Potato flakes for breakfast?

Chemistry-RACI, Media bulletins

RACI Symposium – Cereals & Disease Prevention, Tuesday 4:30pm

Paul MacLean, University of Colorado

Resistant starch could transform our breakfasts, our gut health and help us lose weight.

Paul MacLean has shown that replacing simple sugars and digestible starch with starch that is resistant to digestion in the small intestine can have big consequences.

“It encourages us to burn fat, improves insulin sensitivity and enhances a sense of fullness.”

It may also help us keep our weight down after dieting.

You can add resistant starch to your diet with potatoes, whole grains, legumes, unripe bananas, and cooked and cooled starchy foods like sushi and potato salad.

But, says Paul, “The big public health benefits will come when breakfast cereal makers incorporate resistant starch into cereals bringing improved metabolic health to almost every Western breakfast table.”


P. MacLean

Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado, United States

Obesity and its associated metabolic disorders are substantial health issues manifesting on a global scale.

Cereals provide an excellent opportunity to counter this pervasive problem. Their widespread popularity as the day’s first meal could be the agent to broadly alter macronutrient intake in a manner that would improve metabolic health.

Replacement of simple sugars and digestible starch with starch that is resistant to digestion in the small intestine is one such manipulation that may help us pursue this goal.

Resistant starches lower postprandial excursions in glucose and enhance the oxidation of dietary fat. They can improve insulin sensitivity and metabolic regulation after a meal and enhance gut derived satiety signals.

Recent evidence suggests that these starches may also have beneficial effects on metabolic regulation and body composition during weight loss and weight regain.

Resistant starch may emerge from these ongoing studies as an important nutritional component of weight maintenance strategies after weight loss.

Given these characteristics, the incorporation of resistant starch into cereals has the potential, on a global scale, of delivering both great taste and improved metabolic health to the breakfast table.