Have you heard the one about potatoes being bad for you?

Have you heard the one about potatoes being bad for you?

May 10, 2023Jonathan Englert

Did you know that the whole “starch is bad” thing is a myth? Think of all those amazing potatoes you’ve denied yourself!

The trick is in understanding how to properly prepare the starch. What you’re looking for is called “resistant starch,” and as we explore in this article, the benefits to your health, mood, and energy levels are spectacular.

Have you heard the one about potatoes being bad for you?

Everyone “knows” that starch is bad for you. As good as those potatoes taste, they’re meant to be a sometimes food. 

But do you like cold potatoes? Good news. You’re actually eating a superfood.

Normally, starchy foods like potatoes, pumpkin, peas, corn, beetroot, and sweet potatoes are broken down into glucose when digested, which can spike your blood sugar levels. But something very cool happens when starchy foods are cooked and then cooled; the starch turns into resistant starch. Resistant starch doesn’t break down and instead acts as a prebiotic, which is food for your good gut bacteria.

When you’re feeding your good gut bacteria, you can experience an improvement in immune health, brain function, mood, energy and sleep. 

Athletes are in on the secret

As we all know, athletes tune their bodies to an incredible degree. Resistant starch is a staple of their diets. 

This is because resistant starch provides a slow and steady release of energy, which can help athletes maintain their energy levels during long workouts or events. 

But imagine how good that can be for your day-to-day lives. Ever feel the afternoon draining on? Some resistant starch can help keep those energy levels high.

Additionally, some studies suggest that super starch may help improve insulin sensitivity and promote weight loss. Resistant starch is also great if you suffer from digestive disorders like IBS or IBD because the fermentation occurs in your large intestine instead of your small intestine, which means you’ll experience fewer unwanted symptoms.

It is, all-round, an excellent option for anyone looking to give their nutritional intake a boost.

Getting resistant starch into your body

There are plenty of ways to get resistant starch into the body, of course. Potatoes are just one option.

If you are craving some ‘taters, our top tips for enjoying more resistant starch in your diet include:

  • Put homemade potato salad on the menu
  • Bake then refrigerate your favourite starchy veg as part of your meal prep and add to salads and poke bowls throughout the week.
  • Whip up these sweet potato fritters and enjoy cold with a side salad.

But to give yourself a bit of a break from potatoes, also consider these options:

  • Unripe bananas are rich in resistant starch, but the resistant starch breaks down as bananas ripen. They might not be so pleasant to eat as-is, but they make an excellent smoothie ingredient!
  • Rice and pasta are also both examples of high-starch foods that offer resistant starch in cooled form. Cool pasta, in particular, offers a wealth of cooking opportunities. 
  • Oatmeal: Looking to get your day off to a bang? Oats are a great source of resistant starch, and oatmeal is an easy and delicious way to incorporate it into your diet. Oats are healthy in just about every other way too. Just make sure to choose steel-cut oats or rolled oats instead of instant oats, which have less resistant starch.
  • Lentil soup: Lentils are a legume that is high in resistant starch. It is also incredibly versatile and can be easily prepared in some delicious ways cold. 

Why not give resistant starch a go? Your body will certainly appreciate it as you continue to motor away all day, and your gut will thank you too!

More articles