Everything You Might Want to Know About the Potato

The best diet-and-health blog on the Web may be Stephan Guyenet’s Whole Health Source. Those who have read the footnotes of our book may have noticed that he’s our most cited blogger.

Stephan has done a series of posts on the potato, one of our “safe starches” and recommended foods. His latest and final installment has some neat information. His whole post deserves reading, but I want to highlight two points here.

Yes, Potatoes are a Safe Starch

Diseases like obesity and diabetes are primarily caused by toxic foods. Diabetes and obesity became common after vegetable oil and fructose consumption soared in the 1970s – not surprisingly, since omega-6 fats and sugar are extremely effective at inducing these diseases in laboratory animals.

Diabetes and obesity rates may serve as rough indicators of the toxicity of a people’s staple foods.

It is good to see, therefore, that potato-eating cultures have very low rates of diabetes and obesity. Here is Stephan’s graph comparing diabetes rates among the Aymara, an Andean potato-dependent tribe, and Americans:

Stephan notes that the Irish were considered a healthy and attractive people during the period when they obtained 87% of calories from the potato, and quotes Adam Smith’s remark that potatoes were “peculiarly suitable to the health of the human constitution.”

At this blog, we never disagree with Adam Smith.

Potatoes provide adequate protein

Stephan cites a curious study in which a Dr. M. Hindhede kept three men on a potatoes-and-margarine diet for a full year and required them to do increasingly arduous labor. After a year of this potato-and-fat diet, the men emerged well-muscled:

In his book, Dr. Hindhede shows a photograph of Mr. Madsen taken on December 21st, 1912, after he had lived for almost a year entirely on potatoes. This photograph shows a strong, solid, athletic-looking figure, all of whose muscles are well-developed, and without excess fat. …Hindhede had him examined by five physicians, including a diagnostician, a specialist in gastric and intestinal diseases, an X-ray specialist, and a blood specialist. They all pronounced him to be in a state of perfect health.

About 10% of the calories in potato are from protein, and since the margarine may have accounted for 50% of calories and was protein-free, the men’s protein intake was around 5% of calories. The experiment is consistent with our view that protein intake of 200 calories per day is sufficient to maintain excellent health and build muscle.


Visit Stephan’s blog for all the details about this excellent safe starch, including his concluding safety tips.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Hi tatertot and other resistant starchers. I’ve been following this discussion with some interest. Tatertot, thanks for all the information you have shared. I began trying the potato starch myself starting a little over a month ago. I started with one or two tablespoons and recently went to four a day. I’ve had the flatulence issues described here, which has now pretty well subsided. I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced intermittent weakness. I had a patch of it early on and it has returned with the 4 tablespoon dose. I would describe it as my legs and arms kind of feel like jello. Not sure it is even related, but I can’t help but wonder.

    • My guess is that it is unrelated. I can’t think of any situation that would cause a problem like weakness from eating a bit more RS.

      If you’ve been eating PHD style, you are already probably getting a good bit of RS. The 4TBS I recommended may very well be overkill! I only used that amount because it was what the scientists were using in the human studies and I wanted to copy that as much as possible. 1TBS a day may very well be sufficient. Paul J. had a good observation that using more potato starch than 1 or 1.5 TBS may just be a waste of time.

      • I’m now using 4T of tapioca starch along with the 4T of potato starch and it seems to have stabilized the low blood sugar crash after a few hours. Knock on wood.

        • MachineGhost – I wasn’t sure if you were for real or not, but it seems you are!

          I would say, don’t get too wrapped around the axle on this RS stuff.

          How is your blood sugar on a normal PHD day? The whole idea behind potato starch was to increase intake of resistant starch, the idea being it will improve cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, and some other health markers through increasing beneficial gut bacteria.

          If you are eating as Paul suggests in the PHD, and everything is going great, then just consider eating some potatoes cold, some greenish bananas, or cold rice. If you have a hard time eating those things, or on days you don’t, a couple TBS of potato starch will give you all the RS you could ever need.

          There is no established dosing recommendation, although many studies suggest we should be getting 20-50g/day. 20g/day is easily do-able with food…50g/day is hard to do.

          I think tapioca starch is not a great source of RS, but it is a good source of regular starch, but then again, so is a potato or serving of rice.

          I found a great use for potato starch–I mix 1-2TBS in the sour cream I put on a baked potato. This makes the post-prandial bg spike almost negligable. That kind of sound like what is happening by mixing tapioca starch and potato starch. You may be better off just ditching all extra starch and getting your starch from real food, then supplement with potato starch if you don’t like the BG spikes or dips. But start with real food first!

          Thanks for your comments.

          • My fasting blood glucose is optimal (92) within the PHD context.

            The real problem here was using potato starch as a carb source in my smoothies since I started PHD. I was not aware of RS until last week. So if your post-meal blood glucose readings are any indication, I was getting drowsy several hours later and not necessarily due to post-prandial spiking and crashing as I had thought.

            Of course, I was also very disturbed to find out I had not been getting anywhere near the Goldilocks Zone of net carbs. Its a real narrow range between 130g minimum and 30% maximum.

            I’m in favor of real food too, but just eating solid potatoes and rice all the time is boring. A PHD smoothie contributes to a different experience.

            Great use for the potato starch! It may be the ultimate post-prandial spike reducer that no one is aware of. Lets see how fast the LEF catches on.

          • Funny. You were using raw potato starch in an attempt to increase you safe starch intake. Glad you figured out what went wrong!

      • Ah, well, I like my safe starches hot! 🙂

        • Me, too! Just keep all this stuff in the back of your mind in case you start hearing great things about RS and they want to sell you man-made products. There is more than one way to skin a potato!

  2. Kate,
    Hi I am 55 year female who noticed the opposite of weakness. In fact, I felt more endurance and especially when having to do physical labor outside. I seem to have increased my stamina. I am thinking that is why RS in the form of maize is being used in the athlete’s energy drinks.

    Do you have any foods that have caused you this problem previously? Just curious.

  3. Hi Sunday, I’m glad to hear your stamina has increased. Maybe mine will too eventually. I’m 54 and very active. For me this has been a unique and distinct occurrence. the first bout lasted about 4 days and was more severe than the current bout, which is up to day 3. Of course it may have nothing to do with the PS, but the timing fits. Perhaps it is some sort of herxheimer reaction brought on by the changes in gut flora.

  4. Here’s a new post on RS: Lots of good links if you are wanting to read some good science!

  5. George wrote an interesting post about butter that touches on RS.

    It includes this very interesting link: http://www.gutpathogens.com/content/5/1/3
    The interesting bit is the section where you search for “caution”: D-lactic and propionic acid – a cautionary tale

    Basically they are warning that when the gut flora produces butyrate, all is well and good, but when it produces D-lactic acid and propionic acid, that can be bad to really bad.

    George concludes that it’s best to get your butyrate from butter, but I think another way would be to take the RPS together with probiotics that produce only butyrate, in the hope that eventually the gut flora changes.

    So since we want the probiotics to get into the gut undisturbed and in great quantities, drinking water+RPS+probiotics during the fast might be the best way to do that.


