Cool Your Carbs, Lower Your Risk!

Cool Your Carbs!

Cool Your Carbs!

A few weeks ago I posted about the double benefits of cooling your carbs. You can read all about it here, but in a nutshell, when you refrigerate cooked carbs for 12 hours or overnight, a process called retrogradation takes place. A proportion of the carbs convert to Resistant Starch.

Resistant Starch is not digestible in the small intestine. That means means that the glycemic load of the food is lower, your blood sugar won't surge as high after you eat these foods, and there will be a lower insulin response too.

But there's another benefit: that undigestible Resistant Starch then travels to your large intestine, where it becomes food for your healthy inner bacteria!

So that's a win-win!

But there's an even BIGGER benefit I haven't told you about....

You see, your healthy inner bacteria, the ones who eat the Resistant Starch in your large intestine, they excrete a substance called Butyric Acid. It's a short-chain fatty acid, and it's the preferred fuel source for the cells that line our large intestine. A typical Western diet, high in processed foods and low in fibre and fruit and veggies, is associated with low levels of butyric acid in our large intestine. And that's a problem, because butyric acid has a powerful anti-inflammatory and immunomoregulatory effect in the large intestine.

So this is why diets rich in fruit, vegetables, fibre and resistant starch are protective against cancer! If we consume enough fibre (including resistant starch!) our healthy inner bacteria will thrive and will excrete healthy amounts of Butyric Acid. The cells lining our large intestine and colon will in turn have a large enough energy supply to operate as they should. This means they can regulate inflammation and activate programmed cell death (known as apoptosis) if a cell-abnormality is detected. So cells that are becoming inflamed or damaged could be repaired or destroyed before they ever get to the polyp or cancer stage.

Amazing, right?

For more detail, check out this excellent video by the CSIRO: