1. Potatoes and PS
2. Other RS sources
Q. Would soaking the potato in water remove the resistant starch?
A. No. Soaking in water doesn't remove much starch, you'll see the starch at the bottom of the bowl. Pour the water off and lick it up!
Q. How can I make my own potato starch?
A. Potato starch is very easy to make...just shred and pulse the shreds in a blender, then squeeze through cheese cloth (you'll have to add some water to the blender). Squeeze it all into a bowl, let it settle to the bottom. Pour off the water and scrape the wet starch onto a plastic paper plate. Leave the plate on the counter overnight and in the morning you'll have a plate with a big chunk of nearly pure potato starch. Crumble this up and use it how you like. It will have a brownish color because you didn't add an antioxidant like they do at the starch factory. You should be easily able to get 4TBS from a pound of potatoes.
Q. Do the carbs in resistant starch count as part of my daily carb intake. In other words if I am trying to stay at 90g of carbs a day and I am taking in 40g of carbs from the resistant starch, does that mean I have 50g left or are those carbs in a different category because they are processed differently?
A. No, they don’t really count. You’ve still got 90 grams left. If you wanted to get technical, you could count RS calories as ½ fat as your gut bugs turn RS into several kinds of fat.
Q. Does anyone know if RS has any affect on blood pressure?
A. RS shouldn’t have any effect on blood pressure directly, but it does have an effect on gut and whole body inflammation, which can have a favorable effect on BP. So, fix the gut and metabolic syndrome markers, reduce inflammation and hopefully BP normalizes.
Q. Bob’s Red Mill says they make potato starch from cooked potatoes, how can that be?
A. No, they are not cooked. Most, if not all, starch processes begin by blasting the potatoes with hot water or steam to peel and clean them. This does not cook them. If they were truly cooked, there would be no resistant starch. Potato flour is made from cooked potatoes. I think sometimes they say the potatoes are 'cooked' just so it seems safer to the consumer, but they are not cooked in the sense that the starch granules are heated above 140 degrees.
Q. How can you tell if it’s raw potato starch?
A. A quick way is to mix it into a glass of water. If it’s raw starch, it will quickly settle to the bottom of the glass and form a cement-like solid. If it’s flour (cooked starch) it will just clump up and turn dough-like.
Q. How much RS is in sliced potatoes in dehydrator (potato chips)?
A. Same as raw. A raw potato that weighs 200g has about 30g of RS. If you dehydrate it, it will still have 30g. Fried potato chips will have significantly less. Just make sure to keep temp below 140 deg F.
Q. Do you think 1 tsp bid (twice daily) of potato starch is enough?
A. 1tsp is about 2.5g of RS, slightly less than the national average intake of RS. This little bit won’t do much for you. 1tsp twice daily is a good starting dose, increase it bit by bit over weeks and see how you do. I think it is going to turn out that the 'proper' dose is 10-20g of RS2 (raw starch) plus 10-20g of RS3 (cooked/cooled starch) per day. Just a hunch, but that is pretty much what I aim for. Alternatively, just get your RS from real food and skip the potato starch altogether.
Q. (From Tatertot’s Mom) Dad & I have a difference of opinion on "cold potatoes." One of us thinks it's raw potatoes, the other thinks it's cooked and chilled potatoes. Are either of us right?
A. It's really strange, but the way this works is that if you cook a potato, then cool it down, it forms the resistant starch we talk about. You can actually heat it back up and even more RS forms. It works the same with rice and beans, too. The traditional way of preparing lots of food created RS. The way we eat today, doesn't. Back in the old, old days, they would cook potatoes or yams, roots, whatever, by laying them in or next to a big fire. Then they'd eat those foods for days after the fire went out. Same as beans, think how Mexicans made big pots of beans, let them cool, and then made refried beans. Rice was always eaten the same way, make huge batches, let it cool and eat it for days either cold or reheated. RAW potatoes are also a good source of RS—actually the very best source in the world.
Here's a breakdown on what happens to RS in a regular, tennis-ball sized, potato:
Raw - contains about 30g of RS
Cooked - 1g
Cooked and cooled - 3g
Cooked, cooled, reheated - 5g
Cooked, cooled, reheated, re-cooled - 6g
It will keep gaining RS with each heating/cooling cycle, but never as much as in the first cycle, if that makes sense.
