Resistant Starch: What Foods Have It and a Recipe

Resistant starch is a boon to health. Here are 7 foods that have it, 6 health benefits of eating it & a delicious resistant starch recipe your family will love.

What if I told you that you don’t need to fear starch? In fact, there’s one type of starch you need more of. It doesn’t contribute to blood sugar, helps you manage your appetite and lowers the calories in your food.

Yep, I am talking about starch. Resistant starch.

I never bought into the crazy idea that starches make us fat or cause diabetes. After all, there’s a pretty big difference between a wholesome potato and a buttery croissant. And there’s a fourfold difference between a small 5-ounce potato and the jumbo 20-ounce spud I recently weighed in the supermarket. I occasionally buy those monster potatoes, but I split them three ways. And there’s also a big difference among types of starches. Resistant starch is a health-boosting type of fiber. Cooked and cooled potatoes – think potato salad – have it.

Veggie-Packed Potato Salad resistant starch recipe

Veggie-Packed Potato Salad


What is Resistant Starch?

Some starches are more readily digested than others. Those that slip through the small intestine without being degraded are called resistant starches – since they are resistant to digestion. Since you don’t digest them, their glucose molecules don’t get absorbed into your bloodstream. Instead resistant starch serves as food for the bacteria in your colon.

Resistant starch is good for prediabetes. Download a checklist of other important things to prevent type 2 diabetes.

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6 Health Benefits of Resistant Starch

  1. Some calories don’t get used. Since resistant starch escapes digestion, you don’t get all of the calories available in a food.
  2. Some glucose doesn’t contribute to blood sugar levels. Likewise, since the starch isn’t digested, the glucose isn’t available to add to blood sugar levels.
  3. Your healthy gut bacteria thrive. Resistant starch is good food for the good bacteria in your gut. When they thrive, they make less room for the unhealthy bacteria. The good ones have lots of jobs, so let’s feed them well. Here’s a few things your healthy bacteria do on your behalf.
    • Produce vitamins
    • Detoxify cancer-causing compounds
    • Activate cancer-fighting compounds
    • Activate other health-boosting compounds in various foods
  4. Your colon cells are protected. When those good bacteria ferment the resistant starch, they produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs fuel the colon cells and many even increase the death rate of unhealthy colon cells. And that helps shield you from colon cancer.
  5. You might be less insulin resistant. Insulin resistance is a hallmark of both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. SCFAs can help your body use insulin better.
  6. You might not get so hungry. There are LOTS of types of fibers. Some – but definitely not all – help control appetite. Resistant starches seem to increase satiety, so you last longer after a meal or snack before getting hungry again.

Which Foods Have Resistant Starch?

The best sources of resistant starches are beans and other legumes, some whole grains and under-ripe bananas. Uncooked oats (as in muesli) is a good source, but cooked oats is not. Cooked oats is still a nutrient-dense food, however, so enjoy it often. Cooked and cooled starches like cold potatoes, pasta and rice are also sources of resistant starch, but I cannot find a reference to quantify the amounts. I think you’ll like my healthy potato salad recipe below even more knowing it has resistant starch.

Cold potatoes have resistant starch. So do these foods.Click To Tweet
Under-ripe banana, 1 medium 4.7
Rolled oats, ¼ cup, uncooked 4.4
Oats, 1 cup, cooked 0.5
Pearl barley, ½ cup cooked 1.9
White beans, 1 cup cooked 7.4
Lentils, ½ cup cooked 3.4
Pumpernickel bread, 1 ounce 1.3
Pita bread, white, 2 ounces 1.1
Whole-wheat bread, 1 ounce 0.3
Potato Salad Resistant Starch Recipe

This recipe was originally published in Diabetes Weight Loss – Week by Week


Check out The Fiber You Need to Know for more about resistant starch and a great visual of some foods that have it.

Delicious, nutritious potato salad with health-boosting resistant starchClick To Tweet

Veggie-Packed Potato Salad

Lots of health-boosting veggies and resistant starch in this delicious potato salad. I originally created this recipe for my first book Diabetes Weight Loss - Week by Week
5 from 2 votes
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Servings: 7 cups
Calories: 170kcal
Author: Jill Weisenberger MS, RDN, CDE, FAND


  • 1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, cut into large bite-sized pieces
  • 4 ounces snow peas, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 scallions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped red or orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley


  • Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the water bubbles gently. Cook until the potatoes are nearly at desired tenderness, about 10 minutes. Just before the potatoes reach the desired tenderness, drop the snow peas into the pot and cook for 30-60 seconds. The snow peas should still have a bit of crunch. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard together.
  • Once the potatoes and snow peas are well drained, put them in a large bowl with the scallions, bell pepper and parsley. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and vegetables and mix gently. Chill well before serving.


