very-green-bananas

The Resistant Starch Diet Template

Who This Diet Is Suited For

This diet is sort of like a modified Mediterranean diet.  The differences are I got rid of the most harmful lectins, gluten, dairy, breads (high glycemic index, yeast) and add cooling of starches for RS (hence the name of the diet).

If you have no inflammatory issues whatsoever, my recommendation for optimal health is to eat this diet or a Mediterranean-type diet that’s suited for your needs, as it has the most research behind it.

A 10-year study found that adherence to a Mediterranean diet and healthful lifestyle was associated with more than a 50% lowering of early death rates (R).  

A Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of heart disease in people at high risk by “about 30 percent” when compared with individuals on just a low fat diet (R). 

This diet is also good for the brain.  It decreases the likelihood of depression (R) and Alzheimer’s (R).

This diet has helped me quite a bit in the beginning with inflammation issues, but this didn’t completely cure my food sensitivities.

I’d recommend to follow a low lectin diet for people with more serious inflammation or autoimmune issues.

Also read my post where I assign inflammation scores to foods.

Most people can’t handle the low-lectin diet, so I recommend this instead.   If your lifestyle precludes you from sticking to a strict diet, I recommend this diet and also supplementing with Sialic Acid and NAG to bind to lectins.

I recommend this diet to people who want to prevent chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and weight gain.  This diet can also help those that are moderately sensitive to food.  People have different tolerances to lectins.

Some people can eat whatever they want and be healthy – as long as they don’t eat too much.  They can handle gluten, dairy, etc…  For these people I recommend just eating real food and not stuff from the candy machine….

Introduction To Resistant Starch

Resistant Starch doesn’t seem to get a lot of press but it can be a powerful tool for weight loss and health.  Simply put, resistant starch  is a type of starch that is resistant to being broken down in the small intestines.  This undigested starch then goes to the large intestine and feeds bacteria that in turn produce butyrate and vitamin K2, both of which have many positive effects on the body.  In addition, the friendly bacteria multiply, which can benefit gut and immune health.

The Resistant Starches I Use

Resistant starches aren’t the main health benefit of this diet.  I call it such because these foods contain decent levels of RS.

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).

Cooled parboiled rice doesn’t have as much resistant starch as the semi-green bananas, lentils or potatoes, but as a staple of this diet it adds up.

Canned legumes from BPA-free containers are also good, as long as your not sensitive.  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.

Proteins

  • Eggs (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
  • Fish (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • 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.

Fats

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.

Starches

I’ve noticed improvements when soaking grains, therefore I recommend all grains be soaked before cooking

Let the starches cool for a day for more RS.

  • 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) (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
  • Parboiled rice, white basmati rice or brown rice (should be soaked if brown rice) (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
  • Corn on the cob (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
  • Carrots, Beets (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
  • Purple sweet potatoes (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
  • Japanese sweet potatoes (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
  • Buckwheat (should be soaked for 24 hours) (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
  • Plantains (raw or cooked) (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
  • Quinoa (should be soaked for 24 hours)
  • Traditional Sourdough Bread
  • 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.   It’s always best to soak or sprout your grains.

You need to experiment for yourself.  For people who do have health problems, stick with these.  Pay attention to sensitivities from russet potatoes, as they are from the nightshade family.

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.

For rice, I find three types acceptable.  Brown rice has the lowest glycemic index and is the most nutritious, but also the most phytate.  If you’re not sensitive to phytate then I recommend you consume this type.

Basmati rice is the cleanest rice I’ve tried and has the least phytate (even less than white rice), but the glycemic index is the highest of the three and it is the least nutritious.  If you’re sensitive to phyate then I suggest you consume this.

Parboiled rice is a nice medium, with most of the nutrition of brown rice, little phytate and a glycemic index in middle of brown and basmati.

I’ve tried other kinds of white rice and I find basmati to be superior.  Basmati rice has been cultivated and revered in India for thousands of years and originates from India.

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, basmati rice has a “medium” glycemic index (between 56 and 69), which is in the same rank as brown rice and whole wheat bread (R).

