Whether or not the resistant starch that's one of the most exciting components of our new vegan protein powder is formally classified as fiber varies by country, but it plays a similar but distinct role in our digestion and our health.

It is also different from both soluble and insoluble fiber at the molecular level. Like conventional starches, resistant starches consist of polysacharides, but unlike those starches, resistant ones are made mostly of hard-to-digest amylose rather than the easily digestible amylopectin.

This means they are "resistant" to digestion, which means that we extract about half as many calories from them as we would from conventional starch. It also means they can add bulk to stool and speed the movement of food through the intestines, helping ease constipation and reducing the risk of devastating bowel diseases like colon cancer.

Part of this effect comes about because our good bacteria will go ahead and digest these starches for us, making resistant starch a prebiotic. The byproducts of this indirect digestion include short chain fatty acids, like acetate, butyrate (which can also be found in butter), and propionate.

These short chain fatty acids can change how our bodies respond to other fats, reducing blood fat and cholesterol levels, which can in turn reduce heart disease risk. Short chain fatty acids have also been found to improve brain health, help you sleep better, and combat dangerous inflammation.

Research shows that resistant starch may also work to destroy the bad bacteria implicated in diseases like lupus and infectious diarrhea. Plus, many experts think resistant starch has promise in the fight against obesity!

Rat studies have shown that a diet high in resistant carbs reduced the incidence of obesity in both rats genetically prone to it and those that were not. Human studies have also found that participants reported feeling less hungry after a high resistant-starch meal than a control group who had eaten a meal that contained none.

Resistant starch is also thought to help balance levels of hunger hormones as well, which was shown to translate to lower food intake in a study done on healthy adults.

Studies also show that resistant starch can reduce your glycemic reponse, thus fighting obesity related diseases like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Interestingly, though, one of these studies found this effect only in men, while others found it present in both genders.

Researchers excited about this anti-obesity weapon have also started developing a form of rice that will be lower in calories and higher in resistant starch!

In the meantime, where do you go about finding this resistant starch on your own? It's actually a rather complicated question, since the amount of resistant starch a food contains can vary with how that food is prepared.

The best method is thought to be cooking the food and then allowing it to cool; you should then eat it cold rather than reheat it. Don't go looking for resistant starch in processed food either; the extensive steps needed to turn, say, a potato into a potato chip, will likely eliminate this crucial nutrient.

If prepared correctly, certain grains and beans contain resistant starch, as do rice and potatoes. You can also increase the resistant starch content of oats by soaking them overnight in milk, milk substitute, or yogurt rather than cooking them.

Bananas are an interesting case in that the resistant starches in unripened (green) bananas slowly transform into less healthy simple sugars as the bananas ripen.

If you can take the bitter taste and firmer texture of green bananas, it's a pretty good idea to bite in, since this variety also tends to have a more favorable micronutrient profile than yellow bananas.

However, if you're not a green banana fan, no worries! Resistant starch extracted from green bananas is the kind we use in our brand new vegan protein powder!

Green banana starch also works well with a more conventional fiber called inulin, which studies show can combine with resistant starch to bring you more health benefits than you'd get if you ate either alone. Resistant starch may also be most effective as part of a mixed meal, since it can enhance mineral absorption from the other foods you eat it with.

Finally, beware that someone who doesn't eat a lot of resistant starch may initially experience gas and bloating after incorporating it into their diet, but this should subside as your system adapts.

Experts recommended that to avoid these unpleasant symptoms, one should start with a small amount of resistant starch and increase gradually as their gut becomes more efficient. Thus, the three gram dose found in a serving of our protein powder could be the perfect place to start!

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