  6. Wout – Funny, I just emailed someone that exact same study yesterday, but focused on the part about germ-free mice.

    I get the argument all the time, “I can get all the butyrate I need from butter”. I can’t argue it, but you can’t prove it. I have seen studies that suggest ingested butyrate is a completely different thing than endogenous butyrate. The cells that line the colon (colonocytes) thrive on endogenous butyrate, but butyrate from butter is fully digested in the small intestine–so how does it benefit the colonocytes?

    I never meant to set myself up as the guru of gut flora. I’m not. There is so much learning going on in the gut flora realm it will be decades before it is all sorted out.

    I have seen credible evidence that a diet with ample RS favors the growth of ‘good’ bacteria–the butyrate producers, and crowds out ‘bad’ bacteria. I have also seen credible evidence that a diet with ample RS results in a very healthy large intestine with a much less permeable mucous layer and much more healthy ‘crypts and gaps’.

    I also am fully convinced that taking probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, whole milk, or fermented veggies alongside, or mixed with, raw potato starch give the probiotics an advantage in traversing the upper digestive system in tact.

    Big money is being spent on producing manufactured ways to encapsulate probiotics inside of resistant starch to make a shelf-stable product.

    When mixed together, however, the probiotics attach themselves to the RS and begin feeding which allows them to make the journey to the large intestine. This mixture is not shelf-stable so of no use to a manufacturer, but easily manipulated for home use. Hope that makes sense.

    • Like it or not, you are the unappointed, official RS expert! 😛

      Have you determined the minimum RS dose needed to prevent any post-prandial spiking for various meals? If 1T is good for a baked potato, what about an entire PHD meal or a PHD smoothie?

  7. http://www.valemaisalimentos.com.br/material/2.pdf

    This research paper has a lot of good experiments using smaller amounts of RS.

    “Not only does resistant starch benefit health via fermentation, but because the starch does not contribute directly to blood glucose, it also helps to lower blood glucose and insulin levels. Reductions in plasma glucose and insulin responses were seen following meal-based resistant starch intakes of 11.5 g resistant starch, whereas postprandial blood glucose and insulin responses in adults with untreated borderline diabetes were lower after eating a meal containing 6 g resistant starch. Postprandial insulin responses decreased slightly but significantly in hypertriglyceridemic patients
    following consumption of a meal containing 5.8 g resistant starch. Glucose and insulin effects are less apparent when available carbohydrate is matched betweentest and control diets; for example Higgins and colleagues reported no effects when meals contained up to 10 g resistant starch.”

    Not sure if this will come across easily readable, but considering 1TBS of potato starch contains about 7g RS, then I would think 1TBS is a good amount to go along with a meal, and more may not be better in this case. A daily total of more than 1.5TBS is possibly overkill as gut bacteria seem to be able to keep up with about 10g/day, even though 30-50g is used in many studies.

    Hope that helps!

  8. I bet spring roll wrappers have some RS , Especially
    since you eat them cold. What do you think, Tater?

  9. ….with cold rice sticks as part of the filling it would have a bit more so it seems a handy thing to make if there are no cold potatoes in the fridge and probably better for me than the toasted rice crackers that were my fall back emergency starch.

    • Yes, that would probably be better than rice crackers.

      If you are looking for a snacky idea, I have been making cookie dough and freezing it in balls for easy snacking. I use plantain flour like http://www.amazon.com/Barry-Farm-Plantain-Flour-lb/dp/B000F9ZM5Y which is about 4g of RS per TBS.

      I use 1 cup (16TBS) of plantain flour, 1 stick of slightly melted butter, sweetener of choice, splash of pure vanilla extract. Mash it all together and roll into 16 balls. Lay on wax paper in freezer until frozen, then store in a ziplock bag until eaten. You can add nuts, chocolate chips or whatever as well.


      • Be aware that isn’t real plaintain flour. The genuine thing is very hard to find, at least in bulk quantities to be cost effective.

        • MG – Could you expand on that?

          From what I can gather, plantain flour, also known as green banana flour, is all made from the same thing: Plantain bananas. Would you look at this website and tell me if you consider their product ‘real’ plantain flour: http://www.wedoglutenfree.com/


      • Thanks..They do sound dangerous!

  10. It looks tough to tell from the website, though Kenya is a good sign. Green, unripe bananas are definitely not the same thing as plaintains in common American usage. The company could be engaging in obfuscation or they could be renaming plaintains to bananas for marketing purposes. The key would be whether they are selling unripe dessert/sweet bananas or cooking bananas which are not sweet. I suggest giving them a call and finding out exactly what they are selling.

    • Well, it does say on their site that this is just green bananas. Nothing else. From their page…

      Making banana flour is a simple process of peeling, drying and grinding the bananas into flour. There is only one ingredient: bananas!! WEDO banana flour is made from green plantain bananas, a staple food for many poor countries but rarely mentioned in the United States. These fruits are one of a handful of foods containing RS 2 , an important form of resistant starch. Resistant starches, unlike normal starches, are not digested in the small intestine, providing numerous benefits including preventing colon cancer and diabetes, promoting of weight loss, and boosting the immune system. Currently, western diets are getting only 3-7 grams of resistant starch each day, falling well short of the recommended amount of 15-20 grams (Brown 2004). WEDO Banana flour has 82 grams of RS 2 in each package, making it an essential addition to a healthy diet.

      I believe this is legit!

      • I’m inclined to trust WEDO more than the Barry Farm product on Amazon.

        However, WEDO says they expected their very first shipment in from the Phillipines in mid-June — I thought it was coming from Kenya?

        Did you find the Barry Farm product to be sweet?

  11. Thanks! I just posted a question on their site. Will report back with what they say.

    Wouldn’t green bananas have the same RS that plantains have?

  12. I called the Barry Farm folks from the Amazon link above–they said their stuff is made in Brazil or other South American countries depending on the supplier, but they thought it was definitely from plantains. The reason they gave was that plantains are way cheaper than regular bananas and regular bananas are controlled mostly my Dole. It sounds like there was an element of government/rebel/drug-lord thing that Dole got in big trouble for, ie. they were paying drug lords to protect their banana plantaion workers from other drug lords and got in trouble with the government forces–wild stuff!

    Anyway, they said there is another product that some people get confused with: Fu Fu Flour

    I have never heard of that, but this is from Wikipedia:

    “In Ghana, before cassava was introduced, fufu was made with yams. In some situation it is made with plantain or cocoyam. In Nigeria and Cameroon, fufu is white and sticky (if plantain is not mixed with the cassava when pounding). The traditional method of eating fufu is to pinch some of the fufu off in one’s right hand fingers and form it into an easily digestible round ball. The ball is then dipped in soup and swallowed whole. Chewing the ball of fufu is traditionally discouraged.[by whom?]

    A similar staple in Sub-Saharan Africa is ugali, which is usually made from maize flour (masa) and is eaten in the eastern African Great Lakes region and Southern Africa. The name ugali is used to refer to the dish in Kenya and Tanzania. Closely related staples are called nshima in Zambia, nsima in Malawi, sadza in Zimbabwe, pap in South Africa, posho in Uganda, luku, fufu, nshima, moteke, semoule and bugari in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and phaletshe in Botswana.”

