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Resistant Starch

The human gut and its importance to our overall health is a topic of increasing research in the medical community, and for excellent reason. Intrinsically aligned with gut health is the subject of probiotics. Often, we fail to give credit to the prebiotics, the primary food source for our probiotics, and equally as important. So, when pre and probiotics are mentioned, people’s attention is automatically drawn to an image of supplements before food sources. At best, people may think about fermented foods offering a natural source of probiotics, but little do people know about the prebiotic that is often overlooked, Resistant Starch (RS). So, what is RS, and how does it differ from Starch?

Starch is a carbohydrate, one of 3 main categories of carbohydrates found in things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and rice. Starch’s nutritional property is related to its rate and extent of digestion and absorption in the small intestine. Starch has little or no water content, which is partly why it’s hard for the body to digest. When you eat starchy foods, the body breaks the food into simpler molecules, absorbs it into our bloodstream, and helps provide energy. Often, some or too much Starch can cause health concerns and unpleasant symptoms.

Resistant Starch (RS) is any starch that is not digested in the stomach or small intestine but remains intact and passes to the large intestine. Here, RS is a suitable fermentation substrate, increasing short-chain fatty acid production. These SCFAs are the primary source of nutrition for the friendly bacteria in the gut and therefore promote healthy gastrointestinal function, improve gut mobility and decrease the risk of leaky gut and inflammatory bowel conditions.

There are four types of resistant Starch, some more substandard than others. The superior form of RS is a natural food source found in cooked and rapidly cooled sweet potato, potato, or white rice. After being cooked and rapidly cooled, consuming these foods will have you see the prebiotic benefits. However, while RS is beneficial, it should still be considered part of your overall approach to food and nutrition. Overeating RS can and likely will be counterproductive. Symptoms such as bloating or gas can often be a side effect if RS is not consumed correctly.

For more information or for support on how to incorporate Resistant Starch into your diet, contact


  1. Review J Sci Food Agric. 2015 Aug 15;95(10):1968-78. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6966. Epub2014 Nov 21.
  2. Resistant starch in food: a review, Pinky Raigond 1, Rajarathnam Ezekiel 1, BaswarajRaigond PMID: 25331334 DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.6966

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