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Thursday, 26 December 2013

Which Vegetables Are High in Resistant Starch?

by Amy Long Carrera, Demand Media

Peas are a source of resistant starch in the U.S. diet.

Peas are a source of resistant starch in the U.S. diet.
Vegetables are ranked third in sources of resistant starch consumed in the United States, according to a 2008 study in the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association.” Almost all Americans eat less than the amount of vegetables recommended to stay healthy, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eat your vegetables and other plant foods to take advantage of the health benefits of resistant starch.

Resistant Starch

Starch is your body’s primary source of energy. It exists in plant foods as long chains of glucose, the smallest form of sugar. Resistant starch is a type of starch that resists breakdown by human digestive enzymes, arriving unchanged in your colon, where bacteria ferment it into beneficial compounds. Vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals and other plant foods are good sources of resistant starch.


As a type of fiber, resistant starch is known for its laxative effect, improving the ease and frequency of your stools. The starch has been shown to improve bone-mineral density in adolescents and postmenopausal women by improving calcium absorption, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics -- formerly known as the American Dietetic Association. The academy also touts the blood sugar-lowering effects of resistant starch, as it slows the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream after a meal.

Vegetables and Resistant Starch

Vegetables are excellent sources of fiber, and some contain appreciable amounts of resistant starch. Peas have almost 2 grams of resistant starch per 100 grams of food. A 100-gram serving of lima beans or yams provides about 1.5 grams of resistant starch. You will obtain up to 2.8 grams of resistant starch per 100 grams of potato, depending on the cooking method you use. Frying potatoes retains the highest amount of resistant starch, while slow-cooking retains the lowest amount. Limit fried foods, however, as frying adds additional fat and calories. A 100-gram serving of food is equivalent to 3.75 ounces.


Most Americans consume between 3 to 8 grams of resistant starch daily, according to the 2008 “Journal of the American Dietetic Association” article. This amount is considerably lower than the amount expected to elicit health benefits, say the authors. In addition to vegetables, consume other foods with resistant starch, including bananas, oats, beans, legumes and puffed wheat cereal. Aim for a total dietary fiber intake of 25 grams daily for women and 38 grams per day for men, advises the USDA.

Friday, 20 December 2013

17 Easy Tricks to Staying Skinny Over Christmas

We'd never suggest eating nothing but veggies at your best friend's party, or swearing off your favorite pie. To stay healthy while enjoying the holidays to their fullest, follow these expert tips.

By Ava Feuer

Make a plan

The party buffet isn't going away, so make a game out of it. Promise yourself six bites of the very best stuff, and that's it, so what will it be? "If you know the desserts are great and the alcohol isn't so important to you, pre-plan for it," says Brett Blumenthal, author of A Whole New You: Six Steps to Ignite Change for Your Best Life. Put the focus on choosing the very best, most delicious stuff and really enjoying your selections. It'll help you change your mindset from one of deprivation to one of satisfaction.

What are you wearing?

Before the holiday eating madness begins, pick out a to-die-for outfit — newly purchased or sourced from your closet — to wear on New Year's Eve or shortly thereafter. If it fits now, it should slip on then as well. "I know if I go too overboard, I won't fit into this fabulous outfit I’m so excited to wear," says Kim Barnouin, author of the Skinny Bitch series and founder o fHealthy Bitch Daily. To keep to her goal, she tries on the outfit periodically.

A trick of the eye

Those in the d├ęcor world call it a "complimentary plate." We call it genius. When serving a big meal, present food on a lunch- or appetizer-sized dish, and place a larger plate with a decorative rim underneath. "It looks bigger even though people are eating less," says Molly Morgan, RD, author of The Skinny Rules. How's that for portion control?

Sleep it off

Holiday shopping. Holiday cooking. Holiday travel planning. It's no wonder you haven't been clocking as many hours in dreamland. But, it's vital to get your ZZZs — for your mind and your body. Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is produced in excess when you don't get enough sleep, and leptin, the hormone that tells your brain you're full, is in short supply. So ask your family to give you an early holiday gift — eight hours of sleep each night, all holiday season long. You'll be amazed at how much easier it is to turn down the cake and cookies when you're feeling well-rested. (Little known fact: Decision making skills are the first to go when you're working off of too few hours of sleep.)


We've been there: You decide to save all your calories for the delicious party spread, only to arrive so ravenous that you consume what feels like the entire appetizer table in five minutes. Instead, eat half a meal 30 to 45 minutes before arriving at the event, advises Dr. Ian Smith, author of Shred, and a member of the President's Council of Fitness Sports and Nutrition. "You still have some hunger, but you don't have the hunger that makes you want to gorge," he says. "You take some of your stomach out of play."

