Resistant starch, abbreviated as “RS”, is a starch which acts like dietary fiber, capable of delivering benefits of both soluble and insoluble fiber. As against most other types of starches, which are digested through small intestine, RS escapes digestion in the small intestine and gets into large intestine, where it performs the function of dietary fiber. Ingestion of foods enriched with RS would help in promoting bowel movement, decreasing fat accumulation, lowering cholesterol level, thus improving colon health.
Resistant starch is classified into four different types:
- RS1- it is a digestible resistant starch, which is physically inaccessible. It is found in unprocessed whole grains and legumes or seeds.
- RS2- this kind of starch is found in granular form in food products like green banana flour, high amylose corn, and uncooked potato.
- RS3- it is a kind of starch formed as a result of cooling down of cooked starch rich foods like bread, legumes, chili potatoes, and cornflakes.
- RS4- this type of starch is obtained after chemical modification process, so as to resist digestion in the small intestine. This kind of RS is not found naturally.
Among various kinds of food products, firm bananas, corn, yams, potatoes, pasta, whole grain breads, pearl barley, lentils, oatmeal, and brown rice are good sources of RS.
Resistant Starch Benefits
The noteworthy benefits associated with resistant starch have been discussed as under:
- RS has been recognized as beneficial form of carbohydrate by several food organizations and public health authorities like Food and Agricultural Organization, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, British Nutrition Foundation, and World Health Organization.
- The colonic, digestive, and intestinal health is maintained with the help of ingestion of foods rich in RS. Development of harmful bacteria in the bowel is reduced and growth of healthy bacteria is promoted, thus promoting digestive health. The problem of diarrhea is also treated with the help of drinking RS based solutions. The health of the colon tissue is promoted due to production of short chain fatty acids, the protective compounds produced due to consumption of foods rich in RS.
- Resistant starch plays a vital role with respect to glycemic management due to its metabolic benefits.
- RS works effectively with respect to weight management. First of all, it helps in fiber fortification by way of increasing fiber content in the human body through ingestion of RS enriched food products. Secondly, it helps in reducing calorie intake. Thirdly, it assists in reducing hunger cramps. Lastly, it aids in lipid oxidation, i.e. it assists in lowering down the accumulation of fat in the body and helps in burning fat.
- Consumption of RS based foods would help in keeping the cholesterol level under control.
- Resistant starch can be used as a substitute for gluten free wheat based food products.