Discussions on potato diets, resistant starch, gut health, prebiotics, probiotics, oil-pulling, cold thermogenesis, and other affairs of plain living...
Resistant starch (RS) is starch that does not get digested
in the stomach or small intestine and enters the large intestine intact.
hey Tim,great blog!your thoughts on Hydroxypropyl-Distarch Phosphate (HdP)?interesting post with studies http://suppversity.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/waxy-maize-reloded-hydroxypropyl.html
Hydroxypropyl-Distarch Phosphate is considered RS4, a man-made RS. Lots of studies show it is an effective prebiotic.
Wow. Great overview.
How do you get Ruminococcus bromii or make sure you have it?
You just eat starchy, high fiber foods. Everyone has it. The trick is keeping it happy and feeding it what it wants. Easy to do!
Thank you Tim for putting this all together in such an informative and readable format. We mix 50/50 Bob's Raw Potato Starch (RS2) and Bob's Buckwheat Flour (RS??)...2-3 Tablespoons daily mixed into our homemade yogurt with honey. Yum.
Tim, fantastic article. You really summed it up very well, easily readable for the newbies to resistant starch.I was trying to find Sago in Holland (no luck as yet), but found that Amazon Germany sells 1 kg Zieler Perl Sago for Euro 13,85. So if I can't find it in Holland, I will order it in Germany. I liked your suggestion of adding our probiotica to the starch drink, to let it hitch a ride through the stomach to the kolon.Jo tB
Wow, Tim! Those green tuberous things are sold here at all the Chinese and Korean stores. I guess I'll need to expand the 'repertoire' around here thanks to you. Sago too. Unlike with Jo, it's easy to find here. Cooked and cooled it will be. In England the school kids refered to it as frogspawn. ;) Tapioca pudding. The last time I cooked this was 1983. Nowadays, I think, it's Bubble Tea.
Frogspawn, that brings back fond memories!!. When was the last time I made tapioca pudding? Must have been when I was at school. There is a recipe for it in my old school cookery book (the Commonsense Cookery Book). Back in the day we had home economics at school: cooking, sewing, knitting, etc.Jo tB
I would love to experiment with Sago, and especially see the RS measured. I was reading that a single sago palm trunk can contain 2000 pounds of starch that is easily gathered with primitive tools. This was the major source of starch in Asia until rice was imported and farmed.
Gab, do you ever get those yams at the Cinese stores and make okonomiyaki? I have made it, but without the yams...would love to have a source, but we live in the stickshttp://perfecthealthdiet.com/2013/03/okonomiyaki-japanese-pizza-style-pancake/
ellie, I've never bought that whatever it is, looks like a fat stick thing at the store. I have looked at them. Felt them. Given them a squeeze. LOL. Juicy. But it's no my list of 'new things to try' after reading Tim's latest stellar production. The other thing I want to try is lotus root. Another customer showed me how to pick a good one. But that was months ago and I think I may have forgotten. Seriously doubt I'd be making pancakes though. Makes sense if a person is feeding a family, but right now my family has devolved over the years go just be the cats. Cats don't seem to like pancakes. ;) That stuff can be eaten without cooking.
Tim, waddaya bet rice was first grown in what is now the state of Orissa in India. There are more varieties of rice in that region than anywhere else in the world. You'd figure, no? that wherever there's the most varieties, that's the mother of rice.
Excellent to have all of that information in one coherent post, thanks for taking the time to synthesize this.I don't do the cooked and cooled thing, but do add 2Tbsp PS and 1 Tbsp inulin powder to my daily glass of homemade kefir! Followed your suggestion on the oat bran too.So glad you developed this site.
If you cook at home at all, I submit to you that the cooking and cooling approach actually makes meals easier.I make a rice cooker full of rice, and store it in the freezer in serving sizes until ready to eat. Same with beans. Potatoes don't freeze well, but you can make a large batch and they store well in the fridge for a week. But, yeah...hard to do this all the time. I generally add my PS to a carton of yogurt at lunch.
TimI only just now had the concentration time to read this. It is a very nice post. Very nice. Falling under the category of "All things in moderation. Especially moderation," it makes me think about the healthiness of things a bit differently. Such as home fries, French fries, or hash browns with breakfast. Now these things gave probably been pre-boiled or blanched in advance. Maybe (most likely) frozen prior to being fried. Some RS3 there. So those home fries that I ate with my omelettes on the road were good for the gut! But of course one needs to account for the oils used and the associated calories. If one could do it at home with ghee from grass-fed cows, well it's health food! There is lots to think about here. I might need to expand my sources of RS.
