A Starch That Burns Fat? Print
Friday, February 26, 2010

A Starch That Burns Fat?

We've all been told to reduce the amount of starchy foods in our diet, because they are the types of foods that pack on the pounds. While it is true that refined starches, such as white flour, sugars, white rice, and snack foods should be kept to a minimum if not eliminated, there is a type of starch that you MUST include in your diet that will significantly increase your rate of weight loss.

There is a type of starch, called "resistant starch," a special type of starch that is encased in foods such as whole grains like brown rice, potatoes, and legumes. A "resistant starch" is so named because it resists the enzymes that normally break down starches during digestion and reverses the order in which the body burns food. Usually the carbohydrates you eat are burned for energy first, but resistant starch seems to move the fat in your diet to the top of the list to be burned for energy before it has a chance to be stored.

Because of this digestive anomaly, including foods that contain the highest amount of resistant starch in the diet will help your body resist the accumulation of fat. Research shows that just by eating one meal a day containing resistant starch, a person can burn 20 to 25 percent more fat, and this increase is sustained throughout the day-even if only one meal contains resistant starch. Also, this fat burning effect is sustained as long as you keep eating foods containing resistant starch on a daily basis.

The type of food you should include in one of your meals each day is legumes (beans, peas, and lentils). Research published in the Journal of Nutrition, shows that legumes contain substantially higher percentages of resistant starch than do grains, flours and grain-based food products. The study's author claims "The nice thing about legumes is they have a great deal of dietary fiber plus the resistant starch." Additionally, foods high in fiber have been shown to assist in the reduction of absorption of between 30 and 180 calories per day.

Of the 29 food and feed ingredients examined in the study, the legumes (seven varieties) contained substantially higher percentages of both dietary fiber and resistant starch. Black beans, for instance, contain the highest amount of total dietary fiber (43 percent), and 63 percent of their total starch content is resistant starch. Frozen green peas, when cooked, contain about 26.3 per cent resistant starch.

This makes legumes a miracle food for weight loss, and you will do well to make sure that you get a ½ cup serving of cooked legumes every day. In addition to their weight loss enhancing properties, legumes also lower blood cholesterol levels, improve blood sugar levels (especially in those with diabetes), and reduce the risk of many cancers.

Below is a list of common legumes:

  • Adzuki (akuki) beans
  • Black beans Black-eyed peas
  • Canellini (white kidney beans)
  • Fava beans Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • Great Northern beans
  • Split Peas, green
  • Split Peas, yellow
  • Green peas
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils, brown
  • Lentils, green
  • Lentils, red
  • Lima beans
  • Mung beans
  • Navy beans
  • Pink beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Soy beans

Try this great recipe to get your ½ cup serving (or more) of legumes every day!

Black Bean Soup with Fresh Cilantro

Canned beans make preparing this soup quick and easy. Pureeing a portion of the soup
gives it a nice creamy consistency.

Servings: 8 (serving size = 1 cup)

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, sliced
¼ cups red bell pepper, diced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
3 cans (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
5 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup low sodium tomato sauce
dash sea salt
dash pepper
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the carrots, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, oregano, and chili powder and sauté for 3 more minutes.

Add the beans, broth, and tomato sauce and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Allow the soup to cool slightly, then puree 3 cups of it in a blender or food processor. Return the pureed portion to the saucepan, stir, and adjust the seasoning. Add the cilantro and serve immediately.

Did you know?
Black beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, with a whopping 15 grams in one cup. Additionally, research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry indicates that black beans are as rich in antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins as grapes and cranberries, two fruits long considered antioxidant superstars.

Nutrition per serving: 267 calories; 4 g Total Fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 15 g protein; 38 g carbohydrates; 13 grams dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 425 mg sodium.

© 2009 Recipe taken from Plan-D: The Amazing Anti-Diet That Will Change Your Life Forever by Dee McCaffrey, CDC.