Resistant starch

potato.jpg

Yesterday a reader sent me a film clip from ABC news about resistant starch. (Click here to view the video) In this film clip a young woman who is a registered dietitian (RD) spoke about the virtues of a “type of fiber” that she referred to as resistant starch. According to her, this substance can cure a multitude of ills.

There is a type of fiber called resistant starch that’s naturally found in some high carbohydrate foods.

And it’s amazing, the benefits. It ranges from helping us burn fat, helping us boost our immune system, control blood sugar, reduce the risk of type II diabetes and reduce the risk of cancer.

She’s really excited because, as she points out, there are over 160 studies showing the benefit of resistant starch.

Wow! Where do I sign up to get some? It sounds great. Or does it?

There are probably over 1600 studies showing the purported benefits of statin drugs, but we all know what those are. The 160 studies purporting to show benefit for resistant starch are probably in the same mold. Let’s forget about the studies right now and focus more on what we really know about starch and resistant starch to see how well this lady’s claims hold up to scientific scrutiny.

When asked about how resistant starch works, she claims that

it basically gets fermented in the digestive tract, and it creates beneficial fatty acids. One is called butyrate. And what that does is it helps to shut off the burning of carbohydrates. So carbohydrates are the preferred source of fuel, but if they can’t be burned, your body is going to turn to body fat and recently consumed fat instead.

All fiber goes through the digestive tract unabsorbed until it reaches the colon where it is acted upon by colonic bacteria (I suppose you could loosely call it fermented) that convert it to short chain fatty acids, one of which is butyrate (a four-carbon fat). These short chain fatty acids can be absorbed through the colon and used for energy just like any other fat.

So if butyrate “shuts off the burning of carbohydrates,” as our RD says it does, then wouldn’t it make sense to get as much of it as we can? And what happens to all that carbohydrate we don’t burn? Does it just continue to circulate in the blood running our blood sugar sky high? Or does it get stored as glycogen? Does butyrate encourage carbohydrates to head into storage? These are all questions she doesn’t address. Let me help clarify.

The list of foods containing resistant starch she mentions specifically are the following:

  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Barley
  • Corn
  • Brown rice
  • Under ripe bananas

She claims that these foods contain about 5 percent of their starch as resistant starch (which prety much agrees with other similar claims I’ve seen in the medical literature). If true, this means that 95 percent of the starch is not resistant starch and breaks down in the GI tract to glucose.

One half cup of any of these foods – so she says – contains all the resistant starch one needs to provide all the above benefits. Let’s take a look.

According to the USDA database if we consume a half cup of cooked potato we’ll end up with 12.9 grams of carbohydrate (almost three teaspoons), of which 10.5 grams are starch. If we go by our RD’s estimate that 5 percent of the total starch is resistant starch, we calculate that our half cup of potato contains about half a gram of resistant starch (0.5265 g to be exact). If we then convert this starch to butyrate we find that we have about 2.3 grams of butyrate (assuming 100 percent conversion to butyrate, which isn’t the case because some is converted to other short chain fatty acids).

So, we eat our half cup of cooked potato, and what do we get? We get almost three teaspoons of sugar and carb that convert almost immediately to glucose and head directly into the bloodstream. The blood volume of a person with a normal blood sugar contains about a teaspoon of sugar, which means that consuming the potato almost quadruples the amount of sugar in the blood. The pancreas then secretes insulin to drive this excess sugar into the cells. This extra insulin then does all the things excess insulin is famous (or infamous) for doing.

But what about the butyrate from the resistant starch? Oh yeah, the 2.3 grams of butyrate. I don’t see how the butyrate is going to do much to stop the insulin spike resulting from the ingestion of the sugars and starch from the non-resistant starch part of the potato. And even if butyrate really does all it is cracked up to do, we wouldn’t really need the potato with all its accessory easily absorbed carb because we can get the equivalent amount of butyrate from a single pat of butter. (Or almost the same – a pat of butter contains 1.45 g butyrate. Two pats of butter contain 3 g or about 1.5 times the amount generated by the resistant starch component of the potato.)

If the benefits of the resistant starch come from its conversion to butyrate as our RD avers, and if it requires the amount per day found in only one half cup of potato (or of the other foods she lists) as she also avers, then why not provide ourselves with one and a half times as much by eating a couple of pats of butter per day, which come without the extra three teaspoons of sugar? We get the butyrate without having to convert and we don’t get the extra carbs. Makes perfect sense to me.

Amazingly, our RD recommends adding the half cup of one of the resistant-fat-containing foods to the rest of whatever you’re eating that day. So, if you’re already on a ‘normal’ diet, i.e., one pretty high in carbs already, she is recommending that you add, say, a half cup of cooked potato to the mix so that you will ‘lose fat, reduce blood sugar, and lower insulin levels.’ Hmmm. Sounds a little snake oily. Sounds like she’s telling porkies.

While I’m at it, I have to mention one other little porky she tells during the interview. Says she

…and because resistant starch doesn’t get digested or absorbed it fills you up but you don’t get any calories from it.

Okay. Let me get this straight. First, she tells us that it converts to butyrate, a fat, which is absorbed and works miracles once it is absorbed. Second, she tells us that we don’t get any calories from it. Have I got that right?

She is correct in saying that resistant starch (as well as any other type of fiber) gets converted to short-chain fatty acids. And she is correct in saying that the short-chain fatty acids get absorbed. But when they do get absorbed, they contain 9 kcal per gram, just the same as any other fat. So they are not free of calories. That’s why fiber is counted in the total calorie count on nutritional labels. Fiber does make it’s way through the upper digestive tract without being absorbed, but it does get converted to fat and absorbed in the lower GI tract, i.e., the colon. So, I guess we could say she’s a fibber when it comes to fiber. At least in terms of its calorie content.

This brief discourse should put you off of resistant starch even without knowing what anti-nutrients are (resistant starch is an anti-nutrient), why they’re there and what they do. We’ll save that for a later post.

Now that you know the real story behind resistant starch, go back and watch the video to see how filled with misinformation it really is. Which also goes to show why you should never believe anything like this you see in a short spot on a news program without checking it out first.

Hat tip to Terry for sending me the video clip

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

106 thoughts on “Resistant starch

  1. Watch out, that blogger is very sensitive (but not as sensitive or at all agressive as Colpo). It was right about the time of that post that I was blacklisted from commenting on her blog because I made some generic comments about the bad diet advice from the “diet dictocrats” over the past couple decades. She took that very personally, apparently. She said “I like to think that what I do is in fact healthy for people.”

    Thanks for the heads up, Anna, but since I don’t plan on commenting on her blog, I’m not all that concerned. In reading a little about her, it looks like she is a vegetarian, which would explain some of her hostility and narrow mindedness.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  2. i know you’re kinda minding what you say, so I’ll step up and do the honors for you: that chick is an idiot!

    No comment.:-)

  3. Laura Dolson recently posted several articles on About.com about resistant starch. She gives a bread recipe using resistant corn starch and a source for buying the corn starch from Netition. Here’s a link to one of her articles: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nutrition/a/resistantstarch.htm

    It sounds like this product might be useful for low carb recipes. What do you think?

    In my opinion, it’s ‘resistant’ for a reason – it’s an anti-nutrient. I’ll post about anti-nutrients in the future. I would avoid resistant starch myself.