Wilbur, my thoughts exactly!!I've been concentrating on RS2, and NSPs- inulin and psyllium and glucomannon to be specific - not really thinking that I may be missing out on something critical (RS3) because I get so much RS2 and that should be enough. RS3 did not seem worth the bother because such small amounts compared to RS2 (case in point, Tim's potato starch tab which gives RS2 an uncooked potato as 22gm vs cooked and multiple cooling cycles at 6gm). But it appears that RS3 is a different critter and may require special attention!
I think it's quite possible to get enough fiber from the diet alone. But, as Wilbur was describing, when eating out a lot or if you feel you are missing out on fiber, then take a supplemental dose.To me it's an easy decision. A spoonful of potato starch or inulin is simply adding back an ingredient that has been processed/cooked out of our food...
Are there any RS3 supplemental powders? Something that increases fiber content without eating all the calories?
There are RS3 starches being produced for the food industry, but none are available in small quantities, as far as I know. It's sold under such names as Penfibe and ActiStar. It's made by repeatedly heating and cooling potato or tapioca starch until the RS3 content is very high. I've heard you can email the companies that make it and ask for a free sample.PenFibe RS and ROActiStar InfoYes, these need to be available as a supplement, but until they are, my recommendation has always been to eat most of your starches (beans, rice, potatoes) only after they have been cooked and cooled, and supplement with potato starch or inulin mainly. 1-2TBS of PS or inulin seems to be a good amount for most people, but others have found it better to take even more.
There is a german product, called Symbioflor - it is rs3 (5gram i think) and glucomannan - I have used it for months
Symbioflor is sold in Holland as well, but as a bacteria product to restore gut flora, improve immune system. You start with Symbioflor Pro (green) and then change to Symbioflor 1 (red) and Symbioflor 2 (blue).A probiotic and not a resistant starch source.http://www.symbiopharm.de/en/products/symbioflor-2.htmlJo tB
Sorry, I meant Symbiointest by the same company! :Dhttp://www.symbiopharm.de/en/products/symbiointest-the-nutritional-supplement-with-fibre.html
PenFibe is a chemically modified type RS4 - chemical modification is the only way to get potato starch to 85% fiber content!
Wonderful article, Tim. Now, I eat cold sweet potatoes nightly. I'm sure you've covered this somewhere on the site, but - am I getting RS3 from them? In other words, are cold sweet potatoes a source RS3 like cold white rice or cold white potatoes?Debbie
No, no RS3 in SP - answered my own question.
I’ve pulled out an interesting piece on raw potatoes that will interest us (and our gut bugs as well) from a book I’m reading at the moment, called the Acid Alkaline Balance Diet, Felicia Kliment:The Healing Value of Raw PotatoesOnce I understood how foods that the digestive system can’t handle disrupt the acid-alkaline balance in the digestive tract, I figured out what foods gave me acid reflux and eliminated them. These troublesome foods were largely acidic in taste (because of their overabundance of protons): fruit, vinegar, and caffeine, which leaves a sour taste in the mouth. I did well on such alkaline foods as white potatoes, string beans, cauliflower, peas, and other root vegetables. On the other hand, therewere alkaline foods such as radishes, mustard, onions, garlic, herbs, and spices I avoided because their bitter, sharp taste irritated my digestive tract.Thus bland-tasting foods became the staple of my breakfast and lunch; I cook them in a frying pan along with some vegetables in a little water. I drink the water the potatoes and vegetables are cooked in. At first, I ate potatoes and vegetables because they were the only foods I could digest. I never anticipated the miraculous healing effect they would have. I began by cooking the potatoes until they were soft. Then some instinct told me to cook them less. As I began to feel better I realized it was because I was barely cooking the potatoes, so I cooked them less and less. After I had been on this nearly raw potato diet for a year, I went to a dinner party where the hostess served a highly spiced Spanish concoction of some sort. For the first time in years after eating something so spicy it burned my tongue, I didn’t get acid indigestion. A few weeks later I had a pizza with garlic, which also had no effect. My digestive problems gradually became a thing of the past. The occasional stomach upset I have now goes away when I eat a few slices of raw potato. The raw potato also acts as an appetite suppressant, absorbing the acidic wastes in the stomach that can incite hunger. I have to post this in two parts as I have exceded the maximum characters inthe HTML code Jo tB
