I had initially designed this diet for myself to treat food sensitivities and insulin resistance, but I realized that it can be a powerful tool for weight loss and other health problems – especially autoimmune issues. This is the result of over 10 years of experimentation with various diets that I’ve tried for optimal physical and mental health, in addition to a lot of independent research.
The Resistant Starches I use
There are 3 types of natural RS. As you’ll notice, following this diet will provide plenty of all three of these starches, in addition to other kinds of insoluble fiber, as well as soluble fiber. All fibers are not created equal and making sure to get a range of fibers is important.
- RS1 is found in seeds, nuts, legumes and whole grains.
- RS2 is found in uncooked potatoes, high-amylose corn and green bananas.
- RS3 Resistant starch is formed when starch-containing foods are cooked and cooled such as in legumes, potatoes and rice. The process of cooking out the starch and cooling it is called retrogradation.
My main resistant starches are semi-green bananas, legumes and brown rice. In addition, I sometimes use cooled russet and Japanese or purple sweet potatoes. Brown rice doesn’t have as much resistant starch as the semi-green bananas, lentils or potatoes, but as a staple of my diet it adds up. Canned legumes from BPA-free containers are also good. I love the taste of prepared chickpeas and they provide quite a bit of RS, based on my subjective experience. The bran on rice adds other types of insoluble fiber to the mix. For a clinical dosage you should have greater than 20 grams a day. With 3 green bananas(5 grams each), and most of your other calories from brown rice, lentils and potatoes you should be getting more than 30 grams of RS in total. Note that if you have a carb intolerance I would recommend limiting the potato content to a serving a day. If you get fatigued after carbs I would limit grain starches to two servings a day.
Core ingredients of the diet
- Eggs (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
- Lean chicken
Better to cycle than eat the same food every day. 2-3 eggs is a reasonable serving, as is ~4 ounces of fish or chicken. I always have pea protein around if I run out of these foods.
Preferably pastured eggs, wild caught fish, pastured chickens. These are more important for long term health rather than the shorter term
I buy frozen wild Alaskan salmon. I also buy smoked wild Alaskan salmon sometimes since it’s also convenient.
The healthiest method of preparation is as follows: soft boiled eggs, steamed fish and broiled chicken and beef. Once in a while I’ll fry some beef since it’s delicious, though I realize this isn’t the optimal way to prepare it.
- Flax seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Coconut shreds
- Macadamia nuts
Flax, sesame, olives and avocado stand out as particularly beneficial. Flax is a good source of soluble fiber and is a demulcent or soother for the stomach. It contains ALA, the omega-3 fat which is important for optimal health. They both contain healthful lignans. Nuts aren’t as important as flax and sesame, but they can be convenient to snack on during the day.
- Squash (all kinds)
- Parboiled rice or brown rice
- Corn on the cob
- Purple sweet potatoes
- Japanese sweet potatoes
- Buckwheat (better soaked before cooking)
- Plantains (raw or cooked)
- Russet potatoes (if not sensitive)
- I’m experimenting with other grains, but also soaking them for 24 hours before
All other literally WHOLE grains are fine if you don’t have any autoimmune issue like brain fog or chronic inflammation and you can handle them. You need to experiment for yourself. For people who do have health problems, stick with these. Pay attention to sensitivities from russet potatoes.
Choose instead literally WHOLE grains(whole wheat bread is referred to as a whole grain, but not according to this usage) and WHOLE starches. Brown rice, japanese sweet potatoes, corn on the cob and buckwheat are whole starches. These foods, even if eaten warm, take longer to digest and therefore don’t cause the same spike in insulin.
I also have on hand Goraw Granola buckwheat groats for a snack on the road.
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Lima beans
- Semi green bananas
- Wild frozen blueberries
- Blackberries (I usually buy the frozen ones)
Go easy on the fruit if you have IBS
Non starchy vegetables
- Leafy greens
- Fermented veggies
- Raw garlic
- Cruciferous veggies (broccoli)
- Mushrooms, etc…
Beware of consuming too much veggies if you have IBS, especially the last 5.
- Nutritional Yeast
- Tomato Powder
- Italian Seasoning
- Seaweed for Iodine (or supplement)
- Braggs amino acid soy sauce substitute for salty flavor
- All other spices
- Olive juice, sauer kraut juice, pickle juice
Treats in between meals
- Jasmine Tea
- Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
Frequency and number of meals
How many meals you have and how much you snack in between meals will depend on your calorie needs. If you have low calorie needs, you will eat 2 meals and maybe a bit of fruit in between. If you have a higher calorie need, you can have 4 or 5 meals a day and snacking in between. I suggest to go as low as comfortable. This means eat as little as possible so that you don’t have strong cravings and/or anxiety. A small amount of craving is fine and healthy, but make sure you don’t crave too much.
More frequent and smaller meals are better than fewer and larger meals. If you have some type of glucose metabolism disorder I can’t emphasize this enough. Try to eat within an hour of waking up and ignore all of the intermittent fasting advice in the blogosphere.
Also, pay attention to portion sizes. An ounce of nuts is much less than you think.
What not to eat
- Sugars and refined carbs
- Oils (1 tbsp of olive oil or ghee may be used a day)
- Processed foods
- Breads or foods from flour (even whole grain)
- Extruded foods (rice cake/crisps) – they have a higher glycemic index
- Carageenan, BPA, other food additives (except sodium benzoate)
- Dried fruit (or at least practice strict moderation)
You can get all the fats you need and more from nuts, seeds, animal foods, avocados and olives. Oils are extremely calorie dense and easy to overdo. If you want the benefits of olive oil you can get it by eating whole olives. This is the template. However, if after trying the template you feel that you do better with oils, then go for it. I would first suggest you try excluding them.