  4. Dear Dr. Eades,

    This piece masquerading as “news” has to have been part of the potato lobby’s strategy since (apparently) 2008 is the Year of the Potato, so declares the U.N.

    I took a look at http://www.uspotatoes.com to see if they mention this ABC interview. What I found was their “talking points” for 2008. Here’s one of those points you might like:
    😉
    Research and anecdotal accounts continue to show people love potatoes despite an onslaught of flawed and negative information from sources like low-carbohydrate dieting.

    Keep up the good work. It’s great to come here for the education – thank you!

    Gwen

    Thanks for hanging in there with me.

  5. Dr Mike, that post was excellent. That Dietitian, however, was scary! I think this needs to be filed under “media misinformation”, just like a lot of other garbage that purports itself to be truth.

    Slightly off the topic from the video, there is a commercial resistant starch that is fractionated from wheat or corn, and is available to purchase for low carb baking. It is touted to reduce net carb count (by increasing fiber), and add crispiness, texture, and mouth feel.

    I have a bag of resistant starch in my kitchen, a remnant of my low carb “frankenfood” cooking experiments. It sits next to the Polydextrose. I gave it all up after reading Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, and your cautionary tale here: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/uncategorized/a-cautionary-tale-of-mucus-fore-and-aft/

    I probably spent hundreds of dollars in my attempt to build a low carb pizza crust, but alas, such a thing is impossible. I’ve opted have a real NY pizza shipped to our home as a once-a-year cheat.

    That being said, please pass the butter.

    Actually there is a passable pizza crust recipe in our book The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook (that doesn’t use resistant starch), but I’m sort of with you. I’ll eat the real thing, but only occasionally. I usually eat one piece when I do eat non-low-carb pizza then consume just the toppings from the next few slices.

  6. Id just like to say. Boy~! Am I glad I noticed his comment so I was able to read the above article:)
    Kudos to ya both. and Thank You and You too~!

  7. Thanks for the post Dr. Eades. Does this apply to products that are engineered to contain mainly resistant starch, such as “Dreamfields” pasta? I’ve seen it promoted on many low carb sites and forums and I was wondering if the claims are true.

    Olga

    Hi Olga–

    I don’t think the claims are true. And if they are true, then I worry about what’s going on in the GI Tract. Pancreatic hypertrophy? Who knows?

  8. I read one study claiming an improvement to blood sugar control from consuming resistant starch where the claimed benefits disappeared anywhere above the 15 gram level. The study authors claimed that once short chain fatty acid hit a certain level, the poop was shooting through the colon too quickly to be properly absorbed. Sounded like evidence that we are not meant to eat the high fiber diet that the longer-coloned gorillas eat, to me.

  9. okay, now i am really confused. . .i already know to stay away from potatoes and white rice, but i thought i WAS suppose to be eating brown rice, beans, and barley for the fiber and under-riped bananas (just a tad green) were better for you – less sugar than the ripe ones.

    I suppose it depends on what type of diet you’re trying to follow. None of the foods you mentioned are a part of a low-carb diet. You don’t really need the fiber: type ‘fiber’ in to the search function of this blog to find a number of posts showing that at best fiber is pretty useless and at worst can actually be harmful. The idea that we all need X amount of fiber per day is a myth disseminated by producers of fiber-containing products. In my opinion anyone named bacon shouldn’t ever worry about fiber.:-)

    Cheers–

    MRE

  10. Hi Dr. Eades,
    I’ve enjoyed a number of good reads based on your book reviews and recommendations, so thought maybe I could return the favor. I’ve just finished ‘Mistakes were Made (but not by me)—Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts,’ by Carol Tavris and Eliot Aronson. It does a good job of explaining why medical professionals and nutritionists (among many others) are so adamant in their positions and so unwilling to alter their views in the face of new evidence. I trust that you and others will like it as much as I did.

    Thanks for the tip. Sounds like a book I would enjoy. I just ordered it.

  11. As you may recall I raised a red flag on this new miracle starch some weeks back as part of a new offensive against the low carb movement in the post ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’ era. I seriously doubt that the miracle starch campaign is the product of a single confused dietician (although most of them know squat about nutrition). Instead, it appears to be part of an orchestrated campaign of misinformation that posits things like “Protein also evokes an insulin response so it is no different than carbs”. Say what?

    Potatoes and corn are easily indicted as the most damaging sources of carbohydrates in our diets. And potatoes are the most eaten vegetable in North America. The economic stakes are huge. There is no way the potato industry is going to allow the potato to be labeled a health hazard. This is only the first wave of a new “carbohydrates are good for you” offensive.

    Put on your flak vests low carbers. The shooting has started.

    I’ve had my flak vest in place for a long time.

  12. I can see what potatoes do to my blood sugar and it isn’t pretty. Anyone touting the benefits of resistant starch in potatoes to control blood sugar is full of crap. Other things with resistant starch also jack up my blood sugar, though maybe not as much as potatoes. The only time I’ve found fiber to be beneficial for blood sugar is when it exceeds 40 – 50% of total carbs. Such is the case with non starchy veggies and nuts & seeds.

    I too shall resist the resistant starch.

  13. It’s all so piecemeal. A little dribble about butyrate here, a little drabble about fiber over there. Nothing is ever presented in a holistic, organized fashion, and these media types absolutely depend on the fact that most people will not be able to check up on what they say. If most viewers were to sit down and make a timeline and chart about what has been presented to them over the last twenty years, the contradictions would become obvious. BUT NOBODY HAS THE TIME. This is what the corporate media depend on–it is only those of us who are so desperate to improve our health that we go looking up information, that can now say we know better. But we’re spitting into the wind when we try to talk to friends who naively think they’re being given correct info on the TeeVee.

    Heck, most people I know don’t have the time to read Taubes’ book, which is basically the most involved timeline and chart ever made on nutrition yet.

  14. since I lost all the weight that I seem capable of losing a long time ago, and have maintained nicely due to my low carb diet, I’ll indulge in a loaded baked potato once in awhile – loaded as in loads of butter and sour cream. Probably more butter and sour cream than potato, actually. I do the same thing with mashed potatoes-I’ll order them at places I know will serve them loaded with butter, like City Hall in Tribeca. It never seems to affect me on the scales-maybe it’s the butyrate factor that gets the credit?

  15. ewwwww! Did you catch the part about cooking, cooling and not reheating before eating? COLD potatoes? Cold corn? Cold rice? Ewww. OK….cold potatoes in potato salad, but otherwise, ewww!

    Of note, “resistant starch” has been used for years by Atkins Nutritionals to lower their “net carbs” of the products they sell. Wonder if that’s why so many say that the products cause stalls?

  16. You’re welcome. Glad I could contribute. Thank you for posting about this. When I watched that clip she was just too excited and I know that many people will be taken in by what she said.

    I have always been a person who has craved fats (I have always had low cholesterol, too low except when I’m eating low carb goes all the way up to 175) so I was struck by how much I have always preferred eating those particular carbs and wondered if there was a connection which is why I thought it sort of made sense … to a point. I’ll stick with loads of butter and only a few beans on my salads.

    Now, I have to watch how much fat I eat because I’m one of those females who can’t seem to lose the last 10 lbs. Over the past 9 years I have been on and off the protein power lifestyle during lifes ups and downs but have lost and kept off 20+ lbs.

