A resistant starch (aka “safe starch”) is a starch that resists digestion in the small intestine, resulting in very little caloric value for the consumer. This non-digestion also means that the starch is not converted into glucose, benefiting those with diabetes. There are a few different types of resistant starch. Type one is “physically inaccessible [by the digesting enzyme], such as that in whole grains.” Type two resistant comes from the granules of starch being tightly packed together. Such foods that contain this type of starch are raw potatoes and bananas. Type two is also marketed as “Hi-Maize.” A third type of safe starch is marketed as “Novelose” and develops when a starch is cooked and then cooled. The cooling process allows for the components of the starch to form crystal-like structures, therefore making it harder for the digestive enzymes to digest it. (Zaman, S., Sarbini, S., 2015; Ordonio, R., Matsuoka, M., 2016). The resistant starch does not have to be eaten cold; it’s okay to warm it (Sission, 2014). Type four resistant starch (Fibersym) is chemically modified and type 5 is where the amylase joins with lipids (fats) to make heat-stable composite (Zaman, S., Sarbini, S., 2015; Ordonio, R., Matsuoka, M., 2016).
The rate of digestion of the resistant starch is dependent on the amylose content, the more there is the slower the digestion. This is not a bad thing, because with slower digestion the blood sugar is more stable and one feels satisfied longer. Resistant starch type five may take several hours to digest, if at all. This is because of the complex that is formed with the lipid, which repels water and limits the swelling of the starch grain Also, the starches that are high in amylase are smooth and therefore resistant to the digesting enzyme (Zaman, S., Sarbini, S., 2015; Ordonio, R., Matsuoka, M., 2016).
There are benefits of resistant starch for instance preventing cancers such as colon cancer, feeding the good bacteria (acting as a prebiotic), working as a fiber—creating bulk for the stool, and sustaining hunger without raising the blood sugar too much (a great plus for diabetics!). With resistant starches, one feels full, while not adding many functional calories to their diet (Zaman, S., Sarbini, S., 2015; Ordonio, R., Matsuoka, M., 2016). However, resistant starches do not show to decrease the amount of gas produced compared to non-resistant starch.
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