Drink up

You know how important it is to stay hydrated, but it's easy to forget that our bodies easily mistake hunger for thirst. Before you head to an event, drink an extra 16 ounces — about two glasses — of water. "It will fill you up, so you'll be less inclined to overeat," says Blumenthal. She also recommends having a glass of water or club soda between each alcoholic cocktail, which creates a buffer between you and your booze, and makes you less likely to drink as much.

Eat early

It's not just about what you eat — when you eat matters, too. A recent study at the University of Pennsylvania found that when Amtl, the clock gene in fat cells, was deleted in mice, the rodents shifted their mealtimes and became obese. The results have implications for us, too, since our metabolism is thrown off by changes in routine in the same kind of way. If you're going to a late-night or all-night party, try to eat at the same time you would normally — closer to the front-end.

Make it a holiday, not holidays

You know how hard your sister worked perfecting her chocolate cake, and you want to show her how good it is. Those cookies your kids made for the school bakesale are full of love, and absolutely worth it. Eat these things, but don't keep shoveling them in. "It's one thing to have it at the moment, but try not to have repeat performances," says Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. Pre-write gift tags and stick them on the packaging so once the party's over, all you have to do is hand off the goods!

Be mindful

A comparative three-month study showed that when it comes to weight loss, practicing a mindful approach to eating is just as effective as following a stict diet, indicating that responding to hunger and fullness cues is as important as vowing to skip dessert. So once you're sated, move away from the food, and enjoy catching up with a friend or family member you haven't seen in a while.

Indulge yourself

No matter how you spin it, eating a pint of ice cream every day won't do your waistline much good. But that doesn't mean you can't fit your favorite treats into a healthy diet. "I try to eat very well during the week, and the weekends are free rein," says Barnouin. "That way, I'm limited to two days, or if there's an event one day or a holiday, I switch the day."

Fatten up

With healthy, mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, that is. A study published in the October issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiologyshowed that a single, saturated fat-laden junk food meal is detrimental to the health of arteries while one rich in good fats does no damage. Guacamole on vegetables, nuts, and trail mix are all great options according to Morgan. Bean dips, hummus, olives and whole grain crackers are also good choices, as are protein-rich foods like chicken skewers and shrimp cocktail.

Munch on what you want now, not later

"The trick is to right away load up on all that tasty stuff," says Dr. Smith. If your aunt's artichoke dip isn't the healthiest appetizer, but you love it and know you'll end up having some eventually, take a sampling as soon as you walk in the door. Instead of feeling guilty and defeated, you'll feel like you get to have your cake and eat it too!

Keep a record

Numerous studies have shown that keeping peanut shells, wrappers, or other evidence of food consumed causes people to ultimately eat less. "It's so easy to lose track when you're eating in a very piecemeal style," says Gans of party-style meals. She suggests holding on to cocktail napkins to remind yourself how many hors d'ouevres you've eaten, or stirrers to keep tabs on the number of drinks you've sipped.

Make what you dislike

Afraid you'll eat five of those oatmeal raisin cookies before the kids get them to school for the holiday swap? Suggest baking something you dislike instead to ward off temptation, says Gans. If you hate chocolate, but know it will be a big hit with others, opt for brownies or chocolate chip cookies.

Fit in sneaky exercise

You don't have to commit to hours and hours of exercise at this busy time of year. You can stave off the pound or two you might normally gain just by fitting in two or three sweat sessions a week. A recent study found volunteers burned an average of 200 calories doing 2.5 minutes of sprint intervals, with each 30-second bout separated by four minutes of recovery time. The best part: So long as you give those short bursts your all, each workout can be a mere 15 minutes.

Variety is the spice of life

How many times have you cooked ahead for the week only to claim you can't eat one more salad and grab for the takeout menu? Your head's in the right place, but unfortunately, boredom is a huge trigger for falling off the healthy eating wagon. "Diet confusion is like muscle confusion," says Dr. Smith. "It keeps the body off-kilter. My belief is that when the body sees the same food all the time, it becomes better at digesting those foods and absorbing the calories." Just as you vary your workout routine, make sure you're noshing on a variety of foods — even if it means that leftover casserole won't make it through the week.

Put things in perspective

Despite all the hype, the average person actually only gains one pound between Thanksgiving and New Year's, according to a study inThe New England Journal of Medicine. "This a short period of time," says Blumenthal. "Compare it to a bad vacation when you're eating tons and doing what you wouldn't normally do. You probably lose that weight pretty easily once you get back to your normal life."

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Scoop on Calories, Carbs & Keeping It Real

Hi everyone!I’m Athena, and I am a fitness instructor/enthusiast blogging over at Fitness & Feta.