  17. One of the things that made transitioning to an LC diet so easy for me is that I’ve never cared for potatoes, corn and other starchy veggies. I frankly never could see what the appeal of them is, especially the potatoes. Beans just made my tummy feel nasty unless we are talking homemade refritos, properly made with lard. I won’t be eating resistant starch any time soon.

    For more dietary advice hi-jinks, this was part of an article in Monday’s Denver Post regarding maintaining your weight loss. Among the usual suspects like eating more fruits, veggies and fiber, we have this sage bit of advice:

    “3. Monitor carbohydrate and fat intake, but there is no “right” combination of these two nutrients. The macronutrient (relative amount of carbohydrate, protein and fat in the diet) is less important than previously thought. The key is to keep calories low, and it doesn’t seem to matter if the calories come from a bagel with light cream cheese or a slice of full-fat cheese on a half a bagel — just keep total calories low.”

    Sheesh, no wonder I generally don’t read these types of articles anymore. I’m almost sorry that I read this one.

  18. Since most dietitians recommend high-carb, low fat diets I think it is reasonable to assume that these same dietitians eat that way as well (i.e they practice what they preach). Working in health care, I have met many dietitians over the years. Here is an interesting observation: I have NEVER seen (either in real life or on TV) an overweight dietitian. They all eat high carb/low fat and are all of normal weight. hmmm.

    Believe me, I’ve seen many who were not slim and trim. Other readers, I’m sure, will concur.

    • The idea isn’t new. I thought I was being original when I came up with the idea when I was young. I was about 9 at the time. My Mom let me try it, though, and it was actually very tasty. It’s a cross between pizza and shepherd’s pie, substituting pizza toppings for the mashed potatoes. Not a far stretch, really.

  19. I believe an article something like this one is in the month’s Prevention magazine. But that mag is all about the usual low fat, low calories.

  20. I don’t know but maybe there’s a lot of ex-dietitians who are fat. The simply did not feel they could go on advising people to eat less to lose weight when they apparently don’t seem to be able to themselves.

    My mind is windling directly to Kelley Brownell (sp?). A nutritionist who is becoming seriously obese. He claims it’s from sedentary behaviour, and maybe he’s right in that he doesn’t eat more than slim people. But then look at paralyzed people. Talk about sedentary and not necessarily fat. I feel bad for him, and hope that he, at least secretively, will go on a low-carb diet and slim down some.

    There are plenty of practicing dietitians out there who are obese.

  21. >Since most dietitians recommend high-carb, low fat diets I think it is reasonable to assume that these same dietitians eat that way as well (i.e they practice what they preach). Working in health care, I have met many dietitians over the years. Here is an interesting observation: I have NEVER seen (either in real life or on TV) an overweight dietitian. They all eat high carb/low fat and are all of normal weight. hmmm.

    >>Believe me, I’ve seen many who were not slim and trim. Other readers, I’m sure, will concur.

    And, how OLD were the slim dietitians? Young, I bet. That matters. It takes awhile ( usually ) for the bad effects of Low Fat / High Carb eating to manifest.

  22. Of note, “resistant starch” has been used for years by Atkins Nutritionals to lower their “net carbs” of the products they sell. Wonder if that’s why so many say that the products cause stalls?

    Atkins bars contain significant amounts of polydextrose and glycerin. I don’t know about the polydextrose but I think the glycerine turns into sugar any time your glycogen stores are not full, like when you’re on a low carb diet. Some of the other company’s products (a lot of which have ‘Splenda’ or ‘Equal’ featured on the front of the package) contain large amounts of sugar alcohols, maltitol, sorbitol, polyglycitol, etc. These can raise blood sugar in many people. The original Atkins Diet treated sugar alcohols as carbs but the companies that make the products claim they have no impact on blood sugar. TANSTAAFL.

    Glycerine definitely runs blood sugar up. A couple of my type I diabetic patients tried it when it first started to appear in low-carb foods, and their blood sugars went crazy.

  23. I had a dietitian come up to my booth at a book signing and take me to task for encouraging people to eat such a “dangerous” diet. The people standing around were amused–she looked to be about 50 pounds overweight.

  24. Reading through the comments about low-carb products such as Dreamfields prompted this thought: when I began low-carbing I thought the idea was to eat foods that were naturally low in or without carbohydrates and to break the habit of eating foods that were high in them. So I was very mystified by all the attempts out there to come up with acceptable low-carb concoctions that imitated high-carb foods. Atkins “Crunchers” fake potato chips, low-carb cereals, de-carbed pasta, recipes for cakes and cookies and pancakes using specialty bake mixes come to mind. Doesn’t depending on low-carb substitutes for high-carb foods backhandedly concede that we can’t live without our chips and cereals and pasta and cakes and cookies and pancakes? I thought you were supposed to adapt to eating without those foods, not put your effort in finding ways to fiddle with them so you could maintain the illusion of eating high-carb foods. Mashing cauliflower with cream and butter is fine, but you should eat it because you like cauliflower, cream, and butter, not because you’re trying to “make do” with (sigh) “fauxtatoes” when you really wish you could have mashed potatoes. Remaining attached to those foods just reinforces the belief that we can’t manage without them.

    I agree with you whole heartedly, but I still eat the low-carb versions of a few things. For example, I’m not a big fan of pasta and never have been. But I like low-carb pasta because it’s chewy and seems more robust and tasty than regular pasta. I enjoy low-carb pancakes occasionally also. My view on this issue is that it is crazy for people to go on a low-carb diet while trying to keep it the same as their normal junk-food, high-carb diet by using low-carb versions of their regular junk-food and high-carb items. But, an occasional indulgence in the low-carb variety is probably better than an indulgence in the full-carb version. Of course, a real indulgence, to be indulged in only very occasionally, is the real stuff.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  25. You might find Bix’s take on resistant starch interesting:

    http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2005/11/resistant-starch.html

    http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2008/01/types-of-resistant-starch.html

    http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2008/01/resistant-starch-may-reduce-risk-of.html

    http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2007/12/bacteria-and-blood-sugar.html

    Hey Dave–

    Thanks for the links. I glanced at them briefly, but I’ll look them over in more detail when I have the time.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  26. Hi Dr. Mike,

    Thanks so much for explaining why this isn’t a miracle!

    Here’s a link to a fascinating (and, I think, credible) recent review article on resistant starch (RS) with lots of references. The title is “Resistant Starch — A Review” and it was published in Vol. 5, 2006 of “Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.
    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1541-4337.2006.tb00076.x

    It attempts to explain why RS is resistant to digestion by the enzymes in the small intestine. I’ll be very interested to hear what you think of this explanation and what it means for the safety of RS.

    Thanks for the paper, SusanJ–

    It’s a long one that I’ll add to my pile to read as soon as time allows. If there is anything earth-shattering about the data, I’ll post on it.

    Others can feel free to read and comment.

    Best–

    MRE

  27. I’ve got a bottle of glycerine that I bought when I first started low-carbing. I thought that it was ‘healthy’ and would not affect blood sugar. At the time, there were many low carb cookbooks that touted glycerine as an ingredient in home-made low-carb bars. Fortunately, I came to my senses a few months later and started eating natural foods and tossed most of the weird products that I had bought. I’m sure there has to be another use for the mostly full bottle of glycerine (other than make nitroglycerine).

  28. You wrote somewhere about raw starch being indigestible –

    This is hardly the case either in carnivores or in man –

    It’s of interest to point out : to put things in a more focused and a perceptional resonance that ‘equates’ with the actual facts concerning this matter –

    It’s been known for at least 80 years that raw starches are digestible – by nutritional scientists –

    and yet statements concurrent with our time are being made – statements to the effect that man can not digest raw starches – are being commonly seen on various websites – by people who should know better –

    It’s true raw starch digestion varies according to the individual – and also true that generally – raw starches are less digestible than cooked starches –

    My own personal experience is this –

    I cannot eat cooked plants of any kind without an abundance of flatulence –

    If I eat all my plant foods raw there is none to almost none of any flatulence seen –

    So – which is being digested better ? The cooked plant food or the raw plant food ?

    Proper digestion of food implies more than obtaining every last calorie possible from said food – we don’t eat food for just calories – particularly in the case of raw beans/lentils-wheat/barley-millet/rice –

    I eat up too 1 full cup of the before stated – raw dry seeds mixture per day –

    With zero flatulence – with absolutely no distress of any kind –

    I prefer them this way –

    I could eat cooked beans instead – I don’t – because I like the taste of the raw dry seeds better -I can feel the life essence they contain –

    I can’t chew them up into a nice muck – that’s true enough – but I can suck on them a while until they soften somewhat and then swallow them –

    I’d not post on the subject – except that I consider this matter to be of extreme importance –

    Without these dry seeds – protein turnover within the cells of the intestinal tract AND every other cell in the body is impossible –

    Without proper cell turnover the body simply wheres out sooner and dies sooner –

    Cell turnover is the new frontier – and the raw seed mixture before stated is the only way it is going to happen –

    One cup of this dry seed mixture only has 100 net carbs or so – close enough to ketosis

    This same raw dry seed mixture is also the only way by means of diet – that the loose skin on the breasts – stomach and thighs can be burnt off –

    I eat two very high protein meals per week – separated by three days and two days or five days total on which I devote too losing fat if necessary or maintenance as needed –

    two days of 300-600 grams protein from dairy and fish and only one egg –

    five days of 20-120 grams protein – and very low calories if needed – to lose fat and a full cup of the dry raw seed mixture –

    In essence I devote five days a week to losing excess fat and two days a week too eating like a pig –

    My last high protein day I ate two pounds of cheese – a 150 grams whey protein – a can of pink salmon – a half cup of the raw seed mixture and all the greens I wanted – or up wards of 5000 calories all totaled – and Damn – that two pounds of cheese was good !

    I didn’t gain any weight from this as I didn’t eat any ‘heat processed’ or cooked plants with it – being one reason –

    and carbs where reasonably low enough being the other –

    Of course all this wont fly well with the low carb mentality – I knew that before I wrote this –

    But – low carber’s trying to lose fat might be advised to include structured days during the week where they binge on very high protein meals and whatever fat they desire I suppose – and boost their calories or at least protien – way up there two days per week – and let there bodies know that weight loss and being extremely comfortably well fed can go hand in hand –

    People have too binge and they have too diet –

    What they do not need to do is binge for more than one day at a time – two incredible meals a week ought to be enough for anyone except perhaps an ?

    Obviously – these two high protein – and perhaps high calorie also days force the metabolism to keep pace –

    and once forced – this continues for a few days – two or three days at least –

    I’ve left a great deal unsaid – about burning fat properly –

    I’ll leave and subside on these last bit’s of wisdom –

    For proper sexual health in man and woman – two foods in particular stand paramount –

    Black Pepper and Eggplant

    The thermogenic effect of protein can be increased by small amounts of coconut and a couple of olives and massive amounts of green tea – or green tea extract – combined with small amounts of raw potato and tomato sauce –

    So –

    Black Pepper and Cinnamon – a tablespoon or so a day
    Eggplant and all hot peppers –
    Papaya and Pineapple –
    Lemon and Lime –
    Tomato and Potato –
    Green Tea and Coffee –
    A full cup of the raw dry seed mixture –

    This is one end of the spectrum –

    This foods burn fat and help your sex life – as well as compliment the other end of the spectrum –

    which is high protein from dairy and fish and only one egg a day –

    More then one egg eaten at a time or daily leads to conflicts – because the eggs separate DNA profiles conflict or fight one with another when they reach the large intestine and increased bacterial effects start –

    The person so affected either attacks others with little reason or is attacked with little reason –

    the earth sees too much of this sort of thing –

    One egg per day avoids this affliction – and leads too a much saner diet in the ‘long run’ – with far fewer mistakes being made in the diet in the whole –

    The three or four eggs a day idea sounds good – but the reality is – it doesn’t work –

    I believe the reason can be explained thus – eggs – from birds – descendent’s of dinosaurs – have a very peculiar and specialized genetic profile – one egg is fine – but mix them together which is seen in a great many processed foods and some people’s diet’s – the multiple eggs fight one with another –

    Eggs might look all the same – in reality they are highly individualized – with different DNA or genetic profiles and they – like scorpions – do not like one another –

    So much for wisdom falling upon death ears – my next high protein day starts at 5:00 AM –
    I’ve got six pounds of cheese in fridge – calling Jeff – Jeff – come hither – come eat me –

    What can I say ?

  29. I have sometimes bought diet/health type books thinking they were going to be one thing and they completely turned out to be the opposite. Such was the case with a book called “The Glucose Revolution” published in 1996. I had thought it would be more in the vein of a low carb approach but it turned out to be a low fat / high carb approach and I ditched it (almost that many years ago ) to book shelf storage without ever really reading all of it.

    I ran across it last evening doing some cleaning out, but before trashing it, I scanned it again and noticed the concept of “Resistant Starch” was on its list of pitches. I thought I had seen that before.

    Makes no more sense to me today than it did then.

    DH

    Probably a good move to keep the book shelved.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  30. @mike dodge,

    You’ll find that glycerine handy for taking stains out of wool. I keep a bottle in the laundry room, not the kitchen. :)

  31. You can also make your extra glycerine into lotions, soaps, and fire logs (with pressed sawdust or wood shavings). Wear gloves when handling large amounts, as (if the magic of Google and the Web isn’t misleading me) it’s strongly hygroscopic.

  32. The resistant starch campaign is coming on a like a freight train. And it is poised to derail anyone who has started to think carbs are not good for them. What will go over everyone’s head (the whole idea) is that carbs must be cold and not reheated to form resistant starch and that the resistant starch is only a fraction of the total carb content.

    Pass the potatoes and corn and chow down big time. The new RS will cure every ailment known to mankind (and womankind). Far from causing type II diabetes will even prevent it. Resistant starch is the new ‘snake oil’.

    Why carbs are the new diet craze
    Pass the potatoes! Here’s how carbs can actually help you slim down
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23189188/

    Incredible!

  33. In regards to specialized diets, my wife tried the 30 day banana diet. Bananas for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snaks in between.
    After 30 days she hadn’t actualy lost any weght, but man, can she climb trees now 😉

  34. For pizza, I line a baking pan with parchment paper and then add tomato sauce and toppings and bake about 12 minutes. If you make the sauce from scratch, then you don’t have to add any sugar or other crap that might be found in the commercial stuff. Precook any ground beef or pork, because it won’t cook in the oven.

