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. If you are extremely sensitive to foods, view the brain fog post and follow that dietary advice. If you don’t have health issues, then you have more leeway than this template with what you can eat.
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.
The main resistant starches of the diet are semi-green bananas, legumes and parboiled rice. Hi-Maize resistant starch is a great low inflammatory substitute if you are sensitive to legumes or phytic acid. In addition, you can use cooled russet and Japanese or purple sweet potatoes (my favorite). Parboiled 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. 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 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. Use Hi-Maize and Waxy Maize as your main starch sources if you feel you are getting inflammation (experienced as fatigue) from plant-based starches (in essence, all starches).
Core ingredients of the diet
When I say something should be soaked, let it sit in water for 24 hours before you cook it and dump the water. Then cook it.
- Eggs (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
- Fish (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
- Pea protein - morning and/or afternoon if you’re not eating animal protein in the day. It’s the least allergenic protein powder I’ve experimented with.
Better to cycle than eat the same food every day. 2-3 eggs is a reasonable serving, as is ~4 ounces of fish, chicken or beef. I always have pea protein around if I run out of these foods.
Preferably use 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. Cooking chicken and beef in the oven makes it taste 3X better than boiling; it isn’t the healthiest option, but I’m not too concerned by it.
- Cod liver - I use this, but you can buy this cod liver if you want to use prime.
- Sprouted flax -should be sprouted
- Sesame seeds -should be soaked
- Chia seeds -should be soaked
- Hemp seeds
- Sprouted sunflower seeds - better sprouted. Unsprouted are good, too.
- Coconut shreds
- Almonds -should be soaked until peel comes off
- Extra virgin olive oil in moderation
- Hemp oil in moderation
- Black Cumin Seed Oil
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.
I’ve noticed improvements when soaking grains, therefore I recommend all grains be soaked before cooking
- Hi-Maize resistant starch - my main source of RS these days. Nice, clean, hypoinflammatory starch.
- Waxy Maize - Nice, clean, hypoinflammatory starch.
- Goraw Granola buckwheat groats for a snack on the road
- Squash (all kinds)
- Parboiled rice or brown rice (should be soaked if brown rice)
- Corn on the cob
- Carrots, Beets
- Purple sweet potatoes
- Japanese sweet potatoes
- Buckwheat (should be soaked for 24 hours)
- Plantains (raw or cooked)
- Quinoa (should be soaked for 24 hours)
- 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.
- Tempeh – cook it.
- Chickpeas or hummus
- Black beans or black bean dip
- Lentils (should be soaked for 24 hours)
- Peanuts (beware of sensitivity)
- Unripe bananas
- Wild frozen blueberries (Beware of sensitivity to blueberries)
- Blackberries (I usually buy the frozen ones)
Go easy on the fruit if you have IBS
Non starchy vegetables
- Leafy greens
- Broccoli sprouts, other sprouts
- Fermented veggies (sauerkraut, pickles)
- Raw garlic – 1 clove. Go easy if you have IBS.
- Cucumbers - juice it if possible
- Celery – juice it if possible
- Tomatoes. Go easy if you have IBS.
- Cruciferous veggies, cooked (broccoli, etc..). Go easy if you have IBS.
- Mushrooms, etc… Go easy if you have IBS.
Beware of consuming too much veggies if you have IBS, especially the last mushrooms and cruciferous veggies.
- 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 in excess (1 tbsp of olive oil and 1tbsp 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)
- Excessive dried fruit (practice 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 much of 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 more oils, then go for it. More olive oil isn’t a problem as long as you aren’t going over your caloric needs. I actually recommend more extra virgin olive oil for people with the most serious cases of food sensitivities. I would first suggest you try excluding them or using them in moderation (1 tablespoon a day in total).
Preparation to reduce phytate in foods
I eat store tempeh that is cooked. You can see the phytic acid tanks.
- Intro to Resistant Starch and How It Aids Weightloss
- Normal Portion Sizes and Sample Meals on the RS Diet
- Resistant starch diet appendix
- Supplements to Think About With the RS Diet and Equipment
- Recent studies on why the resistant starch diet is healthy
- How to prepare meals on the RS diet for taste and convenience
- Who the RS Diet is Suited For and What to Expect From It