Glynn Marshes writes:
Some interesting discussion breaking out within the paleo crowd: is it possible that paleo dieters have overlooked the benefits of a class of carbohydrates called resistant starches?
Richard Nikoley of the blog Free the Animal is leading the way on the pro resistant starch argument. Here’s his primer on the topic.
According to Nikoley, potential benefits of consuming resistant starches — a type of starch that isn’t digested in the small intestine, but instead passes to the large intestine where it is fermented by that organ’s resident microflora — include increased production (in the gut) of shortchain fatty acids. These, in turn, lower intestinal pH, which inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria and and increases the absorptive potential of minerals, among other benefits.
It gets even more interesting than that. Browse through the extensive collection of RS posts on Nikoley’s blog, and you’ll find accounts of people who have discovered that consuming RS (typically in the form of things like raw potato starch) blunts the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels.
And here is Nikoley responding to the pushback by the low carbers. Fun reading for the jab-the-sacred-cow tone alone 🙂
I’m more or less paleo myself, but I’m always open to new body hacks, and this one seems logical. As Mark Sisson noted recently on his blog, by some estimates, our ancestors consumed up to 135 grams of fermentable fiber daily, via “a diversity of wild plant foods, bulbs, corms, tubers, cattails, cactuses, and medicinal barks.” That seems reasonable to me. As does the notion that our gut biome probably needs regular doses of the stuff to keep it happy.
It’s going to be interesting to watch the paleo crowd digest (ha ha ha) the kind of information that Nikoley is publishing. Personally, I suspect it will permanently shift the way paleo dieters think about their food choices . . .