    According the Dr. Mike, the cheese is the downfall of many a diet, so perhaps you shouldn’t pile on the same pound of cheese I always do! :-)

  35. As an RD, i.e. registered dietitian, for 55 years, I was dismayed this morning to see and hear a young woman, professing to be an RD, come out with the nonsense she was disseminating to the American public and being allowed to do so by the media, no less!

    Just to be sure I hadn’t missed something in my education and/or experience, I rushed to the internet to see what knowledgeable sources I could find—thank you for being here. It has saved me so much valuable time.

    The first clue that information is suspect is “who are the parties profiting from the new, enlightened “facts (no doubt being kept from the public by the mean-spirited and greedy medical profession and reputable scientists.) As my husband, who spent years in medical research at the graduate level, states “Too much research in modern times lacks valid data.” Many scientists and, I am sorry to say, registered dietitians are being corrupted. Mores the pity!

    I like the KISS approach to healthful eating. Barring unfortunate medical conditions, most of us are able to follow normal diet patterns that should include a wide variety of all foods and food groups. These foods should be consumed in a form as close to how God made them as is practical. PORTION CONTROL IS PARAMOUNT! Cook from scratch whenever possible. Prepare fresh vegetables, in season, when convenient. Use frozen plain fruits or veggies when rushed to get dinner on the table. Did you know you can make a quart of mayonnaise, easily, in less than 5 minutes? Enjoy heavy desserts on occasion, not as an everyday happening. In short: be practical and when in doubt get on the net, as all intelligent people do, and find out the facts. DON’T BE MISLED BY QUACKS!!

    Everyone should have an extensive “food vocabulary.” Always look for new adventures in food—it’s the one thing we can enjoy until the day we die.

    Oh, yes—I forgot—remember to exercise and get enough sleep–everything else will fall in place.

  36. Thank you very much for the information. It’s amazing how much crap is out there from all different sides saying that we’d all be so much better off if only we’d eat more grains, starch, etc. What do you think about the Neal Barnard study showing diabetics benefited from a low fat vegan diet? I found it very hard to believe, but don’t know enough about what he’s saying to know how to refute it. Here is a link:
    http://www.pcrm.org/health/diabetes/stories/ira_goldberg.html
    I found it hard to believe that I could eat bean burritos all day from Taco Bell and help my blood sugar. It seems to me it would just cause a lot of gas!

    As you might imagine, I think it is all nonsense. The only reason that diabetics could have possibly improved is that even a low-fat vegan diet is probably better than the high-everything standard American diet. But just because diabetics did better on such a diet than they did on the standard diet doesn’t mean that the vegan diet is the best diet. I would predict (and have seen in practice) that these same diabetics would do much, much better on a low-carb diet.

  37. I agree with the benefits (and I have experienced them) of LC lifestyle. But I am curious about this latest news touting all the miracles we can receive from ingesting our once detested white carbs….albeit cold. I have read over the other comments and responses, and here’s what I have come up with:

    First – where did that 30 – 35 g of fiber a day suggested requirement come from? The most immediate reference I found was sited in: http://blogs.theage.com.au/lifestyle/chewonthis/archives/2007/09/

    “In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) – the large study of half a million Europeans reported in 2003 – that found fibre was protective, the lowest risk of bowel cancer was in those eating up to 30 to 35g of fibre a day – this is higher than in some American studies of people eating up to only 25g daily, says Chapman. This 25g or less mirrors the daily fibre intake of most Australians – less than the recommended amount of at least 30g.”

    The article/blog also mentioned that the most common form of cancer in Australia is bowel cancer. So the natural conclusion, we need over 25g of fiber a day to avoid this cancer.

    So that covers what little I know on where the recommendation could have come from. Now, about the subject of resistant starch. In addition to the incomplete info that Prevention Magazine provided on the subject (that’s where I first read about it), I found this tidbit that has not been specifically mentioned in any discussions on this page.

    “A small study by Janine Higgins, published in October 2004 issue of Nutrition and Metabolism showed that “replacing 5.4% of the carbohydrate content of a meal with resistant starch increased fat oxidation by 23% in a sample of 12 study subjects. This increase is apparently sustained throughout the day, even if only one meal contains resistant starch and the increased fat oxidation is sustained if one keeps eating resistant starch on a daily basis. It appears that the resistant starch changes the order in which the body burns food. Usually carbohydrates are used first, but when resistant starch is present, dietary fat is oxidized first into energy before it has a chance to be stored as body fat.””

    Now this is scary to me. I read your comments – which seem logical – regarding the minuscule (and actual) amount of butyrate (I’m not paying attention to spelling…so I may have got that wrong!) after consuming a cup of said white carb in order to obtain the benefits of resistant starch. But now I find that there may be a counter argument in play? Granted, data from a very small study…but how does “the resistant starch changes the order….[and] dietary fat is oxidized first…” benefit me in combating the negative – insulin increasing – fat begetting nature of that potato? And the benefits are sustained even if only one meal contains the necessary quantity (5.4%)? I’m about ready to dive into that potato now! OK – you mentioned that said white potato (for example) still contains the carbs that will get digested (converted to glucose stored as fat), although the tiny bit of butyrate will not. This article suggests that all I need is the correct amount of resistant starch, and the magic that is oxidation will occur before any other process (such as converting carb to glucose to fat). Or do they want me to believe that with 5.4% of magic powder (hello Hi-Maize), the conversion of carb to glucose to fat can take place but WHAM! fat oxidation then attacks that same fat and viola I’m off the hook for that potato? Help me reconcile this information – I’ve just got myself confused! It sounds like a misdirect….but it’s late and I can’t get my head around it. And can you give me site references too…so I can educate myself? Thank you thank you thank you….

    If you really want to get your teeth into the subject so to speak, take a look at the comprehensive article that commenter SusanJ (above) has linked to. It should give you plenty of information and many references.

    I don’t believe that any positive benefits that come from the small amount of resistant starch in these foods offsets the damage done by the large number of non-resistant carbs. But that’s just me. Feel free to experiment and come to your own conclusions.

  38. HI,
    What effect does Resistant starch (a thickening agent) have on blood if any?

    If starch lumps when in contact with warm solution what happens when coming in contact with body temperature solutions?

    Please advise,

    wh

    It wouldn’t cause a problem. It doesn’t make it to the blood as resistant starch – it moves into the colon where it is converted by bacteria to short-chain fatty acids, which are absorbed.

  39. I think there are good research articles that show HOW one would utilize resistant starches in good ways for your health. Clearly, the woman in the video did not present this information. But an overview of the research does not make these “bad” for you. The use of artificially produced resistant starches (i.e. modified starch in prepared foods) is not yet something I would recommend, but research in Australia and about Italian diets is very interesting. Do not throw the baby out with the bath water! BTW – I am not a casual reader of such information – my doctoral work was in biophysics and I have a good nose for snake oil.
    DJFM

  40. Donna,why bother? I know that for my body, I do very well without any kind of starch. I throw in an occasional fibrous vegatable like broccoli or asparagus, on top of a lot of meat. I don’t think I have been able to make the people around me understand how much my well being has improved by increasing the amount of meat I eat in one day. I have gone from maybe 6-8 ounces daily to up to 24 ounces–at least a pound every day.
    Since I know that most starches are troublesome to my system, I’m not going to worry about research into resistant starch.

