A talk-show guest of Joe Rogan claimed that cooling a potato after cooking creates "resistant starch" that's better for human consumption


The claim is also made here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cooling-resistant-starch

This seems to contradict everything I know about chemistry, since cooling only slows down all chemical processes.

Is there any validity to the claim? What is this "resistant starch"? Why does cooling a potato after cooking create it?


1 Answer 1


Does cooling a potato change the nature of its carbohydrates?

Yes, retrogradation is a reaction that takes place when the amylose and amylopectin chains in cooked, gelatinized starch realign themselves as the cooked starch cools.

Resistant Starch:

There is weak evidence that resistant starch can improve fasting glucose, fasting insulin, insulin resistance and sensitivity, especially in individuals who are diabetic, overweight or obese. In 2016, the U.S. FDA approved a qualified health claim stating that resistant starch might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, but with qualifying language for product labels that limited scientific evidence exists to support this claim. Because qualified health claims are issued when the science evidence is weak or not consistent, the FDA requires specific labeling language, such as the guideline concerning resistant starch: "High-amylose maize resistant starch may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. FDA has concluded that there is limited scientific evidence for this claim."

Abstract 'Resistant starch' (RS) is defined as starch and starch degradation products that resist the action of amylolytic enzymes. The effect of multiple heating/cooling treatments on the RS content of legumes, cereals and tubers was studied. The mean RS contents of the freshly cooked legumes, cereals and tubers (4.18%, 1.86% and 1.51% dry matter basis, respectively) increased to 8.16%, 3.25% and 2.51%, respectively, after three heating/cooling cycles (P< or =0.05) with a maximum increase of 114.8% in pea and a minimum of 62.1% in sweet potato (P< or =0.05). Significant positive correlations were observed between the RS content and amylose (y=0.443x-5.993, r=0.829, P< or =0.05, n=9) as well as between the percentage increase in RS and insoluble dietary fiber content (y=2.149x-24.787, r=0.962, P< or =0.05, n=9). A differential scanning calorimeter study showed an increase in the T(0), T(p), T(c) and DeltaH values of the repeatedly autoclaved/cooled starches. The intact granular structure was also observed disappear, as studied using scanning electron microscopy.

Figures 4 and 5


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