Q. For those who have been consuming PS for at least several months, have you seen any effects on weight/body composition that you can attribute to the PS?
A. I can attest to the fact that it has made maintaining my weight effortless. I’ve seen a few reports that people have lost weight easily while consuming RS. The Perfect Health Diet has a weight loss version that is high in RS that people rave about.
Q. I have been baking potatoes and chilling them, with some butter, and with the skin on......is it ok to eat the skin? I love the skin. I will bake a large potato, chop up and mix with butter, chill in fridge for a while, eat half one day and half the next day.
A. The skin is fine. The chilling effect needs to last quite a while, like at least 8 hours. But, don't sweat it. You have a good routine. If you wanted to tweak it a bit, cook 5 or 6 potatoes and store them in the fridge til you're ready to eat. They can be reheated and the RS remains.
What I like to do is heat up well-chilled potatoes in the microwave until just 'fairly warm', then mix a spoonful of potato starch in with some sour cream and put that on the potato. This makes a potato that would normally contain 'maybe' 1g of RS eaten freshly cooked, have closer to 10g of RS. That's huge for such a small tweak.
Q. Could you please tell me what amount of potato and/ or sweet potato would equate to 1 tablespoon of PS or RS? My sister doesn't want to take the PS but wants to get the health benefits of RS. I guess they would need to be chilled for at least 8 hours.
A. Sweet potato has too little RS to even consider, but they are healthy in other ways.
With regular potatoes, if you were to eat 250g per day (roughly 1/2 pound--or an average sized potato) that was cooked, cooled overnight or longer in the fridge, then reheated by microwaving or re-frying/re-baking. It would have roughly 10g of RS, or a little under 2 TBS.
With the chilling, the RS starts to form at about 50 degrees and maximizes at 10 degrees. It's also time dependant, 8 hours is probably the minimum time for some RS to form. So colder, longer for better results. Potatoes don't freeze well, they turn mushy when you thaw them, but rice and beans freeze well. Rice, beans, and potatoes all have about 15g per cup if eaten cooked, cooled, and reheated. An easy way to implement this is to simply prepare big batches and store in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat.
Q. What about RS in soaked, cooked and cooked quinoa, buckwheat or rolled oats?
Also, there are a lot of snack foods that use sprouted lentils, chia, beans . Would those be a decent source of RS 3?
A. Sprouted, definitely very little RS. The other things you mentioned all have some, but just a little bit. The RS is not really going to be a major reason to eat them, but it's a bonus if you like them and eat them anyway. Probably the things I would say to eat 'just for' the RS would be:
- Green bananas
- Dried Plantains
- Cooked, cooled, reheated potatoes/rice/beans
- Mung Bean Noodles
- Raw Potato Starch
- Raw banana flour
- A slice or two of raw potato
Q. What is the difference between raw yams, sweet potatoes, and potatoes in RS content?
A. If you weigh a raw potato (regular white potato), 15-20% of that weight is raw starch. Of that, 75% of it is RS. With me? So if you weighed out 100g of raw potato, it would contain 20g of starch, and about 15g of RS.
A sweet potato has roughly the same amount of starch, but this starch is only about 5% RS, so 100g of raw sweet potato only yields 1g of RS. Sweet potato starch is more sugar-like than white potato starch, and is useful in the biofuel industry, the same as corn starch.
Yams are a bit of a mystery. There are so many types and cultivars. True yams are nothing like sweet potatoes or white potatoes. My gut feeling is that they contain quite a bit of RS, but how much, I have no idea. The ones we buy around here in the supermarket may be bred for higher sugar content, but I am just speculating on that. The Hadza people of Africa still dig and eat the same yams that were eaten by our ancient ancestral forefathers. They lay them next to a fire to char and soften them and eat them with the insides still raw and hard, in that manner, I can see them being a great source of RS. I think a lot of times what we think of 'yams' are actually sweet potatoes.
I know this is probably more than you were wanting to know, but hey, I wasn't so sure, either...
Bottom line: Potato Starch = 64% RS by weight. Sweet Potato Starch = 5% RS by weight. Yam Starch = 10-20% RS by weight. Hope that helps!