  41. Cheese Crust Pizza-you can buy it in Hyvee grocery stores in Iowa. Or you can make it yourself. Spread out a circle of mozzarella on top of parchment paper on top of your pizza pan. Sprinkle the cheese with some italian seasoning. You can experiment lightly sprinkling dried egg powder, flaxseed meal, italian dressing, bread crumbs, etc on the cheese also. Bake at 400degree for about 12 minutes-you want the edges to have that brown crusty yummy cheese look. Remove from oven. Add sauce and toppings on top of the cheese and a tiny amount of more mozzarella on top of that for traditional looking pizza. Return to oven to heat toppings and melt cheese on top. Remove from oven. After a couple minutes its sliceable and holdable. Cold the next morning you cant tell the difference between it and real pizza.

  42. As hokey as you might think it is, I’m going to make an effort to have cold brown rice with butter for lunch each day. (I tend to do the same thing for lunch every day. With 2 kids, it’s easier to be on autopilot for some things, lol.) Can’t hurt, might help.

    I figure, heck, could be why Japanese have healthier BMIs. Worth checking out, anyway.

    Good luck. Keep us posted on what happens.

    • I lost 30 lbs on a LC diet but then stalled (like for two years). I then read about this resistant starch dealy and figured I had nothing to lose by trying it. I used the list of foods provided online to create my own meal plan. I stuck to 1200 calories per day and ate only food from this list. I lost 20 lb in three weeks and though bored with the fare towards the end of my stint, I never once felt hungry. It may well be that it was the reduction in calories that did the trick but whatever??? I’m delighted with the results. I’m not saying the science being touted is necessarily accurate but it worked for me for whatever reason. I could never stick to a diet like that long-term because I’m essentially a “low carb gal”, but it was a great kick-start for me. My good friend (the very skeptical Amy), is now in her second week and has lost 9 lbs so…….Maybe give it a try for a week before pooh-poohing it.

  43. Dr Eades,

    One thing kept jumping out to me as I read all of these articles touting this “miracle” fiber. What about all of the other plain old sugary carbs in these items? That other 95%.

    I swear any time some little good thing is found in any piece of crap that we eat the folks that peddle this stuff call it the next miracle food.

    Sadly, you are correct. They focus on the minuscule bit of good and ignore the pound of bad.

  44. The reason I’m commenting is this “new” discovery came up on AOL’s front page today. Here is the sad story

    Carbs: The New Diet Food
    6 That Actually Help You Slim Down

  45. If one wants to affect Butyrate, why not use other methods, such as butter as mentioned previously, or FOS, arabinogalactans, and other items known as Pre-biotics? Also, according to the doctors at Metametrix, plant fiber is THE main source of beneficial SCFAs (such as butyric acid). They measure SCFAs in stool as part of their GI panels. Makes sense to eat healthy vegetables to increase SCFAs rather than grasp at any reason to applaud the white potato.

  46. I like to play devil’s advocate whenever I read articles such as this one and the one about resistant starch. I have a lot of questions regarding resistant starch myself and am not sure about the claims made on it’s behalf. But, I’m leary of this article as well.

    An article about “starch’ being debunked by a website titled “protein power”? Makes me wonder if there isn’t at least a little bias going on here. BTW…..I’ve seen a lot “short spots” on news programs about high-protein diets too. So, I will take your advice and I won’t believe the stuff about “resistant starch” without investigating it further. But, I won’t believe your stuff either.

    Investigate away.

  47. Hi.
    I have a question about fiber.
    In one of the older blog post you asked about studies that show benefit from fiber in CVD risk.
    (http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/uncategorized/well-well-well/)

    Here is few that I have come up:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8627965
    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/289/13/1659

    But on the other hand Taubes says that current studies (WHI and so on) show no correlation between fiber and CVD risk.

    What is your take on this?

    Both of the studies you linked are observational studies (often called epidemiologic studies) and as such they don’t prove anything. Correlation is not causation. Other longer better financed studies show no benefit to fiber consumption. Others show a negative correlation. But all are observational studies, which provide interesting but meaningless data.

  48. It got me wondering that if they hype that much the effect of fiber in preventing CVD that howcome they haven’t done any clinical trials to test it.

    I found one study plan:
    http://www.muschealth.com/clintrials/Default.aspx?DocID=NCT00085800.xml

    I tried to find that study in internet but I only came up with this:

    http://www.annfammed.org/cgi/content/full/6/2/100

    I think that is the same study, not sure though. Well anyway that kinda falsifies the fiber hypothesis cos that study showed that fiber did not reduce significantly infl. markers. They are planning to do more clinical studies. Are there any other clinical trials about fiber?

    Anyway, it would be nice to see a blog post about titled something like “Fiber Myths” going through most of the studies against and pro fiber to settle this thing. At least in my country it seems that fiber still has some kind of god status on health issues. It doesn’t go a day by when some newspaper posts about health properties of fiber or low-fat.

    I’ve posted a few times on various fiber myths. Just put ‘fiber’ in to the search window to check them out. Here is one that you might find interesting if you haven’t read it already.

  49. “Other longer better financed studies show no benefit to fiber consumption. Others show a negative correlation.”

    Which studies are these?

  50. “Other longer better financed studies show no benefit to fiber consumption. Others show a negative correlation.”

    Hi, I hope you answer to this question sometime in the future.
    I am looking for those studies that you mentioned above.

    This is what I have come up so far:

    follow-up to DART-Study:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12032650

    It was follow-up to a intervention-study and found no help in fiber consumption. But this was a small study and consumed fiber amounts were small.

    Are there any more controlled and randomized intervention studies about fiber?

    Type ‘fiber’ in the search window of this blog, and you should come up with several studies on fiber. Based on my own reading of the literature, I’m convinced that fiber is pretty useless, so I don’t spend a lot of time gathering studies on it.

  51. “Type ‘fiber’ in the search window of this blog, and you should come up with several studies on fiber. Based on my own reading of the literature, I’m convinced that fiber is pretty useless, so I don’t spend a lot of time gathering studies on it.”

    I have done that and read every article that you have written about fiber.
    I understand your conviction about fiber because all the evidence that support fiber-hypotesis and CHD is epidemiological or based on risk calculations ( which are based on cholesterol levels etc.., i think). I share the same conviction.

    But I have to be fair and say that when you say that

    “Other longer better financed studies show no benefit to fiber consumption. Others show a negative correlation.”

    I thought you knew these studies. But I am unable to find such studies. Almost all epidemiological studies and all meta-analysis that I have found show correlation between fiber and CHD. And all risk-analysis studies show benefit from fiber. Some studies show no correlation between fiber and CHD but the amount of fiber consumed in these studies is low and below recommendations and could be consider not valid because of that.

    What I have been unable to find also are clinical, intervention studies showing that fiber does indeed lower total mortality and CHD-rates, which would be a definit proof that there is something useful about fiber. Are there any?

    Yet Taubes says the same thing about fiber and CHD in GCBC but where are these studies?
    Sorry to bother you with this fiber-stuff but could you (or someone else reading these msgs) please tell me where to look for these studies? Any blogs etc that mention these?

