The phrase Resistant Starch foods may sound a bit confusing, but it’s just starch that’s ‘resistant’ to digestion in the small intestine.
This is in stark contrast to ‘non-resistant’ starch – from high-glucose sweet foods, for example – that’s quickly digested in the body and then converted to either short-term energy or stored in the body.
Some Resistant Starch foods are not ‘easily’ digested because of natural properties. Others are prepared or chemically modified to have this property.
Resistant Starch foods are either consumed as stand-alone foods (like bananas) or used as an ingredient. One example is Hi-maize (a product trademarked by National Starch LLC), a ‘resistant’ cornstarch that “easily replaces part of the flour in your favorite everyday foods without changing their taste, texture or appearance.”
Resistant Starch foods are digested in the large intestine through a fermentation process, which produces energy (calories) for the body.
Research has shown that these foods reduce the overall amount of calories consumed, partly by increasing the sense of satiety, i.e. making people feel full while eating and hours after eating.
Moreover, they shrink fat cells, boost fat burning, increase muscle mass, control blood sugar, and lower cholesterol, according to Health magazine, which cited a study from the University of Colorado.
They also promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system, according to National Starch LLC.
The properties (and benefits) of Resistant Starch foods is similar to that of dietary fiber, something the general public is more familiar with.
The advantage of Resistant Starch foods, though, is that they satisfy hunger better than fibers, according to resistantstarch.com, citing a University of Minnesota study.
Examples of Resistant Starch foods include bread, cereals, potatoes, bananas, black beans, oats, barley, bulgur, brown rice, and corn flakes.