Q. Can I freeze green bananas, potatoes, or raw starch?
A. Freezing has no effect on raw starch granules, as found in potato starch or green bananas. The only thing with bananas, they will be quite soggy when thawed, but for use in smoothies they will be fine.
The reason I can say this so confidently is because when they measure the RS in green bananas, they freeze dry it first, and the RS stays intact. The starch granules themselves actually are a form of antifreeze for the plant, remaining quite stable down to as low as -35.
There is a South American food, chuno, made by repeatedly freezing and thawing potatoes until all that is left is the starch.
Q. How much RS if all I eat is rice?
A. Cooked and cooled rice has about 5% RS by cooked weight. If you eat, say, 500g per day (about a pound) you'd be getting roughly 25g of RS -- 10X the national average. Hot, fresh cooked rice contains 0-1g, so you do the math there.
I never eat fresh cooked rice any more, I always get the Uncle Ben's Original Converted kind, cook it, freeze it, thaw, then stir-frying in a tiny bit of hot oil. The latter method really brings out the RS as it has a drying function, and results in rice that is roughly 15% RS.
Q. Do Tiger Nuts provide as much rs as raw potatoes?
A. I'd say the Tiger Nuts, as purchased in a bag, don't provide much RS at all, lots of other good fiber though, and too expensive to eat as a staple. As a snack? Par Excellence!
If you grew your own Tiger Nuts and ate them fresh from the ground, probably similar RS to a raw potato.
Q. What about corn? Anyone know? I read Hi-Maize has RS, but is that in organic corn products? My 2 favorites were organic popcorn & org blue corn chips! I have given both up BUT could add them once in a while, for the RS (and because I miss popcorn popped in CO & lathered w grass fed butter.)
A. Hi-Maize is good for RS. 50% by weight and you can bake with it according to the makers. Sold as King Arthur Hi-Maize, not organic, however. Regular corn starch contains almost zero RS. Corn itself, as in sweet corn, taco shells, or popcorn, contains a bit of RS, close to that found in rice, or roughly 5% by weight of food eaten.
Q. What are the diff between using banana flour & ps? Is there anything to look for with banana flour?
A. The big diff is RS content—30-40% for Banana Flour, 70-80% for PS. PS also mixes really well with everything, BF nor so great. Nothing really special to look for when buying banana flour, I think it’s all about the same.
Q. I was wondering if there is any significant RS to be found in rice noodles with ingredients including only rice flour and water?
A. For noodles, the highest RS is found in those made of mung bean starch, often called glass noodles. In the rice noodles, some RS, maybe just 2-3%. Mung Beans noodles are like 20% by dry weight.
Q. I sliced a green plantain yesterday and left in the oven (warmed oven for 10m then turned it off). I ate some last night but figured the RS increases w time, is that true?
I bought a green banana too, although have no idea what to do w that!
A. For the plantains, here's what I do: Buy the greenest ones you can find, no black or yellow (maybe little black spots OK). Cut the ends off, cut them in half longways, then peel. Now lay each half on a cutting board and slice longways into 4-6 long pieces. Lay these on a screen of some type, I have one made of 1/4" stainless steel mesh, you want air to be able to circulate all around them. When they are first cut is when you want to salt or spice them, otherwise nothing sticks when they are dried.
Put the whole thing in the hot sun or a warm place and if you have a fan, point a fan at them. The drier the air (low humidity) the faster they dry. Paleophil puts his in the refrigerator to dry, I usually make too many at once for that.
Air drying them like this will result in bone dry, very white plantains. They have almost no taste but remind me of saltine crackers. I put meat, cheese, almond butter, pate, or whatever on them and eat them as snack or with meals, and usually munch a slice plain while driving to work. A large plantain has roughly 30-40g of RS, so if you make 4 slices, each one is 10g or so. These are considered RS2, the raw starch.
With green bananas, I just eat them. Peel them the same as I described above and choke them down while drinking a cup of coffee, they are not that bad and really good for you. You could also blend into a smoothy.
Q. Is freezing bananas ok as far as RS?
A. Freezing won't decrease the RS in raw bananas.
Q. Banana and plantain flours contain a lot of potassium. Is the potassium in 4 tbs/day too high of a dose of the mineral?