Legumes

  • All sprouted legumes like the picture displayed above
  • Tempeh – cook it.
  • Black bean dip
  • Hummus – without any preservatives or additives. (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity)
  • Lentils (should be soaked for 24 hours) (pay attention to see if you have a sensitivity).  Let it cool for more RS.

Fruits

  • Unripe bananas
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Wild frozen blueberries (Beware of sensitivity to blueberries)
  • Blackberries (I usually buy the frozen ones)
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon
  • Cantelope
  • Mango
  • Dates

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.

Condiments

Treats in between meals

(Read how it can be used to treat disease.  Another review article.  It can even be useful for cancer prevention and is considered antidiabetic.)

Liquids

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 or neuroendocrine issues I can’t emphasize this enough.  If this is the case, 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 (2 tbsp of olive oil and 1tbsp ghee may be used a day)
  • Processed foods
  • Breads or foods from flour (even whole grain)
  • Pastas
  • Cereals
  • Extruded foods (rice cake/crisps) – they have a higher glycemic index
  • Carageenan, BPA, other food additives (except sodium benzoate)

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.

Keep in mind that this is a template.   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 (2 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.

How Can Resistant Starch Help With Weightloss?

Normally, most starches are rapidly broken down and absorbed by the body as glucose.  This causes a rapid rise in insulin, which eventually leads to insulin resistance.  Insulin resistance and obesity are closely related.  Resistant starch can help weight loss in the following ways:

  • Fiber. While the exact mechanisms of fiber protecting against weight gain are still under investigation, its ability to increase satiety and decrease subsequent hunger, along with altering the secretion of hormones related to food digestion, are considered likely mechanisms.
  • Calorie reduction: Resistant starch isn’t a calorie dense food.
  • Satiety: Multiple recent studies have shown that naturally occurring resistant starch  increases satiety and reduces food intake in the short term (within a few hours) and longer-term (for 20–24 hours).
  • Lipid oxidation: Resistant starch may help burn fat and may lead to lower fat accumulation. One clinical trial showed that it increased fat oxidation after a meal. These findings suggest a possible metabolic effect of resistant starch that may affect body weight.
  • Fat storage: Resistant starch has been shown to improve fatty acid metabolism within adipose tissue.
  • Improves metabolism: An animal study has demonstrated that resistant starch independently altered metabolism in ways that prevented weight re-gain in a high fat diet.

In addition, resistant starch causes the release of a gut hormone called GLP-1.  This hormone “convinces” the hypothalamus that you are satiated and slows the rate at which your food goes through your stomach.  Since you are already eating a ton of fiber on this diet this slowed emptying rate creates a backlog and you are too stuffed to eat more.  Once your brain and stomach are on board, it’s down hill from there.  My personal experience validates these mechanisms.  It’s actually painful to eat a lot when you eat these types of starches.

7 Benefits of The Resistant Starch Diet

1) The first is the RS content, mainly from semi green bananas, legumes, tubers(potatoes) and various other whole grains. Butyric acid is an HDAC inhibitor and  these drugs are effectively used against depression and other cognitive disorders.

2) Besides the RS, the diet also has two other types of fiber – soluble and insoluble.  Both of these are important for gut and general health.

3) The diet contains phytate and many other phytochemicals to prevent disease, since it includes lots of veggies, fruit and other plant-based foods.

4) The glycemic index or more accurately the glycemic load, is pretty low because the whole grains are actually whole and not flour products, which spike blood glucose relatively quickly.

5) The diet is also nutritionally dense because it solely consists of whole foods and contains quite a bit of potassium and magnesium, two nutrients that are lacking in the standard american and low carb diets.  It’s also nutritionally complete by including animal foods to get nutrition that can’t be obtained by a pure vegetarian or vegan diet.

6) It’s balanced by not going to any extremes on the macronutrients, meaning it doesn’t contain a ridiculous amount of carbs, fat or protein like some other so called performance enhancement diets that generally result in the opposite effect.  The balance is consistent with our historical diets.  People have always consumed tubers (starches), nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies and some animal products (especially fish, fowl(chicken), eggs and occasionally beef).   Also, what’s most important is our diet in the past 10,000 years and that includes rice and other grains.  Humans are very capable of adapting relatively quickly to new diets over even 1-2 thousand years.

7) Last, BUT PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY the food has a very low calorie density, which is why everyone who tries it feels stuffed with consuming half the amount of calories.  It’s hard to include more than 1800 calories for me when I’m on the diet, so I usually go under that.  It’s kind of like getting gastric bypass surgery in that it limits how much someone can eat.  The difference, however, is that you also feel satiated instead of starving.  Eating less ie mild calorie restriction, is the single most important thing you can do for your health and cognitive performance.  It’s the most effective way that I’ve found to be able to sleep less with the same level of cognitive function.

Grams of RS per 100g For Various Foods

The foods listed here are relatively “safer” than other foods with RS.

The RS content obviously isn’t the whole story, though. These and other foods are also loaded with other prebiotics and the effects are slightly different.

Still, these foods aren’t recommended if you have lots of food sensitivity.  See the lectin avoidance diet if you are sensitive to various foods.

Keep in mind that other fibers in these foods also feed good bacteria in the gut, so the RS content isn’t the whole story.  These figures are minimums unless there’s a dash that indicates a range.

Unripe banana 4.7-34
Rice cooked and cooled 5.48
Corn – Cooked+Cooled 4.4
Chickpeas – cooked cooled 6.35
Lentils 3.4-9.84
Black beans cooked – 10.76
Navy beans – 10
Plantain cooked – 3.5
Plantain flour 35-68 ( I started to use whole raw green plantains found in grocery stores and put it in a shake. No issues with it, as opposed the the inflammation I got from unmodified potato starch)
Buckwheat groats – boiled 6g
Potatoes steamed+cooled 5.8g
Peas cooked+cooled 6.7g
Split peas 10g
White yam 4.3g
Carrots 1.1g

Normal portion sizes

One big mistake I see people make is not understanding that the portion size is critical.  I’m going to assume for simplicity’s sake that people will eat 3 main meals a day.  I suggest 2 of those meals be balanced.  The other meal can be just a salad and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Oils are only allowed if they’re eaten with vegetables and nothing else and measured out. Breakfast is the most important meal.  Each balanced meal should contain a SINGLE SERVING of a starch,  protein,  fat, legume and vegetable.  Fruits should be consumed between meals if hungry.

You can measure with these measuring cups.

Starch

The following is is all the starch you need in a meal, assuming you are consuming >3 meals a day.

  • 1 medium summer or winter squash
  • 1/2 cup of brown rice is a serving.
  • 1 corn on the cob
  • 1/2 cup of buckwheat
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 medium Japanese or purple sweet potatoes
  • 1 Beet+a few cooked carrots

Animal protein

  • 2-3 eggs
  • 4 ounces of chicken, fish, beef

Fats

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 oz of nuts or seeds

Legumes

  • 1/2 cup of legumes

Non Starchy Veggies

  • a fistful

Sample day

Breakfast:  

  • 1 medium squash
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas/1/2 stick of tempeh/other legumes
  • 2-3 eggs (depending on size)
  • However much leafy greens  you can grab with one hand.
  • Spices

Lunch

  • You can have a balanced meal for lunch, too, but it isn’t necessary.
  • 2-3 Green Bananas (depending on size),
  • 1 oz Nuts (Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachio, Macademian, Cashew)
  • Some citrus fruit or berries if still hungry

Alternatively, you can have a leafy green salad with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and spices.

Supper:

  • 1/2 cup of brown rice,
  • 4 oz chicken,
  • 1/2 cup of lentils/other legumes,
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • However much leafy greens  you can grab with one hand.
  • Spices

How it would look in an overall diet plan

Preparation

You only need to cook and prepare once a week.  Total cooking and preparation time should take about an hour a week.  You’d need to visit the store maybe once a month excluding purchasing veggies, since most of the food isn’t very perishable.  Bubbies fermented pickles and sauer kraut are ideal if you hate shopping for veggies frequently because they last a long time.

Seeds need to be ground with a coffee grinder. I  place them  in a container and store in the fridge. I do this about once every 2 weeks.  You could also sprout them to make them healthier but it’s not important enough nutritionally for me to bother with it.

Brown rice and lentils can be cooked together and can also last for the whole week if stored correctly.  In practice, I usually try to make a new batch after 4 days because I don’t like to push it, but if I’m lazy then I will eat them for up to a week after. I like to cook them in Chicken brothas it’s extremely beneficial for the gut and brain.  I transfer it to a sealable storage container and snack out of it throughout the week.  I try to practice some kind of portion control by stopping to eat when I am satiated but before I’m overly stuffed.  I cook it with fenugreek and ginger.  These 2 herbs are important for weight loss and overall health.  They slow the stomach’s emptying rate and increase satiety.  They are also extremely cheap.

Carrots can be cooked at the same time as the rice and lentils in the same pot.  If cooked separately, I broil them enough so that they are semi-soft.

I put all of the condiments in one container and generously spread it out over the pot of food; like this, I don’t have to open 20 spice bottles every day to add to my food.  I then sprinkle on some Braggs amino soy sauce  and eat it cold.  The condiments and salt are really what makes this food palatable and enjoyable.  Tomato Powder is delicious. Combined with the other spices the food becomes pretty tasty.

How to Prepare Meals on the RS diet for Taste and Convenience

For Taste

If you want your meals to taste amazing, with preparation under 15 minutes, then this is how you do it:

-Equipment: use a frying pan or a wok.  Make sure it’s not made from teflon

-Base: put a tablespoon of ghee and dump on lots of chicken broth, enough to cover most of the dish.  Normally not a fan of butters and oils but 1 tablespoon won’t hurt and adds a ton of flavor.  You can even try 2 tablespoons.

-Put stove on number 4

-Veggies: put any combination of the following veggies: spinach, onions, garlic, bell pepper, squash, tomatoes, carrots, celery, etc..

-Spices: any and all.  I use Tomato Powder ,Nutritional Yeast , Italian SeasoningCurry and adequate salt.  Instead of salt, I use olive juice or pickle/sauer kraut juice many times.

Let it simmer and that’s it.  You can add anything else that you want to it, including potatoes, meat, rice and anything else.   This method of cooking makes all food taste great.

For convenience

Put equal portions of rice and lentils in a big pot and let it cook until it gets soft.  You can add broth instead of water and maybe a bit of ghee so that the bottom doesn’t get burnt.  I use Tomato Powder ,Nutritional Yeast , Italian SeasoningCurry and adequate salt.  Instead of salt, I use olive juice or pickle/sauer kraut juice many times.  I transfer it to a sealable storage container and snack out of it throughout the week.  You can also throw some fish on top of it to cook, too.  I include tempeh a lot for its health benefits.  Simple and easy.

Basic Supplements To Think About With The Resistant Starch Diet

1) Fish oilVitamin D3 and Iodine. Fish oil isn’t necessary if you eat fish 4 times a week.  Vit D isn’t necessary if you get lots of full-body sun daily.  Iodine isn’t necessary if you eat seaweeds.

2) NOW Foods Zinc Picolinate -15 mg (take a third of a capsule)- especially for men.  This diet is high in foods with phytic acid, which binds to zinc, in addition to the high copper content, which competes with zinc.  Through my research, zinc is the only mineral that can be a potential problem.  No need for a multi-vitamin.

3) Calcium Citrate  200mg 1-2X per a day.  If you aren’t eating dairy or bones/bone broths you absolutely need to take 200-400mg of calcium.

4) Glycine 1g/day or 3-5g before bed.  This isn’t necessary if you consume lots of chicken broth.

5) Creatine  1g/day.  Creatine is in muscle meat and the body produces some on its own.  This is a fantastic substance to supplement with at low dosages such as a gram a day.  Creatine only becomes essential for vegans and people who eat little fish and meat.

228 thoughts on “The Resistant Starch Diet Template”

  1. Hi Joe!
    I am a bit confused. Are nutritional yeast okay for people with histamine intolerances? I cannot find any studies concerning it. Thanks!

  2. How much hi-maze starch i must add to meal? For example 4 meals and one tbsp of starch with every meal will be right dose? Please clarify this.

    1. Depends on how much you are getting from the rest of your diet, supps you’re taking and what you’re trying to achieve. ~1 tbsp 2-3X a day would be an average recommendation.

  3. Great update to the list Joe.

    By the way, have you ever noticed a difference between organic/GMO grain and non-organic GMO grain?

    Some have said that the glyphosate pesticide that those crops are sprayed with is what causes the issues associated with wheat, but I’m unwilling to experiment with that.

  4. What is your attitude towards eating organs like beef heart regularly? Heart as lots of choline.

    Also – what about the sprouted lentils in Whole Foods’ bulk section (they are dried compared to the ones you have on the picture and much cheaper)

  5. I’m having trouble getting enough energy on this diet. Since I’m nordic I thought I’d give LCHF a shot. Has anyone done as great a presentation of a high fat diet like the presentation of this diet?

    1. Include EVOO, Ghee and more animal foods. If you are overweight then being in a caloric deficit isn’t a bad thing.

      1. I tried adding one more banana and tbsp a of ghee at night and had a slightly bigger dinner at night which was enough to push me over my calorie needs (suggested by the increase in sympathetic nervous system activity ie some trouble falling asleep). Today my cognitive performance is a bit worse which supports your theory on only keeping oils within the confines of a calorie restricted diet.

        Thank you for your advice and for the unique content you provide with this blog. I will stick to this diet.

  6. Is there more RS in more green bananas? I can cut the green bananas from my garden but would like to know at what stage (when they just almost turn ripe or when they are still small and hard)
    How many green bananas would you recommend daily?

    Do soaked oat groats have high RS? (soaked overnight in lemon water, drained and blended in yogurt before eating).

    Thanks!

  7. Also – to wrote earlier that one of the reasons you prefer to not to use Arrowroot starch is that you do not like to consume “empty calories” w/o nutrients. This is especially true if you are on a CR diet. Doesn’t Hi-Maize fit the “empty calories” category?

  8. Thank you for the clarification! But one question – should I be worried about Flax seed rancidity when buying it in powder form?

    1. Also – one of the reasons that I enjoy coming back to your blog every time is because you always change your recommendations. I personally trust much more a person who changes his opinion dozens of times as he gets more data than a person who sells the same dogma w/o for a decade (all the paleo movements) seeing no reason to make any amendments. Make sure to update more as you experiment!

  9. Why did you become so conservative about phytic acid after claiming that it is great for longevity and health before (sprouted flax, sprouted sesame, etc.)?

    1. There’s information I get from reading studies and there’s information I get from experiments. The only issue I’ve seen people have with phytate is the binding to metals, which I debunked as not being an issue. It also has a bunch of potential health benefits, as you will see below. But after experimenting with it I realized that it was also causing low grade inflammation and exacerbating IBS, which I was effectively counteracting with supplements and other measures. However, I’m for dietary changes first before taking supplements. After experimenting with drastically reducing phytate, my need for supplements has plummeted. This couldn’t be from metal binding because I tried to take even more minerals, to no effect. I tried to find anyone mentioning a food sensitivity to it, but couldn’t find any reports. After more research I realized that every culture sprouted or heavily prepared grains before using them. I had already knew this, but didn’t realize how significant it was. This makes me think there’s more we don’t know about it and should, perhaps, trust our ancestors.

      The same can be said with something like coffee. If you read the literature, it’s got loads of benefits, but it causes inflammation for me. The answer is it benefits people who can handle it. Phytate probably isn’t a problem for most people, but for people sensitive to various elements in food should try sprouting or at least soaking their grains, not only for reducing phytate, but also other negative elements that may cause GI distress(saponins, etc..). There’s not really a downside to soaking, except some lost minerals, which is likely more than made up by a reduction in phytate.

      Small amounts of phytate is probably good for me, but if you’re eating a lot of grains AND you’re sensitive to a lot of elements in food than going a phytate reduced diet may be a good experiment.

  10. Do you have any links for studies why chicken and beef are healthier broiled and not steamed or cooked in low temperature water? If no studies, why broiling? Thank you@

    1. Broiling was more like one option. Could be steamed or cooked in low temp. As long as it’s not exposed to a high flame, it’s good.

  11. Would you recommend homemade hummus (serving of cold chickpeas, garlic, blended with grinded sesame and flax + 1/2 tbls of olive oil [or without OO]) as a staple of your diet?

  12. You wrote before to one of the commentators that parboiled is not recommend for people with insulin issues. Also, parboiled rice was never part of your recommendations before.

    Did you get some new insights about parboiled rice? If so, what did you find?

      1. So, if I have glucose issues and have both the option of brown and parboiled which one – from you new info- should I use more often?

  13. I have been following Mediterranean similar diet to yours (basically the same but w/o green bananas) which includes lentils, brown rice, sesame seeds (60g a day), nuts, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots , kombucha , fish/chicken and tons of vegetables. Following your recommendation, two months ago I started supplementing with calcium as I get not dairy in my diet.

    After following this diet for awhile I started having difficulty peeing and started having some mood shifts throughout the day. I discovered that my thyroid hormones went out of balance and that I had calcium oxalate kidney stones.

    I am quite sure that the kidney stones are a direct result of the diet after I checked and saw that the 5 highest foods in oxalate are: 1. Sesmae seeds 2. Almonds 3. Beets and sweet potatoes 4. Buckwheat 5. leafy greens.

    All of these foods were staples of my diet and your diet.

    Since I did realize other benefits from the diet, what would you recommend I do know to deal with the kidney stones? What about the diet?

  14. I came across some Rye Sourdough at my local market. I have a gluten intolerance and they told me that it is ok for people with gluten intolerance and coeliacs. Does this sound right to you? I thought no matter what type of sourdough it is it would always have gluten protein’s let over to some extent.

  15. Hi! One question, I have some degree of IR – I was wondering, will blending cold lentils and rice with vegetables to make a soup (I have a Vitaminx) produce a higher sugar jump than eating un-blended lentils?

    Also – do you add cinnamon to your food or drink it before meals?

  16. In the past you wrote that you try to avoid eating animal protein for supper and now you recommend it – what lead to the change?

  17. HI,
    I find your diet information very interesting. I have been on many different diets in the past couple of years trying to repair my digestive system. I love your suggestions for healthy starches and unprocessed foods! Currently I am on Donna Pessin’s Unique Healing protocol and having good success but I think adding in even more of the foods that you recommend will be fabulous.

    While I was reading through your information, I wanted to share something that I have learned over the last couple of years that you may find interesting. While white and whole wheat bread are both high on the glycemic index, sourdough bread is not. Not only is significantly lower on the glycemic index but it has dozens of health benefits that regular “bakers yeast” bread does not have, including the fact that it actually helps to balance the digestive system bacteria. Unfortunately, the sourdough bread at most stores is not authentic naturally leavened sourdough bread. (I believe that you can tell by the label – it should not have yeast listed as an ingredient…?)

    I started making my own and I love it! It’s taken me a while to learn it since it’s really an art but It’s been worth the extra effort and my family is much healthier for it. While I don’t think that sourdough bread alone can heal someone’s digestive tract, it can do wonders and it will definitely slow down the damage from unfermented wheat, which is very hard on our system. When I first started making sourdough, I noticed that it was much easier to digest but it still made me ill if I ate too much. Now that I have been on Donna’s program for over 3 months now, I can eat it as often as I want and actually feel good. I am crossing my fingers that these results are long term. it’s great to eat bread and actually feel good after it.

    I’m off to enjoy a piece of whole wheat/rye bread for lunch. Thanks for the information!

    1. Brandy, thanks for the info, may I inquire what flour you use and if you have a favorite recipe? Are you gluten intolerant or sensitive?

  18. Hi again! I have a weird question; Every since I started implementing your diet (+supplemental recs for rain fog) I feel a strong need to pee all the time, even if i just peed.Do you think it may be the cause of one of the supplements or unrelated UTI or something else?

    1. It’s from the supps and plants. This is not a bad thing. Help yourself with my notes (these influence how much you pee):

      Diuretic: Caffeine, theophylline, theobromine, Flax, garlic, Astragalus, Tea, stevia, Alfalfa, Almond, Walnut, Avocado, Banana, Beets, Black bean, Chickpea, Coconut, Cabbage, Apple, Cranberry, Carrot, Cashew, Celery, Capsicum, Cardamom, Basil, Coriander, Cumin, Black pepper, Dill, Fennel, Fenugreek, Bilberry, Gotu kola, Berberine, Ashwagnadha, Skullcap, America Ginseng, Panax ginseng, Artichoke, Black cumin, Blue flag, Bacopa, Boswella, Buplureum, Burdock, Camu, Coleus, Slippery elm, Elderberry, Amla, Angelica s, Ephedra, Evodia, Guggul, gymnema hawthron, hops, polygonum cuspidatum, Jasmine, Jujube, Kava, Lemon, Licorice, Marijuana, Mustard, Nettle, Noni, Oats, okra, olive leaf, onion, oregano, papaya, parsley, pear, peppermint, pineapple, plantain, pomgranate, potato, psyllium, pumpkin seed, raspberry, red clover, rehmannia, rice, chamomile (N), rosemary, sage, saw palmetto, sesame, shatavari, eleuthero, spinach, strawberry, sunflower seeds, Thyme, tomato, curcumin, valerian, water melon, lettuce,

      Antidiuretic: P ginseng (also diuretic), Licorice

      Sodium(+): Cortisol, Aldosterone, Licorice,

      Potassium(-): Aldosterone, Cortisol, Alcohol, Caffeine, Sugar, Licorice, ACV, some Diuretics,

      Aldosterone(-): Rooibos, Sodium, Cortisol (by activating Minercorticoid receptor, which excretes potassium and conserves sodium),

      Aldosterone(+): Potassium, Sodium reduction, Low sodium, High sodium, Lactate(from exercise, kombucha), NSAIDs, AngiotensisII, ACTH, Pineal extract(adrenoglomerulotropin), Zn(raises potassium), Cu(-)(increased copper raises sodium), Cortisol(-) (which leads to increased potassium), ..

      1. Selfhacked..
        Can you explain the notes for potassium, aldosterone and sodium..Im confused by the negative/positive signs and the minerals listed thereafter. thank you for sharing,

  19. has there been a concensous on the best time to take the powdered potato startch for better sleep? (morning or before bed?) thanks

    1. I’m honestly not a fan of potato starch. When you consume potato starch you are filling yourself with empty calories. The RDA for potassium is 4600mg. You’d have to eat 12 bananas to get that. I eat about 1600 calories a day and all my food is potassium rich and I still don’t get enough potassium, just because of my low calorie intake. I need to supplement with 1500mg, which I’d rather not because potassium in supplements isn’t the same as the kind found in food. Using nutritionless potato starch, we are losing out on the opportunity to get potassium and other nutrients from food.

  20. Could you write out a recipe for the big pot of rice and lentils, and however you prepare it when you finally get around to eating it?

    1. Will do. I will make videos, too. Bought the best gopro cam and will give people a snapshot of how I eat, cook and how I set up my home laboratory. I will include recipes.

      1. That would be very helpful, would have helped me a lot. Difficult to digest information from your blog and apply it to real life during my brain fog/depression.

        I suggest a simple video not only on your diet but also an introduction to brain fog and your site or a “start here” section.

        Appreciate your work : )

  21. My source of RS – 4 tablespoons of uncooked rolled oats. And since you don’t even mention oats in the post, how good of a source is it?

    Best,
    Steve

  22. My previous roomate left about 10 kg of organic black rice and I do not know whether it is good or better than the brown rice. What is your recommendation?

  23. I am really interested – Have you noticed any difference between eating organic and non organic vegetables? I did not find any research on the question.

  24. Upon modifying my diet according to your recommendations I started getting tons of dandruff ( really huge pieces of skin falling from my scalp). I do not know whether it is related to the diet or not as I also just moved to a new place. But since this is the first time I get dandruff (never had before) and since it started almost immediately upon changing my diet I worry that I might have done something wrong.