    So, maybe that is the stuff that Machine Ghost was thinking of???

    Anyway, I think if you buy something called ‘green banana flour’ or ‘plantain flour’ it is just plantains, dried and ground up.

    Wow! The stuff you learn. Thanks guys!

  13. Sorry for the second post, I just wanted to split this up to make it easier to read.

    While looking into this, I stumbled across this paper: http://kasetsartjournal.ku.ac.th/kuj_files/2009/A0902161448009977.pdf

    In it, they assess the RS value of common Thai foods. A lot of time devoted to banana flour, which was found to be 50-65% for several different brands, so I think it’s safe to say nearly all banana/plantain flour will fall in this range, and it jives with other papaers on the subject.

    Anyway, they also assessed cassava starch, aka tapioca flour/starch at 44%. I know we talked about this previosly, and I had emailed Bob’s Red Mill to ask about the processing method. They sent me this reply:

    [Well, that didn’t work, the reply was in a zipped pdf file that I can’t cut and paste…but basically they said their product was washed, pulped and dried to remove cyanide, doesn’t sound like it was cooked] If anybody wants to see it, email me at akman2012@live.com and I will forward it to you…

    • Darn, I was hoping there was a distinction between starch being uncooked and flour being cooked.

      So it now seems tapioca flour is not a suitable carb replacement for potato starch, though you certainly get a bit more carbs!

      Is Bob’s rice powder cooked or uncooked?

      • Tapioca starch/flour, as sold by Bob’s, should be about 45% RS by weight. Not bad, about the same as Hi-Maize.

        No idea about rice products, but rice is pretty low in RS no matter how it’s made, raw, cooked, cooled — it’s mainly digestible starch and under 5% RS.

      • Oh, you are talking about using them as a carb replacement–not for RS…all the rice products should be great for that!

        • Yeah, but then you have arsenic issues!

          I think [rice] dextrose is the only reasonable answer at this point. The question is how much potato starch will be necessary to prevent any postprandial spiking?

          • I have been having a big baked potato every day for lunch w/sour cream. Normally this would cause a pp reading of 160+ at 1 hour, return about to normal at 2-3hrs. I have been stirring a heaping TBS of raw starch in the sour cream and mixing with the potato after it’s cooled slightly. PP is around 110-120 at 30 min and back to fasting level in 1 hour. FBG has been 85-95 last few months, was previously 120-130.

            I just sent in my American Gut sample today, so I can start backing off the potato starch. I had been keeping at 4TBS a day for past several months. I want to titrate down now and see where minimum dose is, and maybe do RS with just food for a while.

          • Could you weigh your “big baked potato” raw or cooked and let us know so we can calculate the amount of carbs in it?

            Do you eat the skin?

          • They are off the salad bar at work, so weighing is easy! I always try to get one that weighs very close to 1/2 pound (226g).

            According to FitDay, that’s 43.9g carbs.

    • Okay, I tapered down to 1 tbsp per day of Potato Starch and have recently been mixing in my Greek Kefir. I have not sent off a sample to the gut project, but would like to at the end of summer. By then, I will have been eating PHD for about 8 months. Supp’ing with RS for 3 months.

      Do you think 1 tbsp per day will be beneficial or should I up it? Thank you for all of your info Tatertot!

      • I think 1TBS/day is a perfect amount. If you also eat some green bananas and cold potatoes a couple times a week, you are getting 2-4 times the RS of the average American. If you are considering doing the American Gut Project, they are slow–so get it ordered now and be ready to send in when you want. Mine took about 8 weeks to get here. They say results can take 6 mo!

  14. Thanks Tatertot! I went to order the Banana Flour from WeDoGlutenFree and they are waiting on supply so it is backordered. I can’t wait to try it. I am going to make your cookie dough. 😛

  15. Oh right…acrylomides, forgot about them. Thanks for the reminder.

  16. John Henderson


    Anyone in Australia know a good brand of Potato Flour without sulphur dioxide in it? Unfortunately Bobs Red Mill potato flour can’t be imported to Australia.


    • Hi John,
      I take it you mean potato starch, potato flour is actually different stuff to p.starch.

      Anyway, i had no problems importing p.starch, i got bobs red mill p.starch from iherb.com & used DHL shipping. done this twice now, one bag & then 2 bags.

  17. So far no change in fasting blood sugar even with 4 tbs right after dinner. It is still a bit over 100

    I am sleeping better. And the TMI department has improved.

    Tater, it seems you now think 4 tbs is too much. What if you don’t get the same results with less. Would be comfortable staying with4 T if that was the only way to maintain the improvements?

    • It’s a journey! This is ground-breaking stuff, using RS for BG control, and using potato starch for RS.

      I think it’s an individual thing–balancing gas, BG, sleep and whatever other markers one uses.

      Have you checked your FBG at different times throughout the morning? I noticed mine is highest when I first get up and drops about 5 pts per hour until I eat at 11 or 12. So, like 110 upon waking and 90 at 11. Not sure what that means, but I don’t think it’s worrisome. My FBG upon waking was 130+ before PHD.

  18. No I haven’t check that way. Will try. Very curious to understand what is giving me such good sleep if it isn’t better blood sugar.

  19. Ellen – I think the reason for the great sleep produced by supplementing with potato starch is buried in the secrets of SuperStarch.

    A company called Generation UCan patented a product called SuperStarch. They say it is regular corn starch converted to SuperStarch with a top-secret hydrothermal process.

    I think what they have done is take regular corn starch. then heated and cooled it several times to form a high percentage of retrograded resistant starch, a well-studied phenomenon, and the reason that cooked and cooled potatoes have more RS than hot potatoes.

    They are touting SuperStarch as an energy booster that delays the digestion of the starch, spreads it out and gives a timed-release glucose feed for the athlete.

    I think this is the same thing that’s happening when we eat some potato starch in the afternoon or evening. Normally, and especially if LC, all the glucose/starch/sugar we eat is digested and gone from our system by around midnight. Come 2-3am, we are starved for glucose and the liver needs to start kicking some out–that’s what wakes us up. But with a bolus of potato starch in us, it slows down digestion of all starch and spreads out the release of glucose over the entire night. Result-no need for liver produced glucose to fuel us through the night and a good night’s sleep.

    Maybe half bro-science/half real science, but I think this is what’s going on to some extent.

    Read about SuperStarch here: Notice no mention of RS anywhere, here or on the company website…

    • I’ve been sleeping great with potato starch as well. I already slept pretty well–my decades long chronic insomnia disappeared over five years ago when I gave up wheat. But with the potato starch I sleep even better, and seem to need a little less sleep. I assumed it had something to do with the modulation of gut bacteria. Something along these lines http://syontix.com/insomnia-series/

    • tater,
      am i right in saying that the potato starch itself, will not contain much ‘normal’ starch itself & therefore would not be much of a source of glucose.