A. Would 1/2 a banana or plantain be too much? If you have been told specifically to avoid potassium, count it and regulate, but otherwise, 4TBS of plantain flour is like half a plantain.
Q. I wonder why canned beans, which presumably are cooked using essentially the same methods used to cook beans at home (i.e., soaking and heating), contain such low amounts of RS. Can you increase the RS of canned beans by refrigerating or freezing them? I have tried several times in my life to prepare beans from scratch–never successfully. (They came out underdone, overdone, or with burst skins.)
A. It’s not so much the RS content of canned beans as it is the ‘traditional preparation’ aspect of a long soak which ferments the raw beans with Lactobacillus. Commercial canned beans are picked, cooked, canned. No fermenting. Yes, you could increase RS of canned beans by cooling/freezing. There is no real reason to never, ever eat a canned bean. It’s just that it’s so easy to soak, boil, and freeze small batches that I see no reason to go the canned route. I had never been good with beans until a few months ago. Now they turn out perfect every time. Experiment with types and cooking times, but just to recap. Soak over night or up to 48 hours, rinse, bring to boil, boil 10 minutes, turn down heat and simmer until tender. Easy Peasy.
Q. Is there much resistant starch in hummus?
A. About 5-10g per cup. Eat up!
Q. What about Mung Bean Starch Noodles, AKA “Glass Noodles”?
A. Mung bean starch noodles are a great source of RS, like 20g per 100g of dried weight. The ones I buy come in an 8oz package with 4 'bundles' of the noodles inside, 1 bundle is about 1 serving and weighs 2oz or 56g, which would supply about 10g of RS. All I do to them is soak in warm water about 20 minutes and toss in a stir fry for about 30 seconds. if you try to cook with them they turn into a pastey mess. Mung beans seem to have a feature that makes them produce retrograded RS (RS3) very efficiently. I'm told there are also mung bean paste sheets that are equally delicious. I wouldn't worry about anti-nutrients of the mung bean being in the starch, from what I seem, anti-nutrients are associated with the proteins that are removed during starch production.
Q. What’s the best way to start taking probiotics?
A.Take a very small amount of PS, like 1tsp, for now. Get some good probiotics that contain bifido, lacto, and even Saccharomyces boulardii. These are cheap. Also, buy some AOR Probiotic-3 sold by iHerb, or the one sold by Mark Sisson called Primal Flora or something similar with the same type of probiotics listed.
When you get these probiotics, take them every day, just once a day no matter what it says on the package. And start increasing the PS by 1tsp a week, if you start getting gas, just back off a little or work through it—gas isn't a bad thing.
The PS will lay the foundation for the probiotics to thrive and will help create a gut environment sustainable for them in the future. If this all works out for you and helps your rosacea, keep on with the PS and probiotics, but learn to get both from real food, ie. cooked and cooled stuff, and fermented veggies. You have the rest of your life to tweak it. Use PS as supplement not primary source once you feel you have healed your gut.
Don't skimp on the probiotics! They are just as important as the prebiotic PS.
Q. There are numerous references to PS’s ability to stabilize blood glucose (the anecdotes I read all tout BG lowering effects), but what if your BG is completely normal? Has anyone heard of it having adverse effects on healthy BG levels? How about on normal to low blood pressure.
A. It doesn’t just lower blood sugar, it makes your body more insulin sensitive (IS), which in turn lowers high blood sugar. If you are already IS, you will just remain IS. Same with blood pressure. If high blood pressure is from poor gut function, fixing that should have knock-down effect on high BP, but won’t just outright lower already low BP.
Q. Do I have the right gut bugs to eat RS?
A. I think that the missing piece to all this is solved by using RS to create an environment where known probiotics thrive and stick around. Eating probiotic foods and supplements with an inflamed, dyspeptic gut does not encourage them to stick around.
Even the earliest studies on RS showed that it lowered the intestinal pH, increased butyrate, and created an environment suitable for lactic acid producing bacteria and the entire bifido clan. The lowering of pH is gut bug moderated and creates a self-fulfilling environment. While not every single person may have the right gut bugs to see immediate results, it does seem that most people have suitable numbers of RS degraders so that RS + probiotic supplements can quickly restore balance that has a lasting effect.
