potatoes

Mmm-hmmm… everybody knows that when you’re trying to shed excess weight, the first thing that’s gotta go are the potatoes and bread, so nice try. Way to sell a headline. All this time I’ve been diligently cutting the carbohydrates out of my diet so I can finally see that needle on my scale move in the right direction and now you’re trying to tell me that foods like pasta and rice are actually good for weight loss? Just like drinking chocolate milk and scarfing down Twinkies, I suppose?

Well, it depends on the type of carb that we choose, but the short answer is yes – there are specific shining stars that for far too long we’ve mistakenly cut out of our dietary repertoire. First, a few ground rules to bear in mind:

  • Rule #1: Not all carbohydrates are evil. 
  • Rule #2: Not all carbohydrates are nutritionally equal.
  • Rule #3: The less a carbohydrate is processed, the better it is for our body.
  • Rule #4: For best affect, carbohydrates with higher levels of resistant starch — the naturally occurring compound found in white potatoes, bananas and even corn – should be consumed cold.
  • Rule #5: And, the golden rule to end all carb-related weight loss rules: Resistant starch is our friend. Rather than being stored in the body for later use, it takes on the characteristics of dietary fiber by passing through the system while not only aiding fat oxidation but also helping to keep blood sugar levels in check. In other words, on a daily basis, dieters can torch up to 25% more fat just by indulging in starch-resistant foods (experts suggest that eating 20 grams every day will yield the best results).

Well, hello there little potato… I’ve missed you so. Time to roll out the red carpet once again for these unsung healthy carb heroes. The days of lonely bits of lean protein and solitary veggies are finally over!

ASSORTED BEANS

½ cup (cooked) kidney, navy or garbanzo beans = an average of 10 grams of resistant starch

BANANAS

1 medium, slightly under ripe banana = 5 grams of resistant starch

BARLEY

½ cup (cooked) barley = 2.4 grams of resistant starch

BROWN RICE

½ cup (cooked) brown rice = 1.7 grams of resistant starch

CORN FLAKES

½ cup corn flakes = 3.2 grams of resistant starch

CORN TORTILLAS

1 small tortilla = 3.0 grams of resistant starch

LENTILS

½ cup (cooked) lentils = 2 grams of resistant starch

PUFFED WHEAT CEREAL

½ cup puffed wheat cereal = 6.2 grams of resistant starch

WHITE POTATOES

1 small cold (cooked) white potato = 3 grams of resistant starch

WHOLE WHEAT SPAGHETTI

½ cup (cooked) whole wheat spaghetti = 6 grams of resistant starch

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

1 slice of whole wheat bread = 5 grams of resistant starch

YAMS

½ cup (cooked) yams = 4 grams of resistant starch


Image: Mr. T in D.C.

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