      • You are correct. Raw potato starch will not be converted to glucose in the small intestine, as cooked potato starch would, but instead is converted to butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, in the large intestine.

  20. Tatertot and all RS folks,
    Interesting study on Crohn’s and plantain/broccoli fibres.

  21. If anyone is still following this thread, I have some new info to report.

    I had a standard lipid profile done last August on LC Paleo, one in April after 3 months after 3 months on PHD and one last week after 3 months of supplementing 4TBS of potato starch while eating PHD style:

    Aug 12
    Chol – 220
    Trigs – 56
    HDL – 49
    LDL – 155

    Apr 13
    C – 204
    T – 53
    H – 52
    L – 144

    Jul 13
    C – 195
    T – 68
    H – 40
    L – 141

    So, adding 4TBS of RS dropped my overall cholesterol, including my HDL. This observation has been described in several rat studies. While my doctor will be happy that I lowered my total cholesterol, I don’t know how happy I am. I have spent nearly 3 years getting my HDL up from a low of 21 several years ago, to see a 12 point drop over 3 months is a bit disheartening.

    For the next 3-6 months, I think I will be using the potato starch sparingly and see if I can trend my HDL back up.

    Thoughts anyone?

    • tatertot,

      Looks like you have high LDL-C similar to me. Although my numbers are much higher eating PHD levels of SAFA/cholesterol. Do you have lipid numbers before LC Paleo? Do you tend to have high LDL-C?

      If you’re a believer in LDL-P, my guess is LDL-C that high will mean high LDL-P.

      Here are some examples I’ve seen folks share. Want LDL-P<1000.

      TC 188 HDL 45 LDL-C 126 TG 87 TC/HDL 4.18 LDL-P 1641
      TC 257 HDL 72 LDL-C 176 TG 46 TC/HDL 3.57 LDL-P 1437
      TC 228 HDL 92 LDL-C 130 TG 34 TC/HDL 2.48 LDL-P 1012

    • Your numbers are very similar to mine after 6T of daily potato starch for almost six months, with the exception of high TG (3x my HDL).

      I think you’re overworried about HDL. HDL, which is a transport carrier, will go up when the body’s toxin load goes up. So you don’t want it to be too high. Forcing HDL higher with say, niacin or drugs, is just stupid, merely a band-aid to deal with whatever is causing oxidized cholesterol or infections (high LDL).

      See also: http://www.wellnessresources.com/health/articles/the_amazing_new_world_of_hdl_cholesterol/

      • Good comments. I have never really been worried about my cholesterol, it’s just that seeing such a downturn in HDL doesn’t seem optimal. The way I raised it was by eating fish almost every day and getting my Vit D up to around 60. No other supplements.

        Starnge, too, about trigs going up. When I was sick an SAD, my trigs were once 2000. At that time, my LDL was 30, and HDL was 20. When they put me on Gemfibrozil for high trigs, they went down to the 100’s and then LDL climbed to 200 or so. HDL remained in 20’s. Then they put me on statins!

        Within 6 months of starting paleo, my trigs were in the 30’s, LDL around 175, and HDL started hitting the 30’s and 40’s.

        I think, for me, it’s pretty obvious that SAD doesn’t agree with me and probably PHD safe starch paleo agrees more than LC paleo.

        I’ve never been able to convince a doc to do an advanced lipid test, they think it’s a waste of time and I don’t want to pay out of pocket.

        • @tatertot, wow, those #’s on sad are incredible. Glad you have improved so much. I don’t know if this qualifies as an advanced lipid test, but Life Extension among other companies offers the VAP test: http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplements/ItemLC804500/VAP-Blood-Test.html

          I’ve thought about doing it since I am one of the many people whose TC on paleo increases substantially. I’ve been taking some RS daily the last 5 weeks or so- I’ll post my updated numbers if I retest anytime soon.

          Thanks again for all the work you’ve down on the topic of RS. It’s all quote intriguing.

        • Thanks for sharing! My guess for the lower HDL would be that the extra fiber causes higher pathogen load, although exactly how that happens is unclear to me so it’s probably bunk :-).

          Anyway just wanted to point out that PHD recommend VitD level of 40 so I hope you’re no longer targeting 60.

          • So if excess fiber is causing pathogen load, how does that reduce HDL? And, does it indicate poorer health or better health, in general?

            My Vit D was 19. Living in AK means almost no sun for 6 month stretches! For the last couple years, I take 5000IU D3 from Sep-Mar and test in March, it’s usually 60-70 range. Then from Mar-Sep, I take nothing, but get 30 minutes a day w/o a shirt on as a minimum. September testing is usually 50-60 range. This Fall, I may take 2500IU/day and see where that puts me in the spring.

          • Maybe because it is feeding bacteria in the small intestine as Norm Robillard posits?

          • The way I understand it HDL is a transporter for the immune system, bringing “supplies” to the “front” and hauling the “carcasses” away.
            According to that reasoning if you either churn through a lot of HDL or don’t have much need for HDL, your HDL numbers will be lower. I’ve seen HDL in the 90s reported here but I don’t know what’s normal.

            The VitD at 40 recommendation seems really solid to me and I recommend you read that section of the book. Basically your body has a bunch of mechanisms that spare vitD when it’s below 30 and others that try to get rid of excess above 50 or so. Too high is not good either. Best to let it be at the level the body feels happy with, i.e. probably 40-ish.

          • Hmm I had a <commence bro-science> tag in there but WP ate it 🙂

          • I think Kresser mentioned that Isreali lifeguards that are out in the sun all day had D levels of 50-60ng/dl, but they also had a kidney stone incident rate of like 3x higher (explained by lack of K2, IMO). I am a bit over 60 but it may be too difficult to rignt-size the dosage to get it closer to 50 (+/-1ng = 100 IU). A antagonizes D so taking A can lower D. There is research suggesting 50-80 is optimal just as there is research suggesting >50 may be harmful. There’s no clear consensus yet. I think we should bow to nature and physiology. D is a hormone and hormones have a definite U-response curve.

  22. My comment is not particularly about cholesterol but that I am beginning to think that supplementing with PS is something to be done very carefully and short term.

    As I said earlier it had no effect on blood sugar but did help sleep and improved bowel function. But then ther was too much bowel function ( although not D….. Just 5 times a day) sleep went south again and some vague feeling of being somehow. “Off”. So I stopped completely. Bowels getting better, sleep, not so much.

    What I think would have been better for me is to stop the PS as soon as I had the positive changes. Then just be sure that meals provided good amounts of RS.

    • Or maybe, supplementing with PS shouldn’t be done at all!

      I’m glad we all took a leap of faith and tried. Study after study showed potato starch as the ultimate RS source, but nobody was trying it as a supplement. I can say that increasing RS has led to some substantial changes for me, the lipid profile I mentioned earlier, and blood glucose control. Whether these changes would have been harnessed more effectively by just eating PHD style with an emphasis on the RS-rich foods is hard to say, but I think that supplementing with PS is not really needed, and may take it all a step too far!

      Consider these 3 glucose readings, taken at 15 minute intervals:

      March 1st, 1 large potato, plain:

      July 8th, 1 large potato+4TBS PS:
      98,108,124,134,115, 108, 93

      July 9th, 1 large potato, plain:
      93,108,107,129, 149, 135, 116, 117

      Notice that 4 months ago, prior to PS supplementation, my BG spike after 1 potato was 203 at the 90 minute mark. Today, same meal, my BG spike was 149 at the 60 minute mark.

      Yesterday, same meal, but with 4TBS PS, the BG spike was 134 at the 45 minute mark.

      I think this shows I have increased insulin sensitivity substantially, and when supplementing with PS, there is even more BG blunting going on in the short term.

      Here’s a cool video that explains it:

      They discuss beans as the RS source, but PS is the same thing…

      • I have a feeling that ther is definitely a place for it as a very short term
        Medicine for bowel problems….remember that. It is sold, in some Scandinavian drug stores for that purpose. but probably we need better diagnostics to determine who would benefit and who might be harmed..

        But I think we are just proving that Paul knows best. :-)….the right food and some patience are safest.

  23. Hopefully, Paul will chime in……

  24. Here’s what I think. I think we all need more RS than the standard diet provides. PHD levels of RS would be just right if one ate a large portion of their potatoes and rice cold, added in a few green bananas or dried plantains now and then. Eating all warm potatoes and rice would get you at best 2-5g of RS a day. Right at or below the SAD level of RS. One cold potato and 1/2 cup of cold rice would be about 10-15g. Add a green banana for an extra 15g.

    I still think there is a sweet spot between 20-30g, or about 10g with each meal.

  25. Tim, maybe you should write Dr. Jeff Volek and ask about this. He is the one who researched the SuperStarch for UCAN. http://www.generationucan.com/pdf/technical-breakthrough-sports-innovation.pdf


    I do believe in the increased stamina because I experienced it while having to do yard work and extra-strenuous type of jobs, maybe something similar to the effects that the athletes received from RS in their UCAN drink? Do you know if any of the athletes had their microbiota tested while taking the UCAN? That would be very interesting.

    Also, like Ellen, I have never been so regular in my entire life. I feel like something miraculous has happened for me in this short term trial.

    Thank you everyone for your input.

    • Good idea, but they are pretty tight-lipped about SuperStarch other than what they have said on their website.

      I think after all the dust settles, there still may be a place for potato starch. Consider this: A cup of ‘beans’ has about 10g RS, a cold potato 5g, a cup of cold rice 10g. That’s 25g of RS in nearly 600 calories of food, if you ate them all plain. 25g of RS can be had in 3TBS of potato starch at only 120 calories, which actually turns into about 90 calories of fat in the large intestine.

      So, on a strictly per-calorie basis, potato starch may have some value-added benefits for people who have a hard time sourcing or eating the RS rich foods available to them.

  26. I apologize for the double post!!!

    Hmmm, thinking this could be a great new study for Paul Jaminet. 😀

    • You do realize that anyone who eats more than 20g of RS a day is pretty much writing history, right? Even countries with high RS consumption rarely see intakes over 15g/day.

  27. As long as we are making history in a positive manner, I am fine with that! 😎

    Tatertot, do you know of any of the reliable gut microbe testing facilities? I signed up for the “American Gut Project”, but now I am wondering if I want to wait 6 months for the results. I did a search and found this company, but don’t know if it is reliable?

  28. So since we are back to an emphasis on food I just want tell you about what I have been doing to my potatoes. After steaming them I cut them up and toss them with a little broth and salt while still warm. After a few minutes to absorb the broth I add some oil and vinegar and any seasonings, usually including some powdered seaweed.

    But that small amount of broth, which was Julia Child recommendation, is what really makes the difference in flavor and texture the next day when I eat them cold.

  29. Ellen,
    Great idea! I do something similar w/ Baby Dutch potatoes. I steam them, pour my broth over them and let them cool. Then I sprinkle sea salt, pepper, and sometimes rosemary. I can’t believe how good they are!

  30. Do you guys know if the chemistry of the starch crystals forming RS when it cools still applies when you have added things other than water? I wonder if levels of fat might impedge this reaction.

    Btw, anyone know if store bought casava flour (also called manjioca flour, aipim flour, polvilho flour, and tapioca flour here) is a good source of RS with or without being cooked and cooled? thanks!

  31. Brad – I don’t think anything can interfere with the retrogradation process. I’ve never seen anything to suggest it. What is happening, RS2 (raw starches as found in potatoes and rice), when heated, swell and burst. Upon cooling, those same granules crystalize and when completely cooled, form a new type of RS–RS3.

    Uncooked tapioca flour, or whatever it’s called, is about 45% RS in a raw state. When cooked, or even cooked and cooled, the RS content is around 2%. Not much RS3 is formed for some reason. I got that info here: http://kasetsartjournal.ku.ac.th/kuj_files/2009/A0902161448009977.pdf

    • Thanks Tater, you’re an amazing source of info on RS and I learned more in this one discussion thread than anywhere else on the web. I live in Brazil and did some searching in Portuguese and found out what I wanted to know for RS sources. There are lots of different versions of Casava flour here, even with different names. Casava is known as “mandioca” as well as “aipim” and “tapioca”. Here’s the rundown on the flours that I got mainly from this page but I confirmed on some others (http://www.nutrirfuncional.com.br/receitasemglutem.html). Use Google Translate to check it out if you’re interested.

      Flours and Starches:

      Farinha de Mandioca – casava flour, roasted.

      Polvilho Doce – casava starch, air and/or sun dried.

      Polvilho Azedo – fermented casava starch, sun dried.

      Tapioca or Farinha Tapioca – same as polvilho doce but dampened and passed through a strainer to create more texture (larger grains).

      Fécula de batata – Potato starch, supposedly dried not cooked.

      Farinha de Banana Verde – Green Banana Flour, don’t know how this is made yet.

      Farinha de Feijao branca – White bean flour, don’t know how it’s made.

      So looks like I have lots of choices here.
      The only one I’ve tried so far is the green banana flour. Just one or two teaspoons per day was enough to increase farts quite a bit, but I also eat a fair amount of cooked onions and lately a fair amount of bananas on the green-ish side. Looking forward to trying out the Polvilho Doce casava starch. It’s cheap and sold everywhere here. Do you think it’s pretty much as good as the potato starch for supplementing RS? thanks!

      • It’s really insane how many different types of flour they have here. In addition to the various casava flours they have various others derived from corn and wheat of course. I never new much about the differences because I tend to eat on the lower carb side and pretty much avoided them because I thought they were just vacant carbs/calories. Having just learned about RS, now I was motivated to learn the differences.

        It will be interesting to see if the casava starch gives me gas like the banana flour does. Do you think that means anything? ie, if I don’t get gas then it prob doesn’t have much RS? Or do you think it’s pretty safe to assume that the Polvilho has lots of RS since it’s not cooked?

        • What effect do you think the fermentation has on the RS and glycemic effect of the Polvilho starch? What I read was it was fermented until the acid level reaches 5%. I don’t have more details than that.

          • I think the reason they ferment it is to create a rising flour that does not need added yeast.

          • I have been meaning to look into the effect of fermentation on RS. I came across a paper that was exploring the RS in the Taro root as eaten as Poi in Hawaii. It didn’t seem to have much RS on it’s own, but the fermentation gave it some extra special properties that involved probiotic bacteria attaching themselves to the resistant starch and being able to survive the trip through the stomach and small intestine when attached to RS granules. I didn’t bookmark the page and can’t find the study again…

            I’m working on a monster list of RS values from about 30 different studies, putting them in one list. I want to try to decipher the value in terms of serving size as different studies use different measures, ie. % of food, % of total starch, % of dry matter etc… gets confusing and makes a huge difference!

          • Here’s a list I put together of common US foods:

            Raw Potato Starch: 8g/TBS
            Raw Potato: 25g per 100g
            Cooked Potato: 2-5g per 100g
            Cooked and cooled potato: 5-10g per 100g
            Legumes/Beans/Lentils: 5-10g per cup, cooked
            Corn Tortillas – 1-2g per
            Cooked Rice – 2-9g per 100g
            Cooled Rice- 5-13g per 100g
            Buckwheat Flour – 4g per TBS
            Plantain Flour – 5g per TBS
            Dried Plantains – 50g per 100g
            Green Banana – 10-20g (small-large)
            Ripe Banana – 0g
            Hi-Maize Corn Starch – 5g per TBS
            Regular Corn Starch – 1g per TBS (or less)
            Beets – 0g
            Turnips – 0g
            Carrots – 0g
            Jerusalem Artichokes – 0g
            Wheat Flour – 0g
            Uncooked Wheat – 2g per 100g
            Uncooked Oats – 20g per 100g

      • One last comment about Casava because I see a lot of mis-information out there mostly due to a generalization about it’s toxins…

        In Brazil there are two main types of Casava. Details can be seen here – https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandioca

        Mandioca Doce (or Aipim) – sweet casava
        Mandioca Brava or Mandioca Amarga – bitter casava

        They call the Aipim variety “mandioca doce” (sweet casava), and also “sem veneno” (without poison) and it is commonly eaten as only peeled and boiled and/or fried like you would a potato. Now probably it’s not completely void of toxins but it must have far less than the “amargo” (bitter) or “brava” (angry) variety. It’s rare to find the Amargo/Brava type of fresh root being sold in stores. It’s mostly processed industrially to produce toxin free flours and probably non-food uses.

      • I think I would use mostly banana and tapioca flours. They are really close to 50% each. Have you tried making air-dried plantains? Really easy and very tasty. I’d imagine plantains are plentiful where you are. I worry sometimes about fungicides or preservatives used in commercial flours to prevent spoilage. Making your own there is no worries.

        Shoot me an email and I’ll send you how to do it with pictures. akman2012@live.com (offer good to anyone)

        • Tater, I don’t know if you caught it in my posts above, but at least here tapioca flour is the same thing as the casava starch.

          Do you think the processing the bean flour goes through takes out the anti-nutrients that the Paleo guys avoid?

          • Yeah, I caught that about tapioca.
            Not sure about the bean flour and anti-nutrients. I have been avoiding beans for years, just recently started looking at them for RS. I have a big bowl of pinto beans soaking to cook tomorrow.

        • I read somewhere else that fermenting reduces the RS. Which makes sense. The critters doing the fermenting eat up some of the RS and the normal starch as well.

      • The white bean flour is a possible good choice. Beans contain RS1, the only type of RS that can be heated. Not sure if you could incorporate it into other things you cook, but it is probably 10-15% RS by weight.

        • Not sure why these are popping up at the bottom, I was replying to different posts above.

          The fermented casava sounds interesting. I’ll see if I can dig anything up on it. In your list of starches, potato starch is probably the most ‘potent’ in terms of RS content per calorie, if you are watching calories.

        • In case you don’t have a recipe. This is from South Texas where my wife is from: Highly recommend. Ranchero Beans: For 1-1.5 pounds Pinto Beans.
          Soak overnight. Drain water. Add fresh water–enough to cover beans plus 3 inches. Add 4 slices raw bacon cut into squares. Add one diced onion. One 14oz. can diced tomatoes. One bunch chopped cilantro. 2 halved garlic cloves. Salt to taste. One diced fresh (not pickled) jalapeno (optional). Cover and cook until beans are tender. About 4 hours. They are awesome. Key ingredient? Cilantro.

          • Forgot. Beans are simmered. Low to medium heat. Wife reminded me it’s important they stayed covered.

          • Do you put anything in the water when soaking? I’ve read some use vinegar or lemon juice to increase (decrease?) acidity.

          • Plain water she says.

          • OK, hope you get this!

            I soaked the pintos since yesterday noon on the counter. This morning there are very little bubbles, I thought it was supposed to get all frothy…

            When I stir the beans around, I see they have all split in half and there are hundreds of seed skins floating around–should I remove these somehow?

            Or did I get bad beans?

          • Tater, this always happens to me when I’m making home made soaked and roasted peanuts. I *think* it’s normal for other legumes. In the case of peanuts the skins are quite nutritious even having resveritrol (antioxidant) so I don’t try to discard the skins and anyway it would be too much work – prob impossible. I don’t know about other legume skins but could be they are good too.

          • Checked with the Mrs.– She suspects old beans. Or possibly, oversoaked…a caution she forgot to mention. She thinks a 4-10 hour soak is best. My apologies.

          • TR, 4-10 is a really big range. I think 8 hours min. (ie, overnight) is a safe one and what I have read is the norm. It may be overkill, but maybe not. And over-night is fairly convenient.

  32. Serve in small bowl/mug with liquid…..Almost, but not quite a soup.

    • TR,

      I am definitely a fan of these pintos. 😀 I haven’t had them in years when I gave up beans, but your post brought back memories. I agree about the cilantro. I add cilantro to all my homemade salsas and guacomole. I will probably give this a try again, soaking does help remove toxins. It is a delightful dish. I imagine this could be done with black beans as well? Would love to try it.

      • I would think it would work for black beans as well. Seems I recall Paul saying properly prepared beans (like the recipe) were probably harmless or very low for toxins. I gave away my copy of PHD and need to get another!

        • That seems to be what all the paleo gurus say…beans are fine as long as they are properly prepared and they fit into your need for carbs. My personal thought is that the early paleo bloggers/authors didn’t like beans because they are a staple of the vegan diet. They wanted to villify them somewhat.

          • No, they don’t like legumes because of the anti-nutrients in them. Sprouting and cooking is the best way.

            Soaking and germinating are not the same as fermenting so you can’t necessarily apply the effects of fermentation on RS to soaking and sprouting.

    • It takes longer but I try to sprout all seeds, grains, and legumes, except peanuts which I soak and roast. Not only does sprouting further reduce anit-nutrients but it increases the beneficial nutrients. Flax seeds and Sesame seeds are also an exception. I just grind them. They’re too small to bother sprouting.

