Diet Detective: Delicious, Healthy, Resistant Starch Recipes for Carb Lovers

by Charles Platkin, PhD

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, “Resistant starch comprises starch and starch degradation products not digested and absorbed in the small intestine of humans. Resistant starch consists of starch not physically accessible to digestive enzymes.” Basically, resistant starch is not easily digested, and, therefore, it helps to keep you feeling full longer. Think about it. It makes sense that eating foods that fill up your belly but are not easily digested will fend off hunger more than foods (white bread, for example) that are digested quickly in the small intestine.

The IOM goes on to say that legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) are the single largest source of naturally occurring resistant starch. In addition, “Green bananas and cooled, cooked potatoes can provide a significant amount of resistant starch.” And there are many other foods that are considered resistant starches, including regular bananas, barley, rye bread, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and oatmeal.

The Carb Lovers Diet shows how adding resistant starch to your diet can help you lose and control your weight by making you feel fuller longer. Here are a few great resistant starch recipes pulled right from the pages of the book.

Banana & Almond Butter Toast

Prep: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 serving


  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 slice rye bread, toasted
  • 1 banana, sliced


  • Spread almond butter on toast.
  • Top with banana slices.

Serving Size: 1 Slice

Nutrition Facts: Calories 280; fat 11 g (sat 1 g, mono 7 g, poly 2.5 g); cholesterol 0 mg; protein 6 g; carbohydrate 44 g; sugars 16 g; fiber 5 g; resistant starch 5.6 g; sodium 260 mg

Barley Risotto Primavera

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Makes: 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups cooked quick-cooking barley
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrot and onion, and cook 4-5 minutes until onion begins to brown. Add garlic and thyme; cook 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Reduce heat to medium; stir in barley and white wine (if using) or ½ cup broth; cook 1 minute or until liquid is absorbed. Add zucchini, bell peppers and ¾ cup broth; cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed. Add another ¾ cup broth; cook until vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Stir in peas; remove from heat. Let stand 1-2 minutes or until peas are thawed but still bright green. Stir in Parmesan cheese just before serving.

Serving Size: 1 3/4 cups

Nutrition Facts: Calories 380; fat 14 g (sat 4 g, mono 5 g, poly 1 g); cholesterol 15 mg; protein 16 g; carbohydrate 50 g; sugars 5 g; fiber 9 g; resistant starch 4.1 g; sodium 620 mg

Greek Lentil Soup with Toasted Pita

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 4 whole-grain pitas, each cut into 4 triangles and toasted


  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add celery, carrot, onion, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes.
  • Add 8 cups water and lentils. Simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes.
  • With a hand blender or potato masher, puree soup until semi-smooth and thick.
  • Drizzle with lemon juice; serve with toasted pita.

Serving Size: 2 cups soup and 1 pita

Nutrition Facts: Calories 370; fat 6 g (sat 0.5 g, mono 2.5 g, poly 1.5 g); cholesterol 0 mg; protein 19 g; carbohydrate 65 g; sugars 6 g; fiber 21 g; resistant starch 1.9 g; sodium 680 mg

Coconut-Date Truffles

Prep: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings


  • 8 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 8 tablespoons puffed-wheat cereal
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut


  • Place dates in a large bowl. Mash with fingers until dates form a ball.
  • Add cereal; knead into dates.
  • Form into 8 balls; roll each in coconut to coat.

Serving Size: 2 truffles

Nutrition Facts: Calories 160; fat 2 g (sat 1.5 g, mono 0 g, poly 0 g); cholesterol 0 mg; protein 1 g; carbohydrate 38 g; sugars 32 g; fiber 4 g; resistant starch 0.2 g; sodium 0 mg

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