Eat This Carb and You Won’t Gain Weight
For years carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap: Americans run from them like they are the plague and dieticians warn their clients about them, like they’re telling ghost stories. However, new research suggests that certain kinds of carbs, “resistant starches”, could help control our weight.
When we eat refined carbs, like white bread and cookies, they quickly become simple sugars that our bodies absorb, and are then taken by the hormone insulin and transferred into our cells. The problem is when we eat a lot of them; instead of burning them, our body stores most of them, and we gain weight.
But that’s not the case with resistant starches (which are also powerful pre-biotics that resist digestion). These carbs bypass the small intestine (where most food is digested) and head to the large intestine (also known as the colon) to be metabolized. There, they’re fermented and turned into short-chain fatty acids, which the body burns as energy.
And this is good news for those with type-2 diabetes. A 2015 study showed that eating resistant starches improved inflammation and lipid profiles in women with the disease. But what kinds of foods have resistant starch? A number of tasty ones: legumes, beans, whole grains, some seeds, uncooked potatoes, and unripe bananas. There are also products made from these foods, like bean flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and brown rice flour.
And there are leftovers in the fridge that contain resistant starch! When foods like white rice, pasta, or potatoes are cooked and then cooled, the food develops resistant starches; cooking the carbs alters the chemical bonds in the food and even when they are re-heated, the starches are still there.
“In a Nutrition Journal study published in October 2015, Arciero and his team cooked a series of four pancake breakfasts for 70 women. The four pancakes were made from ordinary starch, starch plus whey protein, resistant starch (a tapioca-based starch modified to become resistant—much like leftovers are), and resistant starch with whey protein.
Arciero and his team monitored the women after each meal for three hours and used a device to see how many calories they burned, and what type. To Arciero’s surprise, after women ate pancakes containing resistant starch plus protein, they experienced an increase in fat burning, compared to all of the other kinds of pancakes. “
While the researchers don’t yet know if resistant starch can help people lose weight this new evidence suggests that they may help us control our weight. But what might be even more profound for us would be to simply concentrate on eating good food- not bad food. If we spend more time preparing good, whole foods instead of worrying about what bad food we shouldn’t put in our mouths, we might find that much needed sweet spot.
Health and Wellness Associates
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