Resistant Starch May Aid Weight Loss, Blood Sugar

We generally don’t think of carbohydrates as weight-loss food. But, in a trial, a supplement of hard-to-digest carbs helped people lose weight and avoid sugar spikes.

Resistant starch is found in beans, whole grains, raw oats and green bananas. It can also form after the cooking process. If you chill rice, pasta or potatoes after cooking them, they form resistant starch. Resistant starch can’t be absorbed easily by the body. Instead, it’s eaten by bacteria in the large intestine, acting as a helpful prebiotic.  

In the trial, overweight people were given three balanced meals a day for 16 weeks. They were given sachets of starch to dissolve in water and drink with their meals. For eight weeks, the sachets were filled with resistant starch. For the last eight weeks, the sachets contained regular starch.

After taking the resistant starch, people lost an average of seven pounds and had lower blood sugar rises after eating. The regular starch made no difference to weight or blood sugar. Looking at stool samples, the researchers saw that several helpful bacteria were more plentiful in the people’s guts while taking the resistant starch.

After the eight weeks of taking resistant starch, people had lower fat mass, weight circumference, better glucose tolerance and improved insulin sensitivity. The trial was too small to be definitive. It only used 37 people. However, the results are promising.

Professor Weiping Jia, one of the researchers, said, “We demonstrated that resistant starch can facilitate weight loss. The benefits of resistant starch are associated with changes in gut microbiota composition.”  

Resistant starch is sold as a supplement. It’s also found in many foods. We have spoken so many times about improving your health through diet. We wrote about the benefits of beans way back in 2019! They are high in protein and low in fat and satiate hunger with their fiber.

The fact that resistant starch feeds your gut rather than your blood sugar can be hugely beneficial. Your microbiome impacts your blood sugar, immune system, weight, aging, inflammation levels, brain health and more! Scientists agree that it should be treated as an organ. Taking care of the beneficial bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses that live inside you keeps you healthy and well. Feeding the bacteria helps them stay strong and function well. The resistant starch won’t upset your blood sugar but will help the bacteria do their job!  

Banner image: Shelley Pauls via Unsplash

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