Part 2 of the text:The alkaline starch in the potatoes had healed my indigestion in part by absorbing and neutralizing the acid waste—which had probably lain in my digestive tract for years. I discovered another component in potatoes involved in this healing when I read a paper that Francis M. Pottenger Jr., M.D., presented at the Thirty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the American Therapeutic Society, in Atlantic City, June 4, 1937.1 In it he discussed the importance of the glue like mucilage in raw foods in helping the enzymes in the stomach break down the food mass. This brought to mind that when I ran my fingers along the inside surface of the pan in which I had cooked potatoes, I felt a sticky coating. This was mucilage! The heat from cooking had separated it out from the fiber in the potato. While mucilage is a property of all foods, it is most abundant in okra and raw meat and, as I discovered, is also plentiful in potatoes—provided they are only partially cooked. The nearly raw potatoes I’d been eating supplied two substances that improved my digestion: water, which enables the food mass in the stomach to absorb the digestive enzyme juices, and mucilage, which by coating the food mass prevents the water from seeping out. Given the vital role played by water and mucilage in the ability of the food mass in the stomach to absorb enzymes, how could a diet of totally cooked food, which has no water and enzymes to speak of, be digested? It can’t. Unlike a food mass containing some raw foods, which forms the propergluelike lump in the stomach, a mass of cooked food forms distinct layers: cooked meat, the heaviest, on the bottom; bread or cake next; then a layer of vegetables, and mashed potatoes interspersed through the three layers.Rapid digestion that leaves a minimum of food debris can’t take place unless enzymes are able to penetrate the food mass, and this isn’t possible unless some raw foods, with their supply of water and mucilage, are eaten at every meal. Mucilage also heals the stomach lining and builds up the layer of mucus that covers it. I’m convinced it was the thickening of this mucous layer from the mucilage in potatoes that has made my stomach impervious to the irritating effects of spicy foods. It makes sense that potatoes—with their high level of mucilage —can help in the regrowth of the mucus that had lined the stomach before bad diet destroyed it.Jo tB
Jo, assuming that eating raw potato will solve everyone's acid reflux, which this woman was interviewed about, is not necessarily appropriate for everyone who has a problem like this. If you google: acid reflux, differential diagnosis, you will find many, many, many reasons and causes for why a person would experience this. I entirely do not 'buy' the acid/alkaline food explanation. This woman was interviewed on a Youtube video. She said that at one point in her life she was teaching basic chemistry at a community college. It was clear from what she said about this experience that in fact, she was learning chemistry as she was teaching it. Not terribly impressive. And of course she's never actually studied how the stomach functions. Cooked food does not end up with meat (being heaviest) on the bottom..... that is entirely stupid rubbish. In fact, the easist to digest foods exit the pylorus to the duodenum ahead of more difficult to digest foods such as meat.
I think the discussion about raw potatoes is probably right, but for the wrong reasons. I've never seen mucilage described as being present in potatoes, I think what she was seeing was simply the gelled starch.As Gab said, there are lots of reasons for acid reflux, so if this lady found relief in doing what she describes, then clearly she put together some puzzle pieces that might benefit others. Thanks!
Gabrielle, It resonated with me, as I have problems with the same foods as she did. A bit further on she even recommends drinking raw potatoe juice!! It is being recommended here as well, so she must get some things right. Mayber she is coming from a different angle, but that doesn't mean she has gotten it completely wrong..Not all diabetics react the same to every intervention, some can use potato starch, others can't, but we don't shoot the messanger.Jo tB
Jo, the problem with diabetes is the gall bladder doesn't function properly. That's one. If a person also has hypothyroidism, then gastric acid secretion is reduced. Food just sits in the stomach until the stomach lurches it up the esophagus. If it's Hashimoto autoimmune thyroid disease, bile production by the liver is compromised.Healing is not terribly good with diabetes either. So anything that causes inflammation takes a lot longer to heal. She never said in the interview if she was diabetic.
Would cooked and cooled (and reheated) Italian polenta (maize meal and water) be the same thing as the African maize porrige you mention?
