Ruh-roh Shaggy! Somebody don't like potato starch! Whaaaaat? Read on! -Tim
My experience with resistant starchesMy experience with resistant starch in general started about a year ago when I was researching tools to increase insulin sensitivity.
I realized that I was eating quite a bit of foods with RS already, which I had discovered based on trial and error of how I felt best.
But after reading about resistant starch, I decided to include semi-green bananas, as they’re a rich source of RS.
The effect was quite remarkable, which lead me to name my diet after this third type of fiber (though it’s really only a small fraction of why the diet works. Read the RS appendix for reasons why it works.)
After releasing my diet, I noticed quite a few people were using Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch as a source of resistant starch.
My Experience with Unmodified Potato Starch
I had tried it out once before alone and it seemed decent. Since there seemed to be quite a few people using it and my initial impression was decent, I mentioned it as an option in my diet post, though I favored semi-green bananas because of potassium, other nutrients and other kinds of fiber.
After a fellow hacker on longecity started raving about unmodified potato starch, I decided to give it another test drive so that I can compare it to green bananas.
Well, it turned out that it caused me to have inflammation, which manifested itself by joint pain and fatigue.
These things never happen when I take my normal regimen and I’m well rested.
After the effects wore off, I decided to give it another go to make sure it was the potato starch.
Lo and behold I got tired and inflammation again.
Tiredness after a meal that doesn’t contain glucose is a sign of inflammation.
Read about how inflammation induces fatigue by supressing orexin.
During this experiment, I made sure to take it when I was amped and wide awake, ready to kick ass.
But then 15 minutes after the potato starch the inflammation-induced fatigue set it.
The upside is that I didn’t get any gas from it – probably because my gut adapted to a boatload of fiber already. It seems like everybody farts away when they take it.
Unmodified Potato Starch Vs Semi-Green BananasAs far as the effects, I would say the Bob’s Red Mill unmodified potato starch is inferior to semi green bananas.
These days, I try to eat about 3 bananas a day and it seems to be a sweet spot for me.
The bananas combined with legumes and the other types of fiber I consume have a cumulative effect that gives me the right level of cognitive umph that I like.
I consumed 85g of potato starch and the effect was less than what I experienced with bananas and legumes.
So, excluding the inflammation, I think semi-green bananas still offer more of punch, and the fact that bananas contain potassium definitely pushes it over the top even if you don’t experience inflammation from it.
I haven’t seen any convincing evidence that there’s much RS in it from a scientific viewpoint, either.
The studies I’ve seen speak about “native starch,” which doesn’t translate into Bob’s Red Mill unmodified potato starch.
I emailed them quite a few months back and they said the potato starch was cooked.
Their method of cooking and preparation could definitely be confounding variables.
I’m willing to give the potato starch advocates the benefit of the doubt and allow them to post studies in the comments section that demonstrate the potato starch in the studies is the same as BRM’s potato starch.
Unmodified Potato Starch Vs Hi-MaizeI think the effects are somewhat similar. I get more of an effect from green bananas than hi-maize, but hi-maize is a lot cleaner, in the sense that it has absolutely no plant toxins.
I use hi-maize when I run out of semi-green bananas and supplement with potassium.
How Unmodified Potato Starch Causes InflammationI’m guessing the mechanism behind the inflammation that I experienced was from solanine and chaconine, glycoalkaloids.
Various methods of cooking reduce these plant toxins.
Broiling and frying reduce these toxins because they are fat and water soluble. Microwaving (and probably roasting) is only somewhat effective [Ref].
You CAN get enough resistant starch in your dietKresser, “the healthy skeptic”, a misnomer in my opinion, mentioned in his podcast that it’s impossible to get enough RS in your diet alone. As I’ve demonstrated, that’s blatantly false.
This post is not meant to be an assault on the guys at freetheanimal: I respect that they’re willing to experiment and think outside the box (this is not an endorsement of their blog), unlike most other bloggers.
But I feel if I got negative results, then there’s a portion of the population who will also get negative results, so people must use caution and pay close attention to their bodies.
This doesn’t mean that no one can benefit from it, though. If you don’t get inflammation from it, then I don’t see why not.
But I think semi green bananas, hi-maize and certain legumes are better options.