I’m honored to be here guest posting for Erin, the mastermind behind Creative Soul in Motion. I love that Creative Soul in Motion is not only about healthy living, but also about finding happiness, personal growth, and trying new things. I think this life outlook aligns perfectly with mine right now because I’m slowly realizing that life is not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself! I’m currently studying for my American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) personal trainer certification because I want to expand my knowledge of all things fitness related, and it’s thrilling to be learning so many interesting things about topics I feel so passionately about.

Since Erin has been focusing on diet and nutrition lately, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to share some of the diet and nutrition information I recently learned at a three day ACSM certification workshop I attended at Salem State University. Please keep in mind that I am not a registered dietician or nutritionist. I am simply passing along some of the “science” as ACSM teaches it behind calorie counting, as well as my own spin on a realistic sense of how to healthily reach your weight loss goals. Enjoy!!

Anyone know the six classes of nutrients out there?


ACSM recommends finding an appropriate balance between all of the nutrients listed above by eating a wide variety of foods, regularly consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, and trying to avoid eating the same things day in and day out. For the best training performance and health results, it is important to not think of any one nutrient as more important than the other.

Just ensure a balanced diet!
Dietary Recommendations

I’m willing to bet that most of you don’t know what percentage of your total daily calories should come from carbohydrates, fats, or proteins (the three “energy” nutrients). I know that I certainly didn’t until I attended my workshop! Go ahead, take a stab at it.

With all the mumbo jumbo out there nowadays advocating for no carb / low carb diets, would you believe that:

55-60% of your daily total calories should come from carbohydrates?

25-30% of your daily total calories should come from fat?

10-15% of your daily total calories should come from protein?

These percentages are what ACSM teaches to be in line with the American Heart Association’s guidelines for ideal energy (calorie) distribution.

This of course takes into consideration the difference between good carbs (whole grains), bad carbs (refined products), good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and bad fats (saturated and trans). For some good tips and ideas on how to fill your plate with better choices, check out the USDA’s My Plate website (formerly I’ve found this site really informative and interesting.
If it helps to calculate it out, give it a try:

Consider a 2000 calorie diet.

If 55% of your daily calories should come from carbs, just multiple 2000 by .55. That means you should consume 1100 carbohydrate calories per day. Follow the same calculations for fat and protein.

If 30% of your daily calories are coming from fat, 2000 x .30 = 600 fat calories.

Finally, if 15% of your daily calories are coming from protein, 2000 x .15 = 300 protein calories.

Pretty easy, huh?

You can also consider these dietary recommendations in grams with the following equivalents:

1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories
1 gram of protein = 4 calories
1 gram of fat = 9 calories

This comes in handy if you are big into food labels. In the same example of a 2000 calorie diet, we just figured out that 1100 calories per day should come from carbs. To calculate this in grams, just divide the 1100 calories by 4 to know that 1100 calories equates to 275 grams of carbs per day. And so on.
Caloric Considerations for Weight Management

Let’s continue with the science behind all of this. For weight loss, ACSM recommends a maximum of 1-2 pounds of fat per week for a healthy guideline. How can you accomplish this? By creating a calorie deficit!

Just increase your exercise energy expenditure while simultaneously decreasing your caloric food intake. In simpler terms, exercise more and reduce calories. Note I said reduce calories and NOT eat less! The two do not necessarily need to go hand in hand if you make the right choices.

For weight management, the first thing to keep in mind is that 1 pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories.If you take 3500 calories and divide that by 7 days in one week, you get 500 calories. What does that mean? If you burn 500 calories per day MORE than what you consume, you can lose 1 pound per week. If you are shooting for the 2 pounds a week, you will need to create a 1000 calorie deficit per day through dietary modification and exercise: -1000 calories/day x 7 days/week = -7000 calories/week.
Total Energy Expenditure

But how do you know how many calories you should be shooting for each day? Creating an energy deficit as discussed above truly depends on what ACSM teaches as “Total Energy Expenditure,” made up of three factors:

Resting Energy Expenditure: Makes up 60-70% of your total energy expenditure and is responsible for things like heartbeat maintenance, respiration, nervous function, muscle tone, and body temperature.

Physical Activity Energy Expenditure: Makes up 15-30% of your total energy expenditure and is responsible for work, leisure activities, exercise, and everyday movements such as fidgeting.

Process Food Energy Expenditure: Makes up 10% of your total energy expenditure and this is what supports your body’s ability to digest, absorb, and metabolize nutrients.

To figure out the total number of calories you need each day, you need to first estimate your resting energy expenditure from your body weight, gender, and age; then estimate your energy expenditure from physical activity, and finally calculate your total energy expenditure.

Let’s go through this process using me as an example. I’m 26 years old, weigh about 125 pounds, and would classify my activity level as moderate – heavy, probably closer to the heavier side of the spectrum.

First, convert pounds to kilograms by dividing by 2.2. For me, this means dividing 125 pounds by 2.2 to get 56.8 kg.