It's physically the same thing, but probably quite different from what is eaten by the rural Africans. Most likely, the hygiene and storage conditions found where "stale maize porridge" is prevalent turn this dish into a concoction of yeast, fungi, and bacteria that is more of a fermented food than simply "cold polenta". Hope that makes sense!
Hi Tim,I'm still plodding along. I'm finding that soluble fiber in any therapeutic amount is not my friend.:( Counter intuitive as it seems, insoluble seems a little more tolerable, as I look up fiber content of what is least painful, but still, I cannot get carried away. Quinoa keeps me alive. I have to face that fact that I feel a whole lot better when I don't eat oatmeal. Freshly cooked cornmeal for breakfast works somewhat better. I just bought a little bit of Hi-Maize, to see if that's tolerable. Maybe a bite or two of fermented vegetables as the next test.Another course of Elixa is definitely in my future. Maybe I can build on what progress I've made. Lots of fermented dairy seems OK since the last go round. I made my best batch of Grassmilk Greek yogurt so far yesterday. Great post, as always!
For those who are new to the site:As I have the autoimmune disease ankylosing spondylitis I had been recommended to avoid resistant starch as it could well make things worse. (I am a mild case) When I started taking it I did I took it slowly starting with 1 tbs per day. When I got up to 4 tbs per day I had a bad time with quite a lot of pain for a short time (2 days bad, then reducing). I almost gave up but kept on as the pain reduced. By 6 months the AS pain was no worse than it was before I started and the benefits to gut motility, smell and improved insulin sensitivity were great. Now, and I don't remember if its 20 months or 32 months later I have lost the arthritis pain in my fingers for the first time in memory and my AS is slightly less of a problem than it has been in the past.I am one of those who have had health problems for most of my life and have had to be careful of foods, stress and at one stage was supersensitive to everything I ate or drank and everything I smelled. No doctor prescribed medications worked and very little by way of "alternatives" worked either so I became an expert at psycho-social-spiritual self management and n=1 self experiments. I still avoid doctors where possible and any expert with potted answers. Good basic free range meat, fruit and vegetables, from as close to home as possible and as much home grown veg as possible + meditation, good self care and now resistant starch have been the game changers for me. Although I'm not what I call healthy I am the healthiest I've been since I was a young child and I'm well enough to travel, don't get infections, and have taken up karate in my 60s, mostly keeping up with the rest of the class who are 20-50 years younger than I am. I don't say this to boast, but to encourage others not to give up and to really give the RS a decent trial if at all possible. Some of us are delicate flowers who don't fit the normal boxes so we need encourage each other with tales of success.I am currently on a 12 or 18 day trial of Elixa and I'll report back. The first six days showed promise but I didn't continue while I was away for 5 weeks travelling in the US and Canada. One plus is that after decades of going down with every bug/infection that would do the rounds each year I've not had colds or other upper respiratory tract infections even when in close proximity to my husband who picked one up as we travelled and is even now snuffling away in my presence.Harriet
Harriet, fantastic news!! I agree with you wholeheartedly that we are all different and we all react differently to any experiment we undertake. There seem to be multiple factors to contend with when dealing with a problem, and fixating on one symptom only does not help (doctors and their pills, which often don't fit the bill). In my case it was high blood sugars equates to diabetes type 2. I went to the doctor because I had had a heavy outbreak of small lesions on my back after eating Sachertorte in Vienna while on holiday there. The connection was never made to histamines. All subsequent issues (like hair loss, itching, etc) were all related to diabetes. It takes courage to think years later that it might be something else that is wrong with me, and that it is not diabetes. And so, as you say, we have to become our own detectives and try to find solutions to our problems. It takes a lot of stumbling around but we get there in the end.Jo tB
Harriet, that all makes sense. If autoimmune disease begins in the gut, then it still takes a long time for the antibodies to reduce. Even, let's say antibodies to the yeast found in bread or beer (just about diagnostic for Crohn's) that takes months and months to go away and 1 exposure will boost them up again. Same with Coeliac. There are people with Hashimoto's who go gluten free and their antibodies go down and sometimes go away. These are people who do not have Coeliac diagnosis. I suppose in your case, with such a well established auto-immune disease, improvements require a multi-disciplined approach, as you describe so well.