Serving: 11/8 cups | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 355mg | Fiber: 3g
For even more ideas about living a healthy life, grab my prediabetes self-care checklist today.


Jill Weisenberger

I'm Jill, and I believe simple changes in your mindset and health habits can bring life-changing rewards. And I don't believe in willpower. It's waaaay overrated. As a food-loving registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist and certified health and wellness coach, I've helped thousands of people solve their food and nutrition problems. If you're looking for a better way to master this whole healthy eating/healthy living thing or if you're trying to prevent or manage diabetes or heart problems, you'll find plenty of resources right here.

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  1. Patty Meyerson on September 20, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Looks fabulous! I love potatoes but had been avoiding them thinking they were just low value carbs. Happily I was wrong I think I’ll make this this weekend! Yum!

    • Jill Weisenberger on September 20, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks Patty! Hope you enjoy it. I previously consulted to the Alliance for Potato Research and Education, so I am aware that others hold that same opinion. I put much more value on the quality of the food and the total amount of food (total calories, really) than I do on what has carbs or fat. Potatoes are a really inexpensive source of potassium. They also have fiber, magnesium, vitamin C and an important phytochemical called quercetin. When it comes to potatoes, portion size matters.

  2. Rhonda Witwer on September 21, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Thanks for another great article Jill. Here’s a new reference for the resistant starch in potatoes – The short answer is Resistant starch was greater in baked (4.22 g/100 g) than boiled (2.93 g/100 g) potatoes, p < 0.0001, by ANOVA" and "Chilled potatoes contained more resistant starch (4.27 g/100 g) than hot (3.00 g/100 g) or reheated potatoes (3.45 g/100 g)

    • Jill Weisenberger on September 21, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Oh so helpful! Thank you Rhonda!

    • Pam on July 3, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      Just curious, what would you guess is the resistant starch in a homemade oatmeal cookie made with old fashioned oats and only baked for about 10 minutes? Asking for a friend This article has now also enhanced my love for homemade power balls with raw oats
      Thanks for this great article..and recipe!

      • Jill Weisenberger on July 3, 2020 at 2:00 pm

        Good question. All I have is a guess, but here goes: much less than raw oats, but more than typically-cooked oats. My reasoning is that with less liquid there’s likely less cell disruption. But, like I said, it’s a guess. And I agree about power balls with raw oats. Here’s one of my faves with chocolate and peanut butter.

  3. Judith Riddle on September 21, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Hi Jill,

    Your blog looks so nice!


    • Jill Weisenberger on September 21, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Aaaw, so sweet Judy. Thanks!

  4. Kim-NutritionPro Consulting on September 25, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I love potatoes. Great post and can’t wait to try your potato salad recipe!

    • Jill Weisenberger on September 25, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      Thanks so much Kim! Enjoy!

  5. Alyce on February 28, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    I have never heard the term “resistant starch” before. Can it be considered similarly to “insoluble fiber”?

    • Jill Weisenberger on February 28, 2018 at 6:25 pm

      No, they are different things. Resistant starch is like fiber in that it evades our digestive enzymes in the small intestine. And like some types of fibers,it can nourish the gut bacteria. There are several types of insoluble fibers, several types of soluble fibers, and at least 4 types of resistant starches. The cool thing is that they behave differently in the GI tract, and all are valuable. That’s why eating a large variety of foods in the fruits, vegetables, grains and beans groups is so important. I wrote a couple other posts that explain more. Check out How to Throw a Dinner Party for Your Gut Bacteria and What You Need to Know About High Fiber Foods. And thanks for your question!

  6. Georges Dutil on August 1, 2018 at 4:31 am

    Where is the recipe, there doesn’t seem to be a link to it anywhere

    • Jill Weisenberger on August 1, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Thank you for alerting me to a problem on my site. This is not the only recipe that disappeared. It’s now fixed. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know.

  7. Heidi on August 6, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    Delicious! I made this recipe tonight for a guest who doesn’t like mayo, so he’s been missing out on conventional potato salad all his life. He adored this potato salad, though. Thank you for posting it! I’ll make it more often.

    A question about resistant starch, though: is the starch in a cold potato that has been reheated still “resistant starch” — or does it morph itself back into its non-resistant-starch form?

    • Jill Weisenberger on August 7, 2020 at 11:19 am

      Oh yay! I’m so glad. I just got some small potatoes in my farm share. I think I’ll make this too over the weekend. I’ve asked this question of experts before, and they tell me that some of the resistant starch will remain, but not all.

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Jill Weisenberger

I believe simple changes in health habits can bring you life-changing rewards.

And I believe willpower is way overrated.

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