Then, plug your weight in kilograms into the appropriate equation, using this table as a guide.

For me the equation would be (14.7 x 56.8) + 496 = 1330.96. This number is the amount of calories I need each day just to sustain my basic life processes! This doesn’t take into account physical activity at all, so next you need to estimate the energy expenditure with physical activity.

Considering myself as a heavy category activity level, I would be a 1.9.

The last step is to multiply your resting expenditure (1330.96) by your physical activity expenditure level (1.9) = 2529. <—This is how I know what I should be basing my daily calorie amount off of as my total energy expenditure amount.
Keeping It Real

Ok, enough math & science!! Hopefully your heads aren’t spinning from all those equations. I promise they aren’t as bad as they look/sound! I am not normally in to counting calories and typically promote the ‘everything in moderation’ theory, but like I mentioned earlier I have been finding the science behind healthy living so interesting. Plus, I do think these are great tools for those of you starting out with your weight loss journeys, or are simply curious like me!

I’d like to finish up my guest post with some of my own personal tips for burning/cutting extra calories throughout the day. Aside from getting the recommended amounts of exercise in, just taking some minor steps here and there can truly add up and contribute to that caloric deficit that is so important!
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Park far away from the mall entrance, grocery store entrance, work, etc. Don’t waste time circling the parking lot for the closest possible parking spot. Walk further to where you need to be!
Do crunches or leg lifts while watching tv instead of just sitting on the couch.
Get up and walk around while talking on the phone. Maybe even do squats. Or lunges. Whatever your heart desires.
While brushing your teeth, balance on the right leg for 30 seconds, then switch to your left for 30 seconds.
Walk to your co-worker’s desk or office instead of calling or emailing.
Get a pedometer! Track your steps. Try to increase them each day.
Do calf raises while pumping gas. I love this one to see how many weird looks I get at the gas station.
Sit on an exercise ball instead of your couch at home or your desk chair at work. It will improve your posture, relieve back pain, and strengthen your core muscles. I love my Swiss Ball desk chair – it’s really done wonders for my back.
Stand and let someone else have your seat when riding the bus or subway.

And my personal favorite – smile and laugh often!!

Healthy Carb, Fat and Protein Ranges

The Numbers You Need to Know

-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian

"Help, I am way over in protein!"
"I’m not meeting my fat goal. Is this a problem?"
"How many carbohydrates should I be eating?"

Based on years of research that examined the relationship between nutrient intake and disease prevention, generally-accepted ranges have been established for carbohydrates, fat and protein intake. These healthy ranges also help to ensure that a person is getting a sufficient intake of other essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The recommendations are:
  • 45% to 65% of calories eaten should come from carbohydrates.
  • 20% to 35% of calories eaten should come from fat.
  • 10% to 35% of calories eaten should come from protein*.
The SparkDiet takes a middle-of-the-road approach with these ranges. Our specific breakdown is approximately 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat and 20% protein, all of which fall into the healthy ranges above. *Because our members are striving to meet weight loss goals through calorie restriction, we also recommend a minimum level of protein—at least 60 grams daily for females and 75 grams daily for males. This requirement will help prevent muscle loss and promote feelings of fullness among dieters. Both your Nutrition Tracker and the chart below reflect this recommendation.

Your intake of carbohydrates, fat and protein may be somewhat higher or lower than the SparkDiet recommendations, due to your taste preferences, cooking style, culture, fitness routine, health conditions and day-to-day changes in diet. Does that mean that your intake is bad or dangerous? No!

Do your best to meet at least the minimum recommendations for calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein as outlined on your Nutrition Tracker. The table below converts these percentages into grams needed each day based on calorie intake:

NutrientCarbohydratesFatProtein (Women)Protein (Men)
Healthy Range45%-65%20%-35%10%-35%10%-35%
1200 calories135-195 g27-47 g*60-105 gN/A
1500 calories169-244 g33-58 g*60-131 g*75-131 g
1800 calories203-293 g40-70 g*60-158 g*75-158 g
2100 calories236-341 g47-82 g*60-184 g*75-184 g
2400 calories270-390 g53-93 g*60-210 g*75-210 g

Monitor your diet in these ways:
  • Eat a healthy, nutrient-packed diet.
  • Watch your calories daily and try to keep them in your recommended range.
  • Check your carbohydrate, fat and protein intake based on your SparkDiet recommendations. As long as they fall in the healthy range listed on this chart above, you will be meeting your nutrient needs.
  • Choose whole grain carbohydrates like brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, oats, and avoid refined carbohydrates like white rice and white bread.
  • Choose heart-healthy fats and avoid trans fats found in processed foods.
  • Choose high-quality protein sources such as lean meats and plant-based proteins instead of fattier cuts of meat.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Is Chicken Broth Good for Weight Loss?