  33. http://fusion.infiniteplane.com/lactic-acid-bean-fermentation.pdf

    Just found this and had a quick read-through.

    This indicates that black beans, after fermentation for 24-48 hours, have a 13% increase in RS (table 2), but when cooked, 97% of the RS disappears! (Table 4). It’s almost as if fermentation changes the RS from RS1, which withstands heat to RS2 which doesn’t. Hmmmm

    • Just had closer look–in table 4, it shows the RS of cooked fermented beans as 3.5g/kg dry weight basis.

      That is about the same figure used everywhere for black beans. 3.5% by dry weight. Which comes out to about 5g per cup of cooked black beans.

      Almost every study I’ve seen on legumes and seeds show they are between 5-10g per 100g dry.

  34. Love Ranchero beans….but will lean on potato starch for all it’s benefits.

  35. From page 212:

    Legumes are rich in toxins, and their dangers are not yet fully understood.

    Traditional cuisines that make heavy use of legumes, such as Indian cuisine, used very long cooking times as well as lengthy detoxification methods — overnight soaking, sprouting, fermentation. even with such methods, not all toxins are removed.

    But at the hasty pace of modern lives, few people soak their beans overnight or cook them for hours. It may be no coincidence that with India’s modernization, it’s rate of diabetes and obesity have soared. The country’s traditional foods may be unsafe when hurriedly prepared.

    Since human carbohydrate needs can easily be met with safer and more nutritious
    foods, we believe there is little reward and much risk to eating toxin rich legumes such as beans and peanuts. The only legumes we eat are green beans and peas.”

    • Ellen,
      Do you know if black eye peas would belong to this category? I can live on green beans & black eye peas. 😉

  36. Sunday,

    No I don’t. But a quick google makes me think not.

  37. Regarding legumes, I have been thinking that many of the cultures that relied upon beans also ate a lot of spices. I bet they provided some protection against the toxins that remained even after soaking, long cooking etc.

    • Elen, no. Spices while having some benefits of antioxidants and other things will not protect from the anti-nutrients in grains and legumes. They need to be soaked, and if possible sprouted, and then cooked. That’s the traditional method of preparation and the safest most nutritional way.

      In Brazil most people cook beans in a stove top pressure cooker. I *think* what this does is more thoroughly cooks them in less time. So, instead of slow cooking for 4 hours, they are pressure cooked for 40-60 minutes. If you eat a lot of beans and can’t deal with the hassle of soaking overnight and slow cooking for hours, you might want to pick up a pressure cooker.

      cheers, Brad

      • Brad, I did not say they did not need to be soaked sprouted etc but that the spices “might ” have mitigated the “remaining” toxins to some degree in ways that we don’t fully understand. There many compounds in spices beyond antioxidants .

    • Ellen, I recommend you go to the site westonaprice.org

      There you will find everything you want to know, and then some, about traditional and healthy food preparation of all kinds of foods including grains and legumes.

      • Sally Fallon Morrell does not approve of pressure cooking. I am not saying she is correct, just thought you should know.

        I think Weston A Price is a fabulous organization. I have been a chapter leader since the beginning. But even so I believe their information is always open to new insights and approaches, the PHD take on grains and legumes, being a prime example

  38. I picked up a bag of Mandioca (casava) flour. The package said it has 10% fiber by weight. I don’t know if this includes RS content or not. On the packages of Polvilho and Tapioca flour (both are casava STARCH) it says 0% fiber, but again, does this mean zero RS? They are both pure white and the Polvilho is a super fine powder like powdered sugar. Is potato starch like this? I opted for the Mandioca flour because it looked much less processed – it was not pure white and had grains of varying shades of off white to light brown. They do distinguish between dried (seca) and roasted (tostada) flours on the packages which is good.

    I found that just by adding enough water to the flour to get it to stick into a ball worked great for making tortillas. They hold together very well just with water and don’t need egg, oil, or other binder. The texture is very tortilla like if a bit more stretchy. Very tasty just fried in lard or butter and sprinkled with salt. I’m looking forward to using these for making soft tacos, breakfast burritos, etc. I think what I will do is add a bit of green banana flour to a batch of tortillas to increase the RS and freeze them to have readily on hand.

    Sound like a plan?

    • Here are a couple papers on preparing tortillas with different flours to increase RS you might find useful. Basically, they are just doing what you have done–combine higher RS flours to create better tortillas.



      As to your questions about the best source from what’s available in your area, I don’t have any good advice. Pure starch can be differentiated from pre-cooked starch simply by mixing it with a bit of water and looking at the results: pure starch retains it’s grains where pre-cooked starch turns into a gooey, sticky mess. This test doesn’t really determine the RS content of flour, just tells if it’s pure starch or not.

      Package labels don’t tell the whole story–they usually indicate the values of the food as prepared to eat, and RS is never even taken into consideration.

      Keep studying it and trying different combos.

      • Great info tater as usual. I mixed a couple tablespoons of the casava starch (Polvilho) in a little water. It mixed in well and the water turned milk white. There was no clumping and the particles stayed in solution well. I’m betting that it will all settle to the bottom after some time. So this looks like it’s def pure starch. Is there a chemical way to test for Amylose content? I vaguely remember reading about iodine and color changes, but that may be just a test for starch, not RS.

  39. I think we just made the case against legumes…so many variables and some potentially dangerous compounds if done incorrectly.

    http://fusion.infiniteplane.com/lactic-acid-bean-fermentation.pdf This study that I posted earlier seems to indicate that long (24-48 hr) soaks are best, and that the outcome of a long soak is to get certain lacto-bacteria to begin degrading some of the tough cell walls which leads to nutrients being more available and an increase in RS. Cooking subsequently destroys most of the RS, but it looks like most of the vitamins and nutrients are readily available instead of locked away. Freezing the cooked beans also increases the RS that stays after cooking.

    They also mention that if you save the water you soaked the beans in, and use it to soak the next batch, the bacteria gets a jump-start. They call the process ‘back-slopping’. This all sounds an awful lot like making kimchi, sauerkraut, and sour-dough bread.

    All-in-all, it does seem like beans could be a very healthy addition to a paleo or PHD diet if done ‘correctly’.

    It seems a pretty safe bet that if you wanted to eat a lot of beans, you should probably soak them a minimum of 8 hours, prepare by cooking a long time, either at a slow simmer or shorter time in pressure cooker. If you make a great big batch, the unused cooked beans could be frozen for eating later.

    • AND, we have not even touched on canned beans…are they any good? Better-worse?

      • My understanding is canned beans are better. Much lower anti-nutrients due to the fact that they have already been soaked for an extended amount of time.
        Still not as good I think as germinating/sprouting and eaten raw or cooked. Lower glycemic response – less carbs and more protein.

      • I think canned beans are the same or probably worse, as they haven’t been pre-soaked, just cooked directly in the can. I’m sensitive to the phytic acid in beans and I tell no difference between canned and the traditional overnight soak and cook. There’s no free lunch when it comes to these foods.

