Monday, September 21

Resistant Starch and Its Benefits for Diabetics

Part of my vigilance in keeping informed about living with diabetes is subscribing to newsletters for diabetics. I am delighted to know that is now sending 30-day Diabetes Tips for its subscribers. I find their articles not only informative but very Filipino as well.

One of the tips that I have received is about fighting fat with kanin lamig (cooled rice). The article written by Nadine Tengco says that eating cooled rice in moderation can actually help us lose weight because of its levels of resistant starch. Resistant starch is the kind of starch that goes straight to the large intestine and acts as fiber for better digestion. It got me so interested that I started to read more about this from other sources.

Other than cooled rice, resistant starch can also be found in navy beans, raw banana, cold potato, lentils, cold pasta, oatmeal, wholegrain bread, and brown rice.

In the past, starch has been thought to be fully digested and transformed into glucose in the small intestine. Researches made over the last few decades showed that resistant starch exist and that these help in maintaining good bacteria in the large intestine. Good bacteria, meanwhile, produce short chain fatty acids that lowers blood cholesterol levels.

Raw plant products like potatoes and bananas have a high amylose content that is resistant to digestion. When starchy foods are cooked, gelatinization happens which makes starch become easily digested by the body. When cooked food is cooled, the gelatinized starch is transformed to crystalline form that makes it once again resistant to digestion.

Diabetics can benefit from eating foods rich in resistant starch since this kind of starch is absorbed slowly and cannot raise glucose levels quickly. Also, because of the slowness of absorption, resistant starch can help prevent hypoglycemia especially in the middle of the night.

Before you assume that I am already jumping for joy because I can eat cold macaroni salad once again, please know that as with any other foods, I should still eat these in moderation. I found one reading that recommends having only 20 grams a day. It's not that bad when I think of it. At least I can eat pasta once again!

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