Is Chicken Broth Low-Cal?

Chicken broth is an ideal help for someone who wants to lose weight. However, with no national standards as to what chicken broth really is, there is no standard on how healthy your broth may be. A cup of broth usually is around 18 calories, but if you use chicken skin and fat to make it, that count can go much higher. Some broth is meatier than others, which also affects the calorie and protein count. Commercial broth often has excessive sodium, which can be avoided by buying a low-salt version or making your own.

How Nutritious is Chicken Broth?

A single cup of basic broth contains 2 to 3 percent of vitamin C, A, iron, and calcium you need. Broth created by simmering vegetables such as garlic cloves, onions, carrots, and celery along with the chicken will have a higher vitamin count. Herbs such as cilantro help add nutrients to the final broth. Phosphorus and potassium are also present in significant amounts. Adding bones to the broth while simmering adds more minerals to the finished product. Carbohydrates are nearly non-existent.

How is It Used?

A cup or two of hot chicken broth between meals can take the edge off hunger without causing a major bump in the diet. It is much healthier than drinking a soda or other carbonated drink. While it doesn't make a meal in itself, chicken broth quickly becomes the base for a wide variety of low-cal soups and other meals. A diced carrot, celery, and potato added to broth make a complete meal in just 30 minutes. Make it Asian, Mexican, or Italian depending upon the spices you choose from the rack.

Can You Cook Rice with It?

Chicken broth also adds nutrition and flavor to boiled rice. Substitute it for an equal amount of water when making your rice. Add a diced onion and bell pepper, and a drained can of diced tomatoes to the cooking rice and you have a perfect Spanish rice to complement your main dish. Or swap out a package of Ramen noodles for the rice. Both the noodles and the rice are high in carbs, but if you use only one-fourth of the Ramen seasoning package, it stays within the bounds of nutritious, quick food.

Does It Keep Well?

Homemade chicken broth keeps well in the refrigerator for about two weeks. If you want to stretch it out further, you can freeze it in small containers and have some on hand when you need it. It begins to lose its flavor after six months in the refrigerator freezer and about 12 months in a deep freezer. Straining all the fat out before freezing helps it taste better. A couple of ice-cube sized drops of broth will add measurable taste to meals made both from scratch and from store-bought packages.
There is no need to go out and buy a whole chicken to make your own broth. Save bits and pieces of chicken in a freezer container when you are preparing other meals. Add any leftover parts such as the wing tips and leg bones from roasted or rotisserie chicken from the store. Toss in bits and pieces of onion, carrots, and celery that you would normally throw away. When you have enough to fill a large pot, simmer it all together to make chicken broth your way: nutritious and healthy.


After your chicken broth is drained from the pot, you can start it all over again. Fill the pot with water the same as the first time and re-cook the chicken parts. The re-done broth will remain rich and tasty and give you twice as much broth as you expected.

8 Reasons Why Carbs Help You Lose Weight

Eating a diet packed with the right 

Kind of carbs is the little-known secret to getting and staying slim for life.

The little-known weight-loss secretEating a diet packed with the right kind of carbs is the little-known secret to getting and staying slim for life.

When we talk about the right kind of carbs, we mean Resistant Starch. Hundreds of studies conducted at respected universities and research centers have shown Resistant Starch helps you eat less, burn more calories, feel more energized and less stressed, and lower cholesterol.

Sound too good to be true? Here are eight evidence-based reasons you must get carbs back in your life if you are ever to achieve that coveted sleek, slim look.

Eating carbs makes you thin for life

A recent multicenter study found that the slimmest people also ate the most carbs, and the chubbiest ate the least. The researchers concluded that your odds of getting and staying slim are best when carbs make up to 64% of your total daily caloric intake, or 361 grams.

That’s the equivalent of several stuffed baked potatoes (a food we bet you’ve been afraid to eat for decades).

Most low-carb diets limit you to fewer than 30% of total calories from carbs and sometimes contain as few as 30 grams of carbohydrates a day.

Carbs fill you up

Many carb-filled foods act as powerful appetite suppressants. They’re even more filling than protein or fat. These special carbs fill you up because they are digested more slowly than other types of foods, triggering a sensation of fullness in both your brain and your belly.

Research done at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom found that consuming Resistant Starch in one meal caused study participants to consume 10% fewer calories (roughly 150 to 200 calories for the average woman) during the next day, because they felt less hungry.

Carbs curb your hunger

According to researchers, when dieters are taken off a low-carb diet and shifted them to an approach that includes generous amounts of fiber and Resistant Starch foods, something wonderful happens: Within two days, the dieters’ cravings go away.

The fiber and Resistant Starch fills them up and satisfies them while allowing them to eat the foods they crave. These good-news carbs also raise levels of satiety hormones that tell the brain to flip a switch that stifles hunger and turns up metabolism.

