The Super Star Starches

When you think of starchy foods, chances are things like white bread and pasta come to mind. Unfortunately, these simple starches are rapidly digested, raise your blood sugar, contribute to weight gain and increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease. But there is another less well-known type of starch, one that functions similarly to fiber that you may have never heard of. “Resistant starch” earns its name from the fact that it is resistant to digestion. This means that it passes through the stomach and small intestine without being absorbed into the body. Instead, it enters your large intestine where it ferments and feeds beneficial gut bacteria. Resistant starch has fewer calories than regular starch and many studies in humans show it may have powerful health benefits which may include:

  • Lowering blood sugar levels
  • Improving Insulin sensitivity
  • Reducing appetite/weight Loss
  • Improving gut health
  • Improving digestive disorders such as constipation, diverticulitis, etc.
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Lowering the risk of colon cancer

So, how can you get more resistant starch in your diet?  It turns out several commonly consumed foods are high in resistant starch. However, it’s important to remember that depending on how foods are prepared, the amount of resistant starch changes.  Good sources of resistant starch include:

  • Raw potatoes or cooked and then cooled potatoes
  • Cooked and then cooled rice
  • Green bananas and plantains (as a banana ripens the starch changes to a regular starch)
  • Beans, peas, and lentils (white beans and lentils are the highest in resistant starch)
  • Raw oats (oats lose resistant starch when cooked)

To get the most resistant starch bang for your buck, try cooking rice, potatoes, and beans in advance and cooling them in the refrigerator overnight.  In place of cooked oatmeal, try uncooked oats soaked in yogurt, milk, or non-dairy milk and refrigerate them overnight (often called overnight oats).  It’s important to note, it’s ok to reheat the starch before eating. Reheating doesn’t decrease the amount of resistant starch.  So if you want to give resistant starch a try, just remember:  cook, cool, reheat and eat.



Barbara Bolen, P. D. (2020, September 22). Resistant starch foods to eat for gut-healing and waistline-trimming. Verywell Health. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from

Birt, D. F., Boylston, T., Hendrich, S., Jane, J.-L., Hollis, J., Li, L., McClelland, J., Moore, S., Phillips, G. J., Rowling, M., Schalinske, K., Scott, M. P., & Whitley, E. M. (2013). Resistant starch: Promise for improving human health. Advances in Nutrition, 4(6), 587–601.

Christine McKinney, R. D. L. D. N. C. D. E. (2020, December 2). What is resistant starch? The Johns Hopkins Patient Guide to Diabetes. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from

Gunnars, K. (2018, July 3). Resistant starch 101 – everything you need to know. Healthline. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from