February 8, 2016

After listening to multiple podcasts this week about cardiometabolic and gut health, I came away with a fascinating understanding of a previously unknown healthy bacteria promoting food source. Prebiotics as potatoes and rice! Yes, I am not kidding. Previously, we believed that these foods could only be sugar bombs and had questionable effects on the micro biome. Just ask a diabetic what happens to their blood sugar after eating these foods.

From Dr. Amy Nett on the Chris Kressor blog - "Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates, or at least indigestible to us, that reach the colon intact and selectively feed many strains of beneficial bacteria. Prebiotics are generally classified into three different types: non-starch polysaccharides (such as inulin and fructooligosaccharide), soluble fiber (including psyllium husk and acacia fibers), and resistant starch (RS). Each of these types of prebiotics feeds different species of gut bacteria, but among these, RS is emerging as uniquely beneficial."

"Resistant starch is a type of starch that is not digested in the stomach or small intestine, reaching the colon intact. Thus, it "resists" digestion. This explains why we do not see spikes in either blood glucose or insulin after eating RS, and why we do not obtain significant calories from RS. "

There are 4 types of RS foods. (see the blog for details) I am going to discuss only the type 3 retrograde RS foods. This group of starches has the ability to change conformation through temperature shifts and therefore become indigestible to our metabolic system after they are heated and cooled. The more they are heated and then cooled the more RS is formed.

I think of a blacksmith making a sword. The iron is heated, hammered and then cooled. Repeating the process hardens the metal in increasing degrees of strength. The same appears to be true with the starch of potatoes, rice and soaked legumes.

From the health perspective, giving these RS foods to kids will feed the gut bacteria that we need fed and increase short chain fatty acids like butyrate that feed our intestinal cells known as enterocytes. This is critical to human health folks!

Chris Kressor and Mark Hyman recommend Bob's Red Mill unmodified potato starch. Start with 1/4 to 1 tsp daily and work up to 1 Tbsp daily. Some people will experience GI upset and need to take it slow and steady as they right their gut ship. Add it to smoothies or any dish that is less than 130 degrees F. Also consider other starchy foods like unripened bananas, plantains, yams and yucca for RS.

Keep up the charge of changing your child's health and life outcome via food and love. I love this stuff.

Be well,

Dr. M