which ones?


Eating green bananas gives you RS2 resistant starch. That is to say those less ripe or outright unripe bananas have more resistant starch than spotted yellow ripe bananas. Bananas contain inulin, a resistant starch that serves as a strong probiotic promoting healthy gut flora as well as helping to control blood sugar.


Corn especially Hi maize is one of the most revered sources of resistant starch and fiber. It is the favored resistant starch source for adults living with type 2 diabetes. Inulin found in Hi maize resistant starch including other resistant starch foods including artichokes, chicory root, and barley has a probiotic effect of lowering neutral fat including cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood in addition to being a taste improving food additive.


For people toying with the idea of eating resistant starch foods, potatoes are no stranger. It may be a good source of resistant starch but that depends mostly on what state it is in. For example, raw potatoes are 13% resistant starch. However, when potatoes are cooked its resistant starch content drops by as much as 90 percent. It just goes to say that resistant minimalized raw foods contain less resistant starches.

Whole grain bread

Whole grain bread is considered a resistant starch food for its insoluble fiber content along with other miracle nutrients. Whole grain bread in general is lower gi than white bread in addition to being more nutritious. Having a lower glycemic index helps keep your blood sugar from spiking. Whole wheat gives you inulin to for healthy gut flora improving the nutrient absorption of micronutrients during digestion as well as boosting your immune system.


Beans and legumes are a healthy source of resistant starch celebrated by low carb diets. One thing that makes beans so special is the fact that they are eaten raw, cooked, and as a processed food. Eaten raw beans are most likely to come out the way they came in whole. That's too much resistance if you ask me. In fact beans contain too much resistant starch. That is why watered-down cooked beans despite having less resistant starch serve as a good source of resistant starch.


Another good source of resistant starch is oatmeal. Dry oatmeal is 11% resistant starch. In addition to being a resistant starch food, eating oatmeal is said to help lower cholesterol thus escaping the death grip that hypercholesterolemia has on your health. Beta-glucoa in oats helps lower cholesterol levels greatly reducing the risk of heart diseases. Dietary inulin promotes healthy gut flora improving the absorption of micronutrients.

Brown rice

Brown rice is a source of resistant starch. Cook brown rice is almost 2% resistant starch. Unpolished brown rice unlike polished white rice gives you probiotic resistant starch that promotes healthy gut flora improving micronutrient nutrient absorption in your body as well as giving you a stronger immune system. The glycemic index in brown rice is significantly lower than its light complexion counterpart white rice. A lower glycemic index means better control of your insulin levels reducing the amount of glucose that gets sent to the fat stores of your body.

Cold Pasta

A cup of cold pasta contains 1.4 grams of resistant starch giving you over a quarter of the resistant starch you need in a day. Cold pasta, what's that? - Cold pasta is cooked pasta cold down to room temperature. Cold pasta gives you RS3 resistant starch that due to the heating-cooling process has increased resistant to digestion. Cold pasta is one of those good carb foods that even diabetics will give their stamp of approval. See, not all carbs are evil. Right?

Instant Noodles

Although cold pasta might have gotten away with being added to the good carbs list, instant noodles may not have the same amount of luck. However, instant noodles still serve as a source of resistant starch. Now you are listening. Does resistant starch in instant noodles make it healthy? - Cowpea starch, a resistant starch, is added to instant noodles to increase breakability. Having more breakable noodles makes instant noodles a more functional food. That is easier for you to eat, not healthier. Something tells me you aren't worried about instant noodles. Even if you are, knowing that you may be getting you daily dosage of resistant starch calms the nerves. The only problem is how much. If the instant noodles you are eating doesn't have resistant cowpea starch, that isn't much.


Cooled starch products such as sushi rice serves as a good source of resistant starch. RS3 resistant starch found in sushi rice has a probiotic effect on your body even said to serve as a preventative measure against some cancers such as colon cancer. Note that sushi rice is not ordinary cooked rice. It contains vinegar and other flavor enhancing additive. The fact that it contains vinegar makes it just that much better for your body. Vinegar combined with resistant starch such as that in sushi rice help convert resistant starch into butyric acid promoting healthy gut flora.

How the resistant starch diet works

The resistant starch diet works by getting the recommended daily intake of resistant into your diet. Unfortunately, how much resistant starch you should be getting daily hasn't been broken down to a science yet. All we know is that resistant starches are found in insoluble dietary fiber and that some foods with known probiotics effects contain resistant starch.

Recommended daily intake of resistant starch

According to experts at Resistant Starch who provide a nice breakdown of foods and their resistant starch content(PDF), getting 15 to 20 grams of resistant starch a day is recommended by health experts.

What does that mean?

For people not driven banana-crazy when asked to think in terms of bananas, that is between 3 and 4 bananas a day. For anyone looking to take up this challenge I recommended the morning banana diet to get the resistant starch you need in a day first thing in the morning.
Oh, wait!
Don't forget to make sure they are slightly green bananas. Green bananas or unripe yellow bananas have more resistant starch content than blot spotted ripe yellow bananas.
In descending order, other sources of resistant starch include lentils, pizza, and pumpernickel.

Benefits of the resistant starch diet

There are many benefits to eating resistant starch in your diet. To name a few, healthier gut flora, promotion of fullness meaning appetite control, and enhanced fat burning capacity are reasons why taking up the resistant starch diet is in the best interest of your health and weight loss.

Healthier gut flora

Resistant starch give the bacteria living in your gut that is responsible for breaking down solids into nutrients your body can use into food. Well, that's what it sound like hearing for the first time that eating less digestible starchy foods serves as a healthy workout for gut flora in your small intestines.

Promote fullness

Resistant starch and healthy fibers such as that contained in chia seeds spend more time digesting. Although whether this promotes fullness is still up to debate, the amount of space in your digestive tract is limited. Being full has two faces: the state of mind thinking that you are full; and being full running out of space in your belly because resistant starches and dietary fibers are taking up all the room. Research shows a correlation between increases resistance starch intake and satiety. That means more resistant starch foods in your diet may help you control your appetite, killing hunger pains.

Increase fat burning

Foods with resistant starch are also known as fat burning carbs. How it works is that resistant starch ferments in your gut increasing the prominence of good bacterial. That's means healthy gut flora. With healthy gut flora you metabolism is in fact faster. Healthier gut flora help your body metabolize nutrients including fat into energy and building blocks that your body can use.

Bottom line on the resistant starch diet

Taking on resistant starch is on facet of dieting that often gets passed up worrying about what to eat, what is the best balance in nutrition for weight loss, and plain old counting calories. Resistant starch. I know what you are thinking. What the heck is that? - It just goes to say that dieting in general is confusing. With terms like low-carb diet and complex carbs used interchangeably trying to pick out the right diet is a mess to say the least.
The first time that I heard the term resistant starch was when researching what I needed to know about the chia seed diet. Studies on rodents showed that resistant starch may be a preventative measure against obesity.
It just goes to say that there is more to weight loss than getting the protein, carbs, and fat your body need to help you lose weight. Getting through hunger pains controlling your appetite is just as important. Eating resistant starch foods making pinning down hunger just that much easier.

By Martin Nicholson

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