    At this point you’re going to have to rely on someone else to dig these up for you. I don’t have the time at the moment, and I’m already convinced, so I don’t need to root them out for my own purposes. Have you tried PubMed? If not, here is a post on how you can search for what you need.

  52. I’m trying to wrap my head around how the body deals with the SFCAs produced from the ingestion of soluble fiber as it passes through the digestive tract and is acted upon by bacteria in the colon (where it becomes SFCAs).

    If these SFCAs are used by the body as energy – then can we not consider this:

    Insoluble fiber passes through the body totally undigested and these fiber carbs can indeed not be counted when one is counting carbs.

    Soluble fiber is used by the body for energy (in the form of SFCAs) and therefore soluble fiber carbs should be counted?

    I have also read sources indicating that the impact of SCFAs on metabolism can be negative in that in that SCFAs improve insulin sensitivity by blunting lipolysis from fat cells.

    Your thoughts on SFCAs – good, bad or otherwise? Thanks!

    SCFAs are great. They are produced by bacteria in the colon that break down fiber as it passes through, which means that fiber does provide some calories, but not 4 kcal per gram as does carbohydrate.

  53. I understand the purpose ofthe 6WC is for those who have the last 10-20 lb to lose (around the middle). Do the 6WC tactics have any place in a LC (PP) weight loss plan when the end goal is further away? Say 40-50 lb? (I’m guessing there are a lot of us loyal PP’ers who are in that position and interested in the buzz around 6WC.)

    Sure. You can stay in the first couple of phases longer or you can cycle through them again until you get near your goal then head off onto the last two week phase. We know that people can’t lose 40-50 lb in 6 weeks, but people needing to lose 50-60 lb can make a huge dent in their visceral fat in those 6 weeks.

  54. im interested to know, what is the range or percentage of resistant starch that are normally found in starch.
    how many percent of resistant starch to call it as high? i mean what’s the range?

  55. Dr. E,

    This may have been mentioned already, but in case not, I just tried to see the clip you linked to at the beginning of this article (I’m slowly but surely getting through as many posts as I can and even try to read many of the comments because there’s so much information in them) and it “has been removed. Please go on to the next clip.” Hmmmm. Maybe the comments there were too on-point?

    Love your stuff!
    Marcia

  56. “it looks like she is a vegetarian, which would explain some of her hostility and narrow mindedness.”

    Pot meet kettle…

    I was pretty engaged up until that, it was good to read someone trying to take an open-minded approach to assessing the validity of yet another quick fix diet solution

    Your bigotry towards anyone who doesn’t eat meat means is disgusting and unprofessional – was such a petty, mean jibe really necessary on what is otherwise an excellent post?

    And no, I’m not a vegetarian

    • The lady interviewed may have been from a company that makes a product called Hi-maize. according to the Resistent starch website, Hi-maize is the only supplement that can be added to food to increase or add resistent starch to food. There was an effort to hide the source of the website so I searched the two product names mentioned in the article, Hi-Maize and Novelase and discovered that they are manufactured by National Starch and Chemical a multinational company headquartered in New Jersey. They also make starch paper and biomedicals.

      Something you did not mention was, and according to the Resistant Starch website was that supposedly the natural resistant starch in potatoes and rice for example increases during the cooling process and makes the the amount of resistant starch higher than by eating the food hot, therefore recommending sushi and cold macaroni dishes.

      There is a bit of marketing going on with some of the info. on TV.

  57. I just read an article posted on FB “8 reasons carbs help you lose weight-healthy living on shine” …. I read it feeling optimistic about adding some resistant starch to my diet… then I researched some more.

    I started eating very low carb after running out of my Humalog insulin (i was a type II diabetic with poor control on all meds) I tried to eat things to not raise my blood sugar and came upon atkins like eating … I started losing weight and got scared … I had an extra 40 pounds to spare so it wasn’t a problem.

    2 months after feeling good and not spiking any blood sugars (a new thing for me) I had blood work done. My A1C was in normal range … not just for a diabetic … but actually ‘normal’ … my cholesterol had dropped into normal range (it had been high for 20 years and I didn’t want to take meds for it)

    I had my food log and my results of blood sugar testing (I did 10 a day to see what reaction to the food I was eating had)

    My doctor who had told me to not eat eggs, red meat, etc. because of the high cholesterol said after we went over my blood tests and I told her what I’d been doing …. “That works for some diabetics”

    I had NEVER been told about this way to control my blood sugar … in 25 years of type II diabetes … the dieticians I was sent to seen always had the standard diabetic pyramid and I followed it and took my meds and my A1C was always between 8 & 9. I was 100 pounds overweight off and on throughout those years. I was basically not believed that I measured my portions and took my pills/then insulin as directed.

    The other benefit I got from the low carb eating is that the neuropathy in my lower legs and feet that I was told was permanent but we could keep it from getting worse … is gone… I have full feeling in my legs and toes and never want to get the little pin prick toe test again .. because I feel it now.

    Thanks for your article … I was thinking I could add some things to my diet but I realize that I need to research more and be careful or I’ll be back on meds and out of control again.

  58. any thoughts recipes or info on konjac flour, also known as glucomannan and shiriake miracle noodles? High in fiber & zero calories?

  59. Good to know! I have also heard about resistant starch from cooked potatoes that are allowed to cool, so I eat a lot of potato salad using low fat Mayo. Guess I better give it up.

  60. Wow…my head is spinning…but luckily my need for technical support for new and progressive “fad” diets led me here…

    I bought the book…Carb Lovers Diet…it is all about that resistant starch…but they were treating it like a snake oil salesman would.

    Ironically, I bought your South Beach diet book also…same day…kind of freaky…

    anyway…I’ll light my wood stove with the Carb Lovers book…at least I’ll get “burn some good carbon” with it…lol

    Now I need to really get down to it and re-vamp my health correctly…Thank You Doctor.

  61. You say there are 9 kcals per gram of fat, but I thought 1 kcal was 1000 calories (ie 1 kilo-calorie). A gram of fat definitely does not contain 9000 calories! Excuse me if I’m missing some info. You meant 9 calories, right?

    • It’s all a matter of terminology. You’re confusing big ‘C’ calories with small ‘c’ calories. A large ‘C’ calorie, i.e., a Calorie equals 1000 of the small ‘c’ calories. A Calorie is the same as a kcal whereas it takes 1000 calories to make a kcal or a Calorie.

      one g of fat contains 9 kcal or 9 Calories per g or 9000 calories.

  62. Hype is never a good substitute for understanding.

    Note that, although resistant starches do get converted to fatty acids, that process is not 100% efficient – a lot of the product and fat is going to be lost in the stool and some of it will go toward the energy needs of the bacteria. But unless you are eating your food raw and unripe, it is quite likely that any natural resistant starch is going to be chased by an order of magnitude more regular carbs.

    I have used samples of HiMaize product in baking, and would make a couple of other observations. Basically, the product is starch, but it doesn’t gelatinize – so it won’t feed dough yeast and can’t be used to thicken puddings or gravy. For the same reason it won’t kick blood sugar levels up like ordinary starch does. But it is typically used to substitute than 20% of the flour, which puts a limit even in baked goods.

