Two ways you can change your starch intake to revitalise your gut health

Do you feel constantly tired, demotivated and lacking enthusiasm? Struggling to get out of bed in the morning? The key to solving these issues may be in the food we eat rather than getting more shut-eye. In our hectic modern society, more often than not we choose the easiest eating option rather than the best for our health. Even a small change could make a drastic difference to your energy levels.

Fats are often labelled as the great dietary evils, leading to weight gain and diabetes. But in reality, processed carbohydrates may play a much greater role. Below are 2 techniques to revitalise your gut health and bring back your energy. Why not try them out for yourself?

Quality over quantity

Not all starch is created equal

Resistant starch is much harder to digest – it’s low surface area makes it hard for the enzymes in your gut to break down. This might sound like a bad thing, but it’s actually great for your gut microbiome! This community of bacteria lives in your gut and is super important in promoting good gut and overall health. The undigested resistant starch is broken down by these bacteria into chemicals called ‘short chain fatty-acids’ or CSFAs. These CSFAs themselves have major health benefits, reducing gut inflammation and the risk of colon cancer (1). 

But where resistant starch really makes a difference is in sugar absorption, as less is broken down into the sugar glucose than normal starch. This causes a smaller spike in blood glucose after eating, and so it helps to maintain the body’s sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Munching on lots of sugar and processed carbohydrates causes many, large spikes in blood glucose. This can cause insulin sensitivity to be lost overtime, resulting in type 2 diabetes (2).

What you can do to reset your gut?

So how can we make sure we’re eating foods with lots of resistant starch and making those little guys in our gut happy? Legumes and wholegrains have particularly high levels with fruit and vegetables also providing an important contribution. Real stars of the show include oats, green bananas, pearl barley and adzuki beans. Foods to avoid are white rice, pasta and white bread. But don’t panic! Many of these staples have much healthier alternatives, such as wholegrain sprouted bread, rye bread, wholewheat pasta and brown rice. You could even try alternatives made from completely different ingredients – think quinoa or cauliflower rice!

Low-carb diets

The buzz around low-carb diets is highly debated. Research indicates that they can be successful but may be no better than other popular diets like the low-fat diet (3). Still, by reducing carbohydrates, we can also reduce those spikes in our blood glucose caused by processed carbohydrates and sugars. A major benefit of the low-carb diet is the effect it has on increasing insulin sensitivity and it is therefore particularly useful for pre-diabetic people (4). The key to success with this diet is not trying to cut out all carbohydrate but instead to specifically reduce those carbohydrates lacking resistant starch. Cutting out beans and wholegrains is not going to shift those pounds but cutting out white bread and pasta likely will.

How can you make these changes to reset your gut?

If you’re looking for an easy way to change your starch intake to revitalise your gut, the Reset Your Health programme is perfect for you. Specially designed to give the right balance of essential nutrients to promote good gut and overall health, change your life today at Reset Your Health.

References

1 Confused about carbs? [Internet] Alliance for natural health International. [Cited 2020Jun25] Available from: https://www.anhinternational.org/news/confused-about-carbs/

2 Rogers C. Gut Well Soon. Panoma Press Ltd. 2019

3 Low-carb or low-fat diet? Both work well [Internet] NHS. [Cited 2020Jun25] Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/low-carb-or-low-fat-diet-both-work-well/ 

4 How Does Low Carb Work? [Internet] Diabetes.co.uk [Cited 2020Jun24]. Available from: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diet/how-low-carb-diets-work.html