Carbs control blood sugar and diabetes

The right mix of carbs is the best way to control blood sugar and keep diabetes at bay. In one study at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Center at the USDA, participants who consumed a diet rich in high Resistant Starch foods were able to lower their post-meal blood sugar and insulin response by up to 38%.

Eat the carbs you want, but you need to combine them so that they don’t cause a spike in your blood sugar. Instead of eating white rice, switch to brown and combine it with beans, corn, or other high Resistant Starch foods that keep your blood sugar more balanced than low-carb diets.

Carbs speed up metabolism

Carbs high in Resistant Starch speed up your metabolism and your body’s other natural fat burners. As Resistant Starch moves though your digestive system, it releases fatty acids that encourage fat burning, especially in your belly.

These fatty acids help preserve muscle mass—and that stokes your metabolism, helping you lose weight faster. Researchers set out to fatten up two groups of rats, feeding one group food that was low in Resistant Starch.

A second group was fed Resistant Starch-packed food. The rats fed the low Resistant Starch chow gained fat while losing muscle mass. Rats that ate the high Resistant Starch meals preserved their muscle mass, keeping their metabolism moving.

Carbs blast belly fat

Carbs help you lose your belly fat faster than other foods, even when the same number of calories are consumed.

When scientists fed rats a diet rich in Resistant Starch, it increased the activity of fat-burning enzymes and decreased the activity of fat-storing enzymes. This means that the belly-fat cells were less likely to soak up and store calories as fat.

Carbs keep you satisfied

Carbs keep you satisfied longer than other foods. Here’s why: Your brain acts like a computerized fuel gauge that directs you to fill up whenever it notices that its gas tank (stomach) is empty.

Foods high in Resistant Starch flip on every single fullness trigger in the body. They release fullness hormones in the intestine and make your cells more sensitive to insulin.

By increasing your consumption of filling foods and releasing satiety hormones, you'll minimize your hunger and cravings.

Carbs make you feel good—about you!

“Dieters feel so empowered once they lose weight on carbs. For the first time, they are able to lose weight by eating in a balanced manner, without cutting out entire food groups,” says Sari Greaves, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

All About Resistant Starch


Resistant starch is a type of starch that isn’t fully broken down and absorbed, but rather turned into short-chain fatty acids by intestinal bacteria. This may lead to some unique health benefits. To get the most from resistant starch, choose whole, unprocessed sources of carbohydrate such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans/legumes.

What makes a starch “resistant”?

All starches are composed of two types of polysaccharides: amylose and amylopectin. 
Amylopectin is highly branched, leaving more surface area available for digestion. It’s broken down quickly, which means it produces a larger rise in blood sugar (glucose) and subsequently, a large rise in insulin.
Amylose is a straight chain, which limits the amount of surface area exposed for digestion. This predominates in RS. Foods high in amylose are digested more slowly. They’re less likely to spike blood glucose or insulin.
Thus, resistant starch is so named because it resists digestion.
amylose 300x249 All About Resistant Starch
While most starches are broken down by enzymes in our small intestine into sugar, which is then absorbed into the blood, we can’t fully absorb all kinds of starch.
Some starch — known as resistant starch (RS) — isn’t fully absorbed in the small intestine. Instead, RS makes its way to the large intestine (colon), where intestinal bacteria ferment it.
RS is similar to fibre, although nutrition labels rarely take RS into account.

SCFAs and RS

However, RS still plays an important role in our diets even though we don’t necessarily absorb it.
When RS is fermented in the large intestine, short chain fatty acids (SCFA) such as acetate, butyrate, and propionate, along with gases are produced. SCFAs can be absorbed into the body from the colon or stay put and be used by colonic bacteria for energy.
Evidence suggests that SCFAs may benefit us in many ways. For instance, they:
  • stimulate blood flow to the colon
  • increase nutrient circulation
  • inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria
  • help us absorb minerals
  • help prevent us from absorbing toxic/carcinogenic compounds
The amount of SCFAs we have in our colon is related to the amount and type of carbohydrate we consume. And if we eat plenty of RS, we have plenty of SCFAs.

Rate of digestion changes absorption

RS can also help us stay lean and healthy.
As we cover in a Research Review on processed vs. whole foods, researchers found that less-processed foods offered less energy than refined foods. In other words, although whole and processed foods may contain the same amount of calories, we absorb fewer calories of energy from whole foods.
Since RS is incompletely digested, we only extract about 2 calories of energy per gram (versus about 4 calories per gram from other starches). That means 100 grams of resistant starch is actually only worth 200 calories, while 100 grams of other starch gives us 400 calories. High-RS foods fill you up, without filling you out.
The way we’ve modified/processed grains and starchy vegetables in the modern food supply diminishes the amount of RS we consume (think: cereal bars instead of oats, burgers instead of beans, potato chips instead of boiled potatoes). And fibre sources such as wheat bran, psyllium, and methyl-cellulose (Citrucel) don’t have the same benefits.
Thus, to get the most benefits from RS, we need to consume it in whole food format.
Most developed countries (including Europe, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia), which have a highly processed diet, consume about 3-9 grams of RS per day. In developing countries, diets are often based around whole plant foods and the intake of RS tends to be around 30-40 grams per day.

