5 Surprising Benefits Of Starch
Muscle & Fitness Hers|Winter 2019

Don’t turn your back on pasta, potatoes, or peas just yet—new research shows they may actually be the key to improving your health while shedding fat.

Elizabeth Ward, M.S., R.D.

Feeling pretty good about cutting out pasta, potatoes, and other starchy fare from your diet? Not so fast: Research shows you may actually be missing out on a slew of health benefits, including a sleeker physique. That’s because all high-carb foods are not created equal. Some are rich in resistant starch, which actually promotes weight loss, plus a whole lot more.

Resistant starch is a type of fiber found in certain plant foods, including beans, corn, and bread. As the name implies, this starch “resists” digestion in the small intestine, which prevents your body from absorbing the calories it contains. By the time resistant starch makes its way to the colon, specific types of good bacteria feed on it to produce short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate (more on that below).

STARCH SURPRISES

Resistant starch actually carries a wide array of health benefits:

IT TORCHES FAT:

Studies done with both humans and animals show that a diet rich in resistant starch decreases body fat. Here’s how: While most of the butyrate produced from resistant starch remains in the colon to support gut health, some of the short-chain fatty acids also travel to the liver, where they prevent the organ from releasing stored carbohydrates into the bloodstream, prompting the body to burn body fat for energy instead.

IT STEADIES ENERGY LEVELS:

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