It’s barbeque season and potato salad is a favourite in my household. The dietitian in me also wants to share another great reason to love potato salad – resistant starch.
Resistant starch is a type of prebiotic. Prebiotics (yes, different than probiotics) are types of starches and fibre’s found in certain foods, that are resistant to digestive enzymes in the small intestine. They pass through to the large intestine where they’re fermented by the bacteria in the colon. Essentially prebiotics act as food for health-promoting bacteria in the gut. The byproducts of this fermentation are called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) – butyrate, proprionate, and acetate. SCFAs demonstrate health benefits, for example reducing intestinal pH helping to prevent overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria. They can help to modulate glucose and lipid metabolism, and demonstrate anti-inflammatory effects.
What does this have to do with potato salad? Cooked and cooled starches, such as potatoes, are considered a type 3 resistant starch, classifying them as a prebiotic.
Potatoes are also an affordable, energy dense, and nutrient dense root vegetable. They grow locally, and they’re a versatile ingredient.
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