I want to talk briefly about eating resistant starches to help improve satiety, reduce fat and improve weight, and even to improve mood and focus.
Nowadays, increasing dietary protein is all the rage. And for many people this simple diet change can help significantly. However, based on my recent readings, I now feel this category of food, namely resistant starch/fiber, is very important for weight loss as well.
Upon consumption, resistant starches digest very slowly, over hours. This produces a very mild insulin response. (Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas to help escort glucose into the cell). Additionally, the calories they deliver to the body are much less then your typical carbohydrate, protein, or fat.
The resistant starches also feed the “good gut bacteria” so they can produce butyrate, a healthy compound for the colon, and may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. These starches may even reduce inflammation and improve conditions such as “leaky gut” - often the first step to take when managing just about any autoimmune condition.
One of the downsides of processed foods is that they are absorbed very quickly. This spikes up and then down one’s blood sugar and the resulting insulin production very quickly, as if sending them on a “roller coaster” ride. Not only does this hinder weight loss goals and zap energy, but this can cause significant chemical imbalance in the brain as well such as with serotonin, a “feel good” neurotransmitter.
So where can you find resistant starch? Some of the best food sources with the highest amounts include beans such as navy or cannellini and boiled potatoes. Other food sources include oats, green peas, and slightly unripe bananas (with some green still on the peel). Consumption of these foods helps to keep blood sugar balanced so you don’t crash. This allows you to feel and think your best. Your brain will love you for this.
There is evidence that consumption of resistant starch improves body weight, reduces fat storage, improves blood sugar markers and insulin and improves satiety.
Check out my "Custom Metabolic Program" in my Weight Loss Programs that incorporates resistant starches into an easy to follow 1 week meal plan.
I have to put in a plug about the brain as well. Like I’ve said in many talks, the brain needs a constant and steady glucose supply for proper focus and attention. And these starches will help with just that. For those people with brain fog, ADHD, poor memory, etc. keeping a stable blood should be the first step for treatment - not medication.
Imaging studies of people with ADHD show decreased utilization of glucose and oxygen in the brain. Therefore, dietary and exercise strategies that support a stable blood glucose level and increased oxygen levels in the brain are critically important.