Potential benefits of RS


RS may help to lower blood cholesterol and fats, while also decreasing the production of new fat cells (the latter has only been shown in rats). Also, since SCFAs can inhibit the breakdown of carbohydrates in the liver, RS can increase the amount of fat we utilize for energy.


RS can help us feel full. SCFAs can trigger the release of hormones that reduce the drive to eat (leptin, peptide YY, glucagon like peptide). After someone starts eating more RS, it may take up to one year for gut hormones to adapt.
RS slows the amount of nutrients released into the bloodstream, which keeps appetite stable.


RS doesn’t digest into blood sugar, which means our bodies don’t release much insulin in response.
RS might also improve insulin sensitivity via alterations in fatty acid flux between muscle and fat cells. Some data indicate that ghrelin might increase with RS consumption, improving insulin sensitivity (this is counterintuitive since ghrelin drives appetite). RS may also lower blood fats (see above), which also improves insulin sensitivity.


RS may help alleviate irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, constipation, and ulcerative colitis. RS can add bulk and water to the stool, aiding in regular bowel movements.
SCFAs can help to prevent the development of abnormal bacterial cells in the colon and enhance mineral absorption (especially calcium).


Since RS has less energy (calories) per gram than other starches, it can help us eat less. And consuming more RS may have a thermic effect in the body.


For those receiving treatment for cholera and/or diarrhea, RS can assist in the rehydration process (since it can normalize bowel function).


Consuming RS can influence the production of immune cells and inflammatory compounds in the gut.

Where is RS found?

RS is found in starchy plant foods such as:
  • beans/legumes
  • starchy fruits and vegetables (such as bananas)
  • whole grains
  • some types of cooked then cooled foods (such as potatoes and rice)
The longer and hotter a starch is cooked, the less RS it tends to have — except for Type 3 RS.
Types of resistant starch
Type 1: Physically inaccessibleType 2: Resistant granules
Cannot be broken down by digestive enzymes.Found in: legumes, whole and partially milled grains, seeds.Intrinsically resistant to digestion and contains high amounts of amylose.Found in: fruits, potatoes, hi-maize RS products, corn, some legumes.
Note: the more “raw” or “uncooked” a food is, the more RS it tends to have, since heat results in gelatinization of starch – making it more accessible to digestion. Type 3 starch is the exception to this rule.
Type 3: RetrogradedType 4: Chemically modified
When certain starch-rich foods are cooked and then cooled, the starch changes form, making it more resistant to digestion.Found in: cooked/cooled foods like potatoes, bread, rice, cornflakes.Companies have isolated RS (usually from corn) to include it in processed foods (e.g., breads, crackers, etc.).This is not naturally occurring RS — it’s produced mostly via chemical modification, and it’s found in synthetic and commercialized RS products, such as “Hi-Maize Resistant Starch”.

How much RS should we consume?

Data indicates that RS is safe and well tolerated up to about 40-45 grams per day. Consuming more than this might result in diarrhea and bloating, since high amounts can overwhelm the fermenting ability of our colonic bacteria.
How we respond to RS varies by the type. One might notice more side effects when consuming RS3 (versus RS1, RS2, RS4). Our ability to ferment RS can increase over time, making it possible to adapt to a higher RS intake.
RS seems to be tolerated best when:
  • It’s in solid food form (rather than liquid)
  • It’s consumed as part of a mixed meal (rather than alone)
  • Consumption is increased gradually over time (rather than a lot at once)
Here’s an idea how much RS is found in food. Note: these are average values and will vary.
Resistant Starch Chart 551x1024 All About Resistant Starch Grams of RS per 100 g of food

Summary and recommendations

We absorb more energy (calories) from cooked and highly refined and processed carbohydrate dense foods. If we let machines and ovens do the digestion for us, we are left with highly digestible starches. Not good for glucose control, staying lean, or intestinal health.
Various cultures thrive and stay lean when eating whole unprocessed legumes, intact grains and starchy vegetables. RS may be one factor that enables this.
We might see some benefits from as little as 6-12 grams/day of RS, but closer to 20 grams/day might be ideal. This is easy to get if you eat plenty of whole plant foods.
More than 40 grams/day might cause digestive problems — especially if this RS comes from industrially produced RS products. In any case, we probably don’t get the same benefits of RS if it’s processed (i.e. an industrially created RS product) as we do from whole foods.


