Dr. Gourmet's Health & Nutrition Bites

'Resistant starch' does not improve glycemic control

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.

Earlier this year I wrote a column debunking the pseudoscience around the so-called "magic rice." This "magic rice" has been purported to be "safe for diabetics:" it supposedly doesn't contribute as much to the spikes in blood sugar associated with consuming carbohydrates as does rice cooked in the usual way.

The problem with the original research most often cited to support this assertion is that it's not only not research in humans - it's not even research in animals. Other research has been done in animals, however, with some studies in rats using the type of resistant starch in today's research showing that this starch decreases body fat, improves cholesterol scores, and improves insulin resistance. Small studies in people who do not have diabetes have shown improved glucose scores and insulin sensitivity.

But the critical issue hasn't been addressed: does consuming resistant starch help those with diabetes or pre-diabetes with their insulin sensitivity and glucose scores? In short, is this resistant starch really "safe" for those at metabolic risk? 'Resistant starch' »

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Featured Recipes

Mustard Lentils

Mustard Lentils - an easy, health side dish from Dr. Gourmet

This is a great side dish for almost anything, from grilled salmon to sautéed chicken breast or a roasted pork tenderloin. The mustard and thyme bring great flavor on their own and are a perfect way to make the side dish the main focus of the meal. Best of all is a simple poached egg on top of the lentils. You can also change the herb. Using 1/8 teaspoon of dried tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram instead of the thyme brings a whole new flavor to the lentils with a simple little change.

Mango Mustard Salsa

Mango Mustard Salsa recipe from Dr. Gourmet

The sweetness of the mango goes perfectly with the mustard and the brightness of the lime and green onions. This salsa goes great on almost anything: grilled fish or shrimp, roasted chicken or even on top of your tacos.

Shrimp Pad Thai

A lot of Pad Thai recipes call for tons of fish sauce and oil. They just become a greasy, salty, mess and this version is just right. Also I prefer to use the Annie Chun's brown rice noodles. They are widely available now and cook just as quickly, but they have 4 grams of fiber instead of the only 1 gram of fiber found in the traditional white Pad Thai noodles on the market.