Dietary fibre has been linked to lower rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Scientific emergence of resistance starch as a star fibre for gut health is evident in the NHMRC’s nutrient reference values report indicating that “resistant starch may be as significant if not more so for many health conditions.” Resistant starch is widely acknowledged in the scientific community as having valuable health benefits particularly in relation to bowel health. A review paper in 2001, by Dr Topping highlighted the finding that resistant starch plays a more significant role than non-starch polysaccharides in colorectal cancer prevention. It is believed that the preventative effect was most likely mediated by short chain fatty acid, butyrate. Other health benefits conferred by resistant starch include satiety for weight management, oral rehydration therapy for treatment of diarrhoea, increase in mineral absorption, reduction of growth of pathogenic bacteria and promotion of probiotic bacteria colonisation of the gastrointestinal tract.
The NHMRC (2006) recommendations for adequate intake of dietary fibre are 25g/day for women and 30g/day for men. Most Australians consume only a third of the above recommendation.
Native Africans have 10 times lower colon cancer rates than their white counterparts possibly because they regularly consume cold maize porridge as a dietary staple. Maize porridge is rich in resistant starch which ferments to produce short chain fatty acids which lower the pH in intestinal lumen. This phenomenon plays an integral role in protecting against colorectal cancer.
So where can you get your resistant starch?
- Cooked cooled potatoes
- Cooked cooled rice
- Cooked cooled pasta
- Cooked maize
- Cooked beans / lentils (pulses)
- Heinz baked beans
- Wonder White bread
- Uncle Toby’s fruit bars
- Healthwise cereals
- Sanitarium Up and Go drinks
- Nabisco high fibre premium
- Kellogg’s K-time bars
- Vogels breakfast cereals
- Lowan whole foods soy flakes
- Heinz soft fruit bars
- Aussie Bodies Protein FX Energy bars
- Basco Gluten Free Wheat Free Pancake Mix
- National Health and Medical Research Council (2006) ‘Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand including Recommended Dietary Intakes’.
- Topping D, Clifton P. ‘Short cain fatty acids and human colonic function – roles of resistant starch and non starch polysaccharides’ Physiol. Reviews 2001, 81: 1031-64.
- Nugent A. P. ‘Health Properties of Resistant Starch’, British Nutrition Foundation, Nutrition Bulletin 2005, Vol 30 No.1 27-54.
- Ramakrishna B. S. et al. ‘Amylase-Resistant Starch plus Oral Re-hydration Solution for Cholera’ New England Journal of Medicine 2000, Vol.342, No5, 308-313.
- Slavin J. L. ‘Dietary fibre and body weight’ Nutrition 2005, (3):411-8.