  40. Don’t remember if I mentioned before, but I mixed some of that casava/tapioca starch (polvilho) in water. It did not go into solution and after an hour or so settled to the bottom leaving clear water on top. Rather than throw it out I heated it on the stove. Pretty cool the way it turns from a liquid into a thick gel, in a matter of seconds, once it hits a certain temperature. Letting it cool, much of the thick consistency stays.

  41. I know this has been covered here before, but I cannot remember if reheating cold potatoes or cold rice changes them back to the way they were when first cooked. I am asking for a friend who is trying to avoid resistant starch as much as possible.

  42. Hi tatertot! I’ve been reading through the posts here and at FTA with a lot of interest. I’m stuck on the basics, though. I’ve been trying 2 tablespoons of PS in cold water, which is very easy to do. Should I be taking it on an empty stomach? Full? Is it OK to take it on an empty stomach the morning of an intermittent fast?

    I started with 2 tablespoons in the morning and 2 at night, and had some wicked gas and even cramping. But I am not 100% sure that was all the PS’s fault. Now I am starting at 1 tablespoon per day, and adding one per week until I am at 4.

    I hope you can answer my questions. Thank you for your interesting posts!

  43. Shouldn’t make a difference when you take it. I have been mixing 2TBS of PS with sour cream and putting on a baked potato at lunch–works really well to even out the glucose spike of the potato (we’re working on a FTA blog about this). As to amount, no real need probably for 4TBS–almost seems too much, really. If you look at your total daily fiber intake and shoot for 20-30g/day, using PS to make up the difference is probably the best use of PS.

    If you have Paul’s book (The Perfect Health Diet) look on page 165 concerning optimal amount of fiber. He recommends approx 23g/day, with some of it coming from the resistant starch in 1 pound of safe starches and the rest from 1-2 pounds per day of fruit and veggies. I have tracked my RS and fiber intake on a pretty good PHD day and found I was getting about 4g RS and 15-20g fiber. Adding 2TBS of PS adds 14g of RS!

    Track your fiber and RS intake and see where you stand before deciding on 4TBS (28g RS) of potato starch.

    Other ways to up fiber and RS are to eat a 1/2 cup of carefully prepared beans, a green banana, or some corn tortillas. I’m not 100% convinced that the best plan is to supplement with potato starch 100% of the time, but I am convinced it will not hurt you, aside from some embarrassing gas.

    So, maybe track a few days fiber and RS from foods and let us know where you stand. I’m curious how much we are all getting in concert with Paul’s recommendations.

  44. I use 1T PS per roughly 37.5grams of carbs. I have not used a glucose meter to check, but took tatertot’s word for it (I am not diabetic).

  45. http://www.resistantstarch.com/NR/rdonlyres/DE2ADBB0-FF7D-40A7-B409-03493FEFFDFA/4601/Foodswithresistantstarch_LR.pdf

    This doc shows that 1/2 cup of RAW rolled oats has 9 grams of RS. So it’s another option. Lots of anti-nutrients in raw oats though, so fermenting is a wise thing to do – you’d gain both probiotics as well as increased prebiotics from the RS. There are lots of recipes out there for “fermented oatmeal”, “soured porridge”, “fermented oats”, etc. Apparently this type of thing was (is?) common in Russia and other countries.

    One super simple recipe I may try out is just mixing about equal parts rolled (steel cut?) oats with Kefir and let is sit out for 8-24 hours covered with cloth/towel or rubber band-ed coffee filter. Ferment to taste per visible bubbles, sour smell, sour taste, keeping in mind the more it is fermented the healthier it becomes (up to a point – same as fermenting home made Kefir).

    FYI, I’ve used Kefir starter culture (kefir grains) from http://www.culturesforhealth.com that worked well.

  46. Oh, and everyone here likely already knows to maximize the healthfulness, you should eat the fermented oatmeal cold of course and not heat it and destroy the RS and kill the good gut critters. 😀

    • First it was potatoes and rice, then beans, now oats…I’m going to need a paleo intervention soon!

      Actually, thanks for all this. I have been meaning to look into oats.Different studies I’ve seen have placed the RS in uncooked, rolled oats at 7-14%RS and in cooked oats at .2 – .4 %RS, quite a jump.

      I’ve read the traditional muesli they eat in Switzerland was uncooked rolled oats soaked overnight in milk, sounds like they were onto something.

      I will have a read through some of the links when I get some time. How did you find the taste of the kefir fermented oats? Also, are you sure the steel cut oats are not pre-cooked? That was always my worry with the multitude of oat products on the shelf.


      • Tater, that pdf doc is put out by a promoter of the “High Maize” product so I think it’s safe to say that the raw oats number for RS is a reliable, if not conservative number.

        It’s a good point about whether or not various oat types are cooked or not. If they are toasted it’s pretty easy to tell by their darker color – more tan/brown than white than raw rolled oats – plus, if they are toasted they will be crunchier. I don’t know if it’s common to steam or boil them followed by drying – and if done, seems it would be hard to visually tell.

        I don’t know yet about the taste of fermentation, as I’ve get to try it out. Will report back if/when I do. cheers.

      • Tater, that 7-14% is half what that pdf doc from (foodinnovation.com) gives for the RS of rolled oats. It says 8.8 grams per 1/2 cup (40 grams), so RS works out to be 22% by weight.

  47. Quaker Oats FAQ page, looks like it’s all raw…

    “Quaker® Old Fashioned Oats are whole oats that are rolled to flatten them.

    Quick Quaker® Oats are made the same way but are simply cut into slightly smaller pieces so they cook faster.

    Steel Cut Oats are whole oats that have not been rolled into flakes. Instead, they are cut approximately into thirds. Cooking time is 30 minutes and the texture is heartier than rolled oats. Steel Cut Oats are also known as Scotch Oats, Pinhead Oats (in Great Britain because they resemble the size and shape of the head of a large pin) and Irish Oats.

    Instant Quaker® Oats use the exact same oats, only they are rolled a little bit thinner and cut finer so that they cook very quickly.

    • and also… “Old Fashioned and Quick Quaker Oats contain one ingredient: whole rolled oats.”

      • I’ve heard before that they are steamed … looks like they may be roasted too.


        Oats harvested from the field have their inedible outer hull mechanically removed, and the bran, endosperm and germ remain intact. The oats are then steamed and roasted. The whole oat is then either rolled flat – to become old-fashioned oats – or cut into pieces and rolled – to make quick and instant rolled oats.

        • Yeah after this I found another site that said “old fashioned oats” are steamed and then rolled flat. There’s no telling how much RS you’d end up with if you were to make hot oatmeal, then let it cool, to retrograde the starch.

          I also read that oats have much less phytase than wheat and so soaking and fermenting them would not work as well at removing the phytic acid, as with wheat and some other high phytase grains.

          The takeaway, I think, is if you want to minimize phytates, you should soak, sprout, and then sour (ferment) it, not matter which grain you use… but the higher the phytase the better. Good page here… http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2010/09/reducing-phytic-acid-in-grains-and-legumes.html

  48. Has anyone had excessive gas or discomfort taking 4 TBS of potato starch right off the bat? Recommended to start with one or two and work your way up?

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