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6 Pack Abs Are Created in the Kitchen Not The Gym

How To Get Rock Hard AbsYou're not alone if you believe that getting chiseled abs isn't simple. You'll have to pursue a strength program that incorporates hitting the weights a few times a week, regular cardio workouts, and a focused ab routine to make this happen. The market has been swamped with gimmick after gimmick, and selecting the right product can be tough when it comes to fat-loss supplements. Before you dump on your workout and supplements for not furnishing you with killer abs, you should know that the real problem may be your diet – or even your high-stress routine.
There are few things in the weight loss business that are more infuriating than the infomercials selling machines to give you a flat stomach or six-pack. All those ab machines will not do it – save your money. To look like those infomercial models takes a lot more than using the latest ab machine. That's because it's not possible to get localized fat loss.
Be A Meal Freak
Meal freaks are quite aware of how frequently they consume nutrients to build muscle and burn fat, and they get leanness and tone from muscle. Meal freaks know that it is important to consume a small balanced meal every two to three hours. Eating too much creates elevated insulin levels, which causes low blood sugar, which in turn causes the body to store fat.
Your goal should be to build lean tissue on days when you have weight-training sessions. The ratio for those days would be: 50% carbohydrates, 35% protein, and 15% fat. On the other days, aim to burn fat with this ratio: 30% carbohydrates, 50% protein, and 20% fat. For days with weight training,
• Consume the majority of your carbohydrates around your workout and in the morning.
• You can have starchy carbohydrates like oats, yams, brown rice, etc. before 5 p.m.
• Stick to fibrous carbohydrates like vegetables after 5 p.m.
• Eat enough healthy fats, like nuts, flax oil, etc., but eat them with protein and not carbohydrates.
For days without weight training,
• Eat most of your carbohydrates early.
• Try to stick to fibrous carbohydrates as much as possible.
Easy Approaches To Healthy Eating
The key to a better physique is an understanding of the distinction between healthy and unhealthy nutrients. For instance:
• Healthy proteins supply the amino acids our bodies need to develop and mend lean body mass (like muscles, skin, hair and nails), and are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and chemicals. Good sources include wild salmon, beans, legumes, soy products, seeds, nuts and peanut butter.
• Unhealthy proteins are loaded with saturated fat, cholesterol, hormones or antibiotics (like beef, lamb, bacon and sausage).
• Healthy fats are unsaturated fats. Good sources include extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, ground flax seeds and walnuts.
• Unhealthy fats are saturated fats and trans fatty acids like butter and margarine.
• Healthy carbohydrates are high in fiber and are considered complex carbohydrates. Good sources include rolled oats, brown rice, whole wheat, broccoli, squash, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, beans, and whole fruit.
• Unhealthy carbohydrates are high in sugar and are called simple carbohydrates (like candy, white bread, sodas, ice cream, cake, and cookies).
It goes without saying that even if you had the best abs in the world, they will still look pretty average with a layer of body fat covering them. Diet plays a significant part in defining your abs, so a few adjustments will be required in order for your body to look its best. Get into the habit of keeping a diet log to track your meals. Next, begin creating a small caloric deficit every day to help burn away fat.
What you eat is the most important factor when it comes to seeing the muscle definition on your abs. Here are some nutritional keys necessary to help you achieve your goal of a well-defined six-pack:
1. Count calories but don't starve yourself.
2. Eat 5-6 small meals a day.
3. Drink water.
Dieting For Breathtaking Abs
What's the best way to diet for awesome abs? Cutting calories works. If you're questioning how you're supposed to consume six meals with a demanding job schedule, a method that works for many is the use of meal replacement powders or homemade nutritious shakes. An additional helpful abdominal dieting method is to decrease the amount of sodium added to food.
New studies show that what you eat is just as significant as how – or even how much – you exercise if you want to go from fat to fab abs. Following are six tactics from the country's foremost weight-loss, nutrition and stress authorities, all intended to get you flat abs in just four weeks:
1. Consume extra fiber.
2. Opt for a reasonable quantity of high-quality carbs.
3. Mind the sodium.
4. Eat light at night.
5. Reduce stress.
Exercise Battles Hidden Body Fat
Exercise is still a good way to go if you want to fight fat, judging by a new study, which shows:
• Inactivity leads to increase of fat deep inside the belly.
• A moderate amount of exercise holds the line on deep belly fat.
• Higher amounts of exercise cut deep belly fat and fat around the waist.
Let's face it, great physiques will always have appeal, and abs are the first thing that admirers take in. While the necessary combination of a healthy, lean diet, steady cardio work, and a detailed abdominal plan may sound hard; it is positively within your capacity to get the six-pack abs that others will surely stare at.