Without RS (and/or other suitable fermentable fiber) the intestinal pH will be higher, butyrate production lower, and create an environment more suitable for pathogens and their biofilms, leading to a decrease in colonocyte health, more inflammation, less immune system regulation, and other downstream effects of the gut-brain connection.
Q. I see that AOR Probiotic-3 has the Potato Starch already in it. So, do you recommend the AOR 3 alone at first or adding additional PS?
A. I like to take the AOR 3 at same time as PS, but yes, they come with their own. Amazing, huh? There is actually an entire class of pharmaceutical grade potato starch on the market. Also, what I's recommend, take 1 a day for a week or so, then maybe 2 a day for a week, then back off and just take like 1 every 3-4 days. They will last a lot longer that way and I think just exposing your body to them periodically while also taking in lots of RS is perfect. Nobody really knows what the SBOs do inside you, but it seems they trigger an immune response that trains your immune system to respond appropriately to real dangers. Kind of like why babies put everything in their mouth. I think it's called "oral tolerance" in the science books.
People with immune deficiency problems are not supposed to take the SBOs, like people with advanced HIV or on immune suppressing drugs.
Q. Can you point me in the direction of any information regarding RS supplementation pre- and post-bariatric surgery? Or, even your own thoughts on the subject…
A. What I write here will be the first thing ever written on the subject… How does that make you feel?
Lots of studies suggest the quick relief from diabetes and subsequent weight loss following bariatric surgery has a lot to do with gut bugs. I believe it. My thoughts are that one should try to get as healthy of guts as possible before and then again after. After the surgery, you’ll be reeling from antibiotics I suppose, so it’s doubly important to get things back on track.
If I could give advice, it would be for afterwards to start taking 1TBS of potato starch, 1TBS of banana flour and some very good probiotics containing lacto and bifido strains. Not sure if you want to take the soil-based organism probiotics right away, but as soon as you are back to normal and eating your new regular diet, maybe a week after the surgery as long as you aren’t immune compromised in any way.
Don’t take any other fiber supplements, they will swell and could cause you problems.
Just my ideas. Hope it helps. But after any surgery, you need lots of care to get gut bugs back in shape.
Q. What probiotics do you recommend, and why?
A. Although availability and price may be a challenge, we recommend:
These four blends have the microbes most commonly missing from our lives, the soil-based organisms and other equally important microbes such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria species. All of these blends have been thoroughly vetted through third-party testing laboratories for safety, contents, and contaminates.
Q. All this talk about “soil-based organisms,” can I just eat dirt?
A. Our ancestors certainly ate lots of dirt! We don’t recommend eating dirt for several reasons: pollution and pathogens. If you grow your own vegetables, and use no chemicals, then it is perfectly fine to eat minimally washed vegetables plucked straight from the ground. Plants roots are much like our intestines and attract their own bacteria, these root bacteria keep pathogens away so the dirt clinging to roots is much safer than a shovel full of random dirt.
Q. Any theories on why farting subsides after a couple of weeks on RS? I went from farting constantly on 1 tbsp a day to barely farting on 5 tbsp in that time. Someone said no farting means empty cage, but that doesn’t explain why it seems to go away for most people? Is something being killed off in that time?
A. That’s the million dollar question. I think that lots of farting at first that quiets down after a few weeks is the pattern you want to see. Zero farts from the very beginning usually is seen by people on a VLC diet and probably indicates they are not using the potato starch at all. Mega farts all the time, for a long time, is the one I don’t understand. It seems to be a problem mostly for people who are eating a ton of salad veggies, maybe these people have a robust gut flora from that vegetation fermenters and it just has a field day with the added RS.
Someone once said they cleared up their farts by taking a spoonful of lemon juice at the same time as the potato starch, others have said it cleared up after adding probiotics. Seems it will be different for everyone.
Q. Are “soil-based organisms” dangerous?
Q. Are SBOs safe for everybody?
A. Only severely immunocompromised people should avoid SBOs. They know who they are!
Q. S. Boulardii is a yeast...is it dangerous?
Q. I’ve notice some probiotic pills contain polyvinyl alcohol and polyvinylpyrrolidone. Are these dangerous?
A. Not in the amounts used in the pills, but if you want to avoid chemicals completely, choose a different brand.