Resistant starch foods have their own website, a diet foods name (“The Skinny Carbs Diet”) and a suddenly devoted following. So what is the science behind resistant starch; are starch foods the latest diet fad, or is there more to them than meets the eye?
Why are Resistant Starch Foods in the News?
In a word: marketing! World News Insight explains that a cookbook titled “The Skinny Carbs Diet” is on the shelves and promising to offer healthy diet foods that capitalize on resistant starch for weight loss.
Any dieter who despaired on the Atkins Diet and its protein foods is sure to listen up at the promise of bread and other previously forbidden starch foods.
Diet Foods Containing Resistant Starch: Not New
In fact, as early as March 2010, KABC-TV Los Angeles featured resistant starch foods as the right types of carbohydrates to enjoy when trying to lose weight. Giving the heave-ho to the protein foods of the Atkins Diet, recommended starch foods included potatoes (most notably sweet potatoes), beans, 100 percent whole grain pasta, produce (especially artichokes and yams) as well as quinoa.
Starch Foods under the Microscope of Science
Research conducted at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute explains that starch can fall into one of three classifications: readily digestible, slowly digestible and resistant. The latter does not get absorbed in the small intestines.
Starch foods that fall into the resistant category are only minimally digested. On a side note, any digestion that takes place is slow, which in turn results in a slow but steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. (Read in plain English: sudden energy rushes and no just-as-sudden crashes.)
Timing between ingestion and digestion pegs the elapsed time at approximately six hours, which leads to a prolonged period of time that the dieter feels “full.” While this particular study dealt with athletes, the implication for the dieter tired of yesteryear’s food fads and restrictive food choices is clear.
Incorporating Resistant Starch Foods into a Healthy Diet
Remember that even though potatoes are on the list of resistant starch foods, French fries are not. In fact, Prevention outlines that there actually “is no specific target for resistant starch intake.”
An average American female is thought to consume about 4 g, and D. Milton Stokes, RD advises that doubling this figure might just be a step in the right direction.
Dieters intending to benefit from resistant starch foods may do so simply by adding a cup of starch foods to their diet. Eating cooled starchy foods or buying Hi-maize fortified ingredients is another option.
World News Insight: “Resistant Starch Foods – The Skinny Carbs Diet”
KABC-TV: “Some carbs can lower risk of being overweight”
Virginia Polytechnic Institute: “Intakes of Carbohydrates and Resistant Starch Food Sources Among Regular Exercisers”
Prevention: “Nature’s Fat-Burning Breakthrough”
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