Wow, Harriet! Great news. Are you back from your travels now? I'm also the incredible never-sick person you describe. Everyone around me drops like flies when a new flu or virus comes to town (I work in a hospital). I just don't get sick like I used to. I can tell when I'm fighting something off, I'll maybe get a bit light headed and funny throat feeling, but only lasts a half a day or so.I remember well that feeling in the past, it meant a week of misery. I used to get massive sinus infections and go through 2 boxes of tissues a day. Have not had a sinus infection in years.Keep us posted! I've also been keeping in touch with a lady who has Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a hereditary disease in which they warn against RS. So far, she is beating the odds of developing cancer and has no plans to stop her high fiber diet. If either of you had asked me, I would have taken the easy way out and said "Don't do it!" in regards to RS. But you are proving that RS is not something to be feared in these cases.
Harriet -I am not new to the siite, and I've been "acquainted" with you for a while. But this is the first time I've read your entire story. That's fantastic! It's amazing progress, and you own it. Funny, my wife and I were boasting on our vacation. We were first time stand-up paddle boarders with some 20 or 30-somethings. We were first to stand. We constantly had to wait for them to catch up, and they needed breaks to kneel and lie on the boards. I even shamed them into carrying a significant distance two boards at the same back to the racks (my farmer carries paid off). It feels good, and we can boast about doing the work that got us there!
Tim, I'm back home now with new fitbit and an intention to see if I can reduce some of the weight I have gained since I started on the RS. So first off is to recover from the 40 hours of travel (20 hours of travel, 20 hours of waiting for aircraft that were delayed and needed to be rescheduled) and I've restarted the Elixa probiotics. I can feel that my body is working hard not to get the infection my husband is recovering from so I'm being nice to myself. In the meantime its back to my usual diet and food cooked at home from scratch with lots of herbs. re the fitbit. I need to increase my fitness by at least 50% over the next 3 years as I have the absurd goal of getting to my black belt in karate and I need to be much fitter than I am now. I have some ideas of reducing my cortisol overproduction which may allow this and along the way thought that I may be able to increase my overall fitness by 1% a month for the next 36 months. I hope to be good enough to go for my brown belt grading in November and then it will be about 3 years or so till I can consider black belt grading. Logic tells me it isn't possible at my age and with my dodgy hips but logic told me that my current belt wasn't possible either. So here is hoping.Harriet
Booyah Harriet! Go for it and be my heroine.
Good on ya, Harriet!! Go for it girl!! Of course, you can do it, what should age stop you?Jo tB
Sorry, that should read: Why should age stop you?Jo tB
Harriet, i can't stop thinking about the progress you have made. I am so happy for you and so inspired by you. I particularly noted meditation in your list of healing practices. It is something I have done off and on for years, and have seen how helpful it can be for my issues, and yet it is one of the most difficult things for me stick with regularly. So i am grateful for the reminder.
Thank you very much from Europe!The best article I have read about resistant starch.You've helped me a lot!
My vitamin D levels about doubled after introducing more RS into my diet (starting with a powder, which gradually enabled consumption of more whole food sources), though there was the confounding variable of intermittent supplement use. At some point I'll try going without supplements and see if RS-rich foods enable me to maintain good levels of vit. D.Looking forward to the day when someone measures the RS content of tiger nuts and TN starch/flour. I'm curious about that.
BTW, I saw tiger nuts in a local health food market for the first time several days ago. The word must be spreading.
Thank you so much for putting all this together. Very much appreciated.
I have been searching through the blogs and comments this morning and am having trouble finding anything on tiger nut flour, though I thought I had saw something before. Anyway, since I am trying to keep my RS sources diverse, is it something good to throw in occasionally with the potato starch and plantain flour that I am already consuming? Thanks!
Tiger Nut flour is a very new product. I think it is an excellent source of RS and fiber, have not tried yet. I eat peeled TNs almost every day lately. It would make a great addition to PS/BF smoothie.Did you know that TN flour mixed heavily in water is a drink called Horchata? It is highly regarded in Spain as a health drink.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horchata
Thanks for the information and the link! The closest I've gotten to Horchata would be Rumchata and I'm sure a lot was lost in translation...LOL. I did order some peeled Tiger Nuts to try and I think I will purchase some of the flour next time I do an Amazon order. It's in the same price range as the plantain flour so I think it will add some good variety.Thanks for always taking the time to answer!