What’s the deal with Resistant Starch?

Resistant-starch-for-web

We’ve noticed questions and comments about the article on Resistant Starch in Volume 8 of Lose It! and here’s a bit more information on the topic. 

The LOSE IT team are constantly researching the latest developments in the banting LCHF world, and Resistant Starch (RS) is the topic of the moment. It is being hotly debated and tested, and we couldn’t just ignore it.

We’ll continue to bring you the most current research and thinking in the banting LCHF world – robust debate and discussion are more useful than silence and censure, as we in this community probably know better than most! We loved Erica Hutchison’s suggestion on Facebook of using cauliflower rather than potato in the recipe for potato salad if you decide RS is not for you. We’re still watching the developments around RS, which is why we kept that recipe separate from our other tried and tested banting LCHF delights and meal plans.

If you do choose to try RS, we’d love to know how it’s working for you!

– The LOSE IT team

Sally-Ann Creed on Resistant Starch…

Make no mistake about it – I am a rampant banter – and as such am the most sceptical of all when it comes to new fads and ideas. When they do arise, whether fads or new discoveries, it is incumbent upon us all to scrutinize such ideas – how else will we know whether they are good for us or not? If resistant starch (RS) is something the low carb community are talking about, it needs to be examined and assessed. Nobody is changing the ’rules’ here we are merely giving you some information and the opportunity to decide for yourself whether you think this is a good idea or not. There appear to be two schools of thought regarding RS – and any intelligent person will want to check things out without blindly following someone else’s view, especially today with so many self-appointed experts around. In my humble opinion – scientific evidence, anecdotal reports and personal experience are all valid (on both sides) mixed together with healthy curiosity and a desire to uncover truth. Does this work or doesn’t it? Is it good for us, or not? Let’s find out for ourselves.

But first a little background

Please note that contrary to what some people think – I do not own, nor am I a shareholder in, the fabulous Lose It! magazine. I am a very privileged member of the panel, and don’t take lightly the honour of being a small part of this unique and excellent magazine. Suzy and her team work tirelessly to bring you a variety of different opinions from experts all over the world on the subject of low carb, together with scrumptious recipes and a host of other related subjects so that you can navigate the world of low carb. To my knowledge, the team decide together on what subjects they would like to include in their next edition, and assign topics to those of us who write for Lose It! each issue. One of the subjects I was given was RS. Now I knew that this would be a very thorny subject, and it was with trepidation I approached it, and the more I got into the research, the more I realised it is certainly worth a look, if nothing else. Nobody is telling you to eat a plate of potato salad and 3 banana smoothies a day, nor are we telling you to revert to lentils, beans and root veggies even if they do contain resistant starch.

Blindly believing the low fat lie, the “healthy whole grain” recommendations, the food pyramid and the cholesterol myth is what got us into trouble in the first place – let’s not put blinkers on now and perhaps miss something which may turn out to be of benefit. I’m not saying categorically that it is of benefit, that’s something I think you need to do your homework on, and discover for yourself – it’s very new and I for one am going to do my own further research on this in the coming months. Knowledge is power, and if you really are interested enough to find out the truth, you will look up the references, do your own research, and come up with something you are personally comfortable with. We all have access to the internet today, so there’s really no excuse.

I do also think it’s important to understand that resistant starch means that it is resistant to digestion, therefore if it is not digested, but rather it is going to perform in the same way fibre does – it will pass through the digestive tract, perform a particular (seemingly beneficial) function – and then pass out of the body again, largely unchanged, having acted as a prebiotic. There do appear to be many reported benefits, but not everyone agrees (just like not everyone agrees that a high fat diet is a good thing, or eating animal protein is a good thing) but we all owe it to ourselves (not someone else) to have our appetites whet by a topic or article and then to relentlessly pursue our own research until we come up with something we can base our stand on. Please re-read the article for the reported benefits, and then have a look at the studies and the links I have posted here. It’s really the only way that YOU are going to come up with something that YOU feel comfortable with. And if you don’t want to use RS, nobody is telling you to do so! So here are some links from some of the ‘best in the business’, together with some papers. I do hope it will help to consolidate whichever way you decide to go. Personally – I am looking at it seriously for certain cases. There are times when it is clearly inappropriate – and times where it may be a wonderful addition to someone’s diet for a number of reasons – you be the judge, and let me know what you find out in this seeming Banting paradox. Here are the references now for you to start sleuthing.

Various informative links:

http://www.dietdoctor.com/potato-starch-lchf-resistant-starch
http://authoritynutrition.com/resistant-starch-101/
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-definitive-guide-to-resistant-starch/
http://chriskresser.com/how-resistant-starch-will-help-to-make-you-healthier-and-thinner/
http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Resistant-starch-dose-controls-satiety-effects-Study
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-04/fi-rsc042513.php
http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nutrition/a/resistantstarch.htm
http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2014/04/14/revisiting-resistant-starch-part-one/
http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/is-there-any-such-thing-as-safe-starches-on-a-low-carb-diet/11809

And Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xz8iNJVzp8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRxLXF_jBZs

And Medical Publications:

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/3/559.full
http://physrev.physiology.org/content/81/3/1031.full
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15242012
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12514257
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23648940