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Resistant starches show benefit for colon health, cancer, and diabetes reduction ​

Digestion is the process food takes as it passes through the bodyreleasing nutrients necessary for health. Starting in the mouth, food begins its winding journey through the stomach and into the small and large intestine (also called the colon) where most of what your food has to offer is extracted and then leaves the body greatly changed from its original state.

You may already know that what you eat has an impact on more than just your waistline. Diets high in fat and low in fiber have been attributed to higher rates of colon disease, and a variety of other conditions. Today a new class of starches, known as resistant starches, are proving beneficial to colon health, and show signs of prevention for some types of cancer, and even diabetes.

Resistant starches are a form of carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine, allowing them to enter the large intestine in just about the same form they were in when you swallowed them. Why does that matter? According to researchers, these resistant starches reach the colon and begin to ferment, lowering the pH of the intestines which allows good bacteria to grow, and slowing the production of bad ones.  This also helps the cells that line the colon to thrive, and serves as a barrier against infection.

What else can resistant starches do for me?

  • •Improve insulin sensitivity
  • •Regulate blood sugar
  • •Prevent precancerous colon polyps
  • •Prevent inflammatory bowel disease
  • •Help maintain a healthy body weight

What foods should I eat?

If you are already eating a diet high in fiber (think fruits and vegetables) you may already be getting some resistant starches, but here are a few foods that you may consider getting more of:

  • Seeds with the hulls
  • Corn and beans
  • ROOM TEMPERATURE rice and pasta

Keeping your body and your digestion on track means feeding it foods high in nutrients, and fiber and low in fat. Talk with your doctor for suggestions on how you can eat for better health.


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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

American College Cardiology American Heart Association American Society of Nuclear Cardiology American Board of Internal Medicine