    The biggest problem with the “fiber” designation is its biggest benefit: it superficially acts like starch. It doesnt absorb water, it doesn’t swell, it doesn’t create gells and doesn’t provide soluble components. So like any other white bready product, those products with resistant starch are going to slow down the movement of food through the gut – and the longer it hangs around the more calories you will absorb. You still need the real fibers, and resistant starch can’t substitute for real fiber.

  63. I was a long term low carver and no longer am. It worked for weight loss initially, but caused problems over the long term. My metabolism as indicated by numerous markers including body temp, energy, sleep, etc. are all much better now that I have added carbs back to my diet. People have eaten carbs and been healthy for millennia, the orientals have had rice as a staple, the Swiss rye bread, the Irish potatoes, and on an on we could go. Only a small percent were excessively fat and there is a lot of evidence that body fat percentage is largely genetic as Gary Taubes argues convincingly in his book Good calories bad calories, yet he then turns around and tries to make carbs the devil and blame everything on carbs. The problem is that it doesn’t take long studying people groups and their traditional diets to see that they ate plenty of unprocessed carbs and did well on them. Weston Price studied cultures all over the world where this was the case. I don’t expect objectivity and honesty out of those who have a financial interest in maintaining the low carb dogma. By the way, I have been eating lots of unprocessed carbs like potatoes and pancakes from freshly milled wheat then fermented 24 hours in buttermilk and rice and my body temp has risen, indicating better thyroid function and my hands and feet aren’t cold anymore and I have stayed the same size based on how clothes fit. I think there is something to resistant starch because I feel especially warm when I eat potatoes. You can get much more resistant starch by letting the potatoes cool before you eat them or eating some raw potato

  64. I disagree. If you need to eat carbs, why not eat those complex carbs that have the added benefit of converting some of it to butyrate. For example, get your carbs from organic green bananas and organic beans (buy raw beans and cook them yourself).

  65. I hate to revive a 5-year old thread but in a recent research-session with Dr.Google I came across some studies which indicate that short-chain fatty acids, which are produced in the colon during digestion of ‘resistant starches’, can inhibit HDAC (histone deacetylase.) This caught my attention because inhibitors of HDAC are claimed mood stabilizers and are purported to slow cancer growth. Now, I still believe that protien is grand, and that carbs are not so, but in light of this new info I am wondering if beans may be over-demonized in paleo circles.
    Have any updated opinions on the subject now that some time has passed from the writing of this article Dr.Eades?

    • Jack, that’s where I recently saw a lot of info on Resistant Starches and people have been consuming potato starch, then testing their blood glucose…This whole RS subject is really gaining some steam, but I’m not 100% sure if I want to start eating potatoes and beans on a regular basis, just yet. That said, I am going to start taking a small amount of potato starch with a little water each day and monitor what happens for a while :)

  66. Hey Dr. Eades, you really should have read up a little more on resistant starch before passing judgment based on one less than qualified RD’s video. The comment above by Jack is spot on, you need to read more about this on freetheanimal.com.

    Unlike eating cooked potatoes, eating raw potato starch is actually effective. It has a ton of Resistant Starch but without the carbs. There’s also retrograde resistant starch to mention but I’ll let you read about that at the link.

    I hope you give this a shot! Thanks!

  67. Perhaps a better question would revolve around the benefits of consuming unmodified potato starch which has a high RS content and little of the glycemic spike associated with many starchy vegetables.

  68. Six years later and the verdict is in: RS can seriously help with blood glucose issues. Plenty of personal experiences at freethanimal.com .

    Here’s mine: Historic serum FBG, 100, for many years, even when then. January a year ago, 137. Not good. Got a glucometer, tried different things, was resigned to never eating more than 25 grams of carbs at a time.

    Got on the RS bandwagon via potato starch. (You can buy it cheaper at the local Asian market than Whole Foods.) It takes some time, but my FBG (whole blood, of course, there is some difference from serum) is mostly in the low 80’s.

    I got those results in a month or less, but after four months of consistent use, even my post-major carb bomb response is usually, but not always normal. Example: 80 grams of carbs, maximum reading 148, all done at 120 minutes.

    • The resistant starch I wrote about six years ago is different than what people are calling resistant starch now. So far, all I’ve seen are a bunch of anecdotal reports, not really any true scientific studies. I’m sitting on the sidelines, keeping an open mind and watching the development of the theory. I don’t want to be accused of a rush to judgement one way or another.

      I did see one post on a blog discussing the differences in fecal flora between two people with different diets. This post was hailed by some as the dietary or nutritional finding of the decade, which I thought a little hubristic.

  69. I think my previous post is stuck in your filer program because I referenced three links. Here is my comment without the links:

    Dr. Eades,

    Thank you for responding. I want to try the resistant starch (RS) approach but I like to have all my ducks in a row before embarking on something that effects anything as major as gut flora. I have been following Perfect Health Diet, Free the Animal, Cooling Inflammation, and AnimalPharm,, on this and they seem to agree that using RS to feed colonic bacteria is an important element of gut health. But I also am concerned about the echo chamber effect of agreeing opinions. Since you have not been on board about the health effects of RS in the past, I wanted to know if anything has swayed your opinion. For good or bad, I usually pay more attention to opinions, like yours in this case, that disagree. Anyway, here are a few links to articles that persuaded me this might be worth a try. Since I am not a doctor, scientist, or blogger who runs thru reams of studies, I have to rely on others distillation of the science:

    (Links are most likely in your filter program)

    Thank you.

    • In my case, I just haven’t been able to muster a whole lot of energy to dive into this. Admittedly, I freely admit that I could be wrong, but I think there are probably other nutritional strategies that can give more bang for the buck than taking RS. I’ll kind of wait till the dust settles on this to see if it really amounts to anything.

      I did enjoy the recent post on Cooling Inflammation, however, so I’ll keep monitoring the situation.

  70. Thanks, Dr. Eades. One final thing, would you feel comfortable with saying that while there is probably a bigger bang for your fermentable buck, taking 4 tablespoons of resistant starch in the form of potato or tapioca starches or green banana flour, is at the least not harmful?

  71. About a month ago, I found out about resistant starch (RS) in the form of unmodified potato starch and other types on the MDA forums then read more on Free the Animal. It made sense to feed my gut critters so they’ll feed me. :) I started with a small amount of RS in water before meals and had good results by the next day… I felt great and worked in the yard all weekend. My hubby was shocked because usually I usually last only an hour or two, if that.

    My energy level at almost age 55 is much higher and lasts into the evening, no longer get that must-eat-or-I’ll-crash feeling, not tired after eating, have the desire to exercise plus enjoy it, and thank goodnees…no more brain fog.

    It’s not a panacea…it is one of several changes I’ve made over time, starting with reading Protein Power years ago, so thank you for that! I am 100% in favor of ancestral eating, and the more we find out, the more we realize that groups of prehistoric people ate animals nose to tail, plenty of fat, plus veggies, fruits, starchy tubers, and nuts. My current goal is to maximize my gut health with a variety of fibers, RS, probiotics. I’ve regained several hours of my life back every day and am thrilled.

  72. Potatoes are good for you and are good, pair it with a protein source which lowers the glycemic load…and why would anyone who advocates a diet high in animal protein..agree with anyone who advocates starchy food..they don’t want to lose book sales…Make sense?..