The best health benefits of starch

health benefits of starch
August 11, 2020

health benefits of starch;Consuming resistant starch has interesting benefits for the body. What food is it in? What are the consumption recommendations? In this space, we will tell you.

Have you heard about the benefits of starch? Although most people think that consuming this food generates weight gain, the truth is that its moderate contribution has positive effects on the body. 

health benefits of starch
health benefits of starch

Since starch is the main carbon reserve in plants, it is found mainly in cereals, tubers, vegetables, legumes and some immature fruits such as bananas and mangoes.

What is starch?

Starch is a complex carbohydrate that is formed by the union of glucose chains that are grouped together following a linear structure (known as amylose) or branched (called amylopectin).

Being present in various foods, most of the energy that the body uses for vital processes comes from this nutrient. Since glucose is absorbed from the intestine, it is necessary for digestive enzymes to break down its structure.

However, a part of this molecule is “resistant” to degradation and remains intact throughout the gastrointestinal tract. In this way, once it reaches the colon, it serves as a substrate for the bacteria that live there.

health benefits of starch
health benefits of starch

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Resistant starch benefits

In several studies it mentioned that resistant starch has health benefits. In particular, its attributes as soluble fiber are what give it properties. Likewise, it causes positive effects due to its ability to generate short-chain fatty acids and form viscous solutions in the intestinal lumen. We tell you more details.

Contributes to a healthy gut microbiota

The fermentation that microorganisms produce from starch results in the following:

  • Gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide.
  • Fatty acids, such as acetic and butyric.
  • Organic acids.
  • Alcohols.

These products are what provide a favorable change in the intestinal microbiota. Butyrate, in particular, is the one that gathers the most evidence in health, since it is used as a source of energy by the colonocytes (colon cells). In addition, it improves the integrity of the intestinal barrier and acts as a protector against DNA damage.

Helps stimulate satiety

Scientific data show that, after consuming 8 grams of this type of starch during breakfast, a decrease in intake is generated, as well as a reduction in energy consumption up to 3 hours after this meal.

One of the possible mechanisms involved in this response is attributed to slowing the rate of gastric emptying, which keeps blood sugar levels stable for longer.

health benefits of starch
health benefits of starch

Supports weight and body composition

It’s not that starch has an instant effect on body weight. Still, it is capable of forming thick solutions in the intestine that help improve body composition . In fact, the synthesized fatty acids promote lipid oxidation in the liver and muscles, which affects weight.

Regulates sugar and fat metabolism

In a way, starch can contribute to the control of glucose metabolism . To be more exact, the higher the amylose content, the better the glycemic response. In relation to this issue, its contribution must exceed that of amylopectin for this action to take place.

In addition, it is an adjuvant to reduce plasma cholesterol levels due to its content of acetate and propionate. It also has a chelating effect on bile salts, which decreases their intestinal reabsorption, and induces fecal elimination. As a consequence, the liver is forced to use endogenous cholesterol to produce them again.

See also: The best foods high in potassium

How to get more out of food?

You can improve or modify the starch composition of foods for greater benefits. This technique is known as “retrogradation” and is intended to increase the indigestible fraction. To do this, you must do the following:

  • Cook the food (for example, cassava or sweet potato) and leave it to cool in the refrigerator one day before consuming it.
  • After 24 hours you can eat it cold, or you can reheat it but at minimum temperatures to prevent it from returning to its original shape.

Eat starch in moderation

Starch is made up of glucose, but that does not mean that its moderate consumption affects body weight or blood glucose levels . This compound has a fraction that, in addition to not being digested, has a positive impact on health.

The key is to avoid exceeding your consumption and to do so within the framework of a healthy and varied diet. Still, it is convenient to consult a nutritionist to determine how and in what amounts to take it.


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