    Thanks !

    1. You may be allergic to a food group you introduced. Without knowing lots more I can’t tell you why that happened. What are you eating? What were you eating before?

      1. Before – Sweet potatoes, cauliflower, kale, chard, green leafs, beef, egg, apples, carrots, squash and ghee.

        After – Brown rice, red lentils (not soaked), Beef gelatin + potato starch + kombucha (a recipe for jelly yogurt), Flax+sesame + hemp (50g total), Atlantic cod, Chicken, Beef (occasionally),broccoli sprouts, cucumber, lettuce, green banans, oranges , berries.

        1. Stop the foods in this order and see what happens
          1) Chocolate
          2) potato starch
          3) Cod
          4) Red lentils

          If it’s not these foods then I don’t think it’s caused by the diet, but you can continue eliminating foods haphazardly until you find a culprit.

          I’m allergic to eggs and I believe fish but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t recommend it to others. You need to find out what food is causing it and try to go back to your old diet and see it if disappears.

          1. Thank you! How long should I wait to make sure that one food is not the cause?

            for example, if I stop eating fish now for 5 days will it be enough to determine whether or not it is the cause of my symptoms?

            also, if you do not eat fish + eggs what is your main source of protein?

          2. 1-2 weeks. Pea protein and chicken and occasionally fish even though I’m probably allergic to it. I feel a bit sluggish after most meals of fish. I’m not allergic to all fish. Once in a blue moon beef, too.

          3. I’m slightly allergic to whey, but most others aren’t. If you’re sensitive to a lot of foods go for pea protein.

  25. Hi! Is there any health benefit to having spicy meals (other than the nutrition in spices + good taste)?

    Also, why combining all ingredients of the diet – lentils, starch, protein, fat and vegetables- together in every meal is better than having these ingredients consumed throughout the day separately to reach the same total?

    1. Many benefits besides nutrition and taste

      Protein needs carbs to make more use of the insulin, carbs needs veggies and fat to slow absorption. Carbs also need RS, protein, fat and veggies to signal satiety so carbs or calories aren’t overdone. Legumes also have a “second meal effect” many hours later. These kinds of balanced meals create more of steady energy state. Deviating occasionally is completely fine.

      1. Thank you for your prompt response; I am really interested in what kind of health benefits besides nutrition and taste can spices provide. What are the reasons that you are adding them to besides the nutrition and taste?

        On a completely different note, is it possible that raw organic vegetables such as parsley, cucumber, celery and lettuce, cause acne? I found correlation in my own experiments between their consumption and acne breakup. It is possible? why?

  26. Out of curiosity, have you found whether the order in which you eat each of the food type – protein first or starch first or fat first- effects blood sugar levels? . which order is the best?

  27. Is it fine if i also add the seeds and raw garlic in the pot? This way i don’t have to add anything when i take the food out the container.

    Thanks again for sharing this diet with us! : )

  28. Hello!

    I have been on a very low carb diet for a long time. I tried adding some of your recommended starches to my diet + fruit (bananas/oranges/berries + lemon) +honey.

    While I did get some immediate benefits from the addition (muscle mass up + better sleep), I became extremely agitated in the evenings; every day, 5 hours before bed, I start getting strong pulse of “negative energy” that makes me agitated, stressed and makes me crave carbs (so I can calm down). Why is that? It is really unpleasant.

    Also- if I feel tired after carbs (like brown rice) should I take down the serving to only 1 per day? Or is it only for the potatos?

    1. You should reduce carbs if your carb intolerant, but that means you have an underlying condition, which needs to be fixed. Being carb intolerant would also explain the agitation. Consider a consult or try to fix it yourself if you can.

  29. Hi! I plugged your diet + serving recommendation + three green banans to Cronometer and it appears that following it I will be deficient on vitamin e and potassium (for 1700 calories) . should I supplement?

    1. It’s very difficult to get 4700mg of potassium or 11 bananas worth (equal to 1200 calories) on a calorie restricted diet. I think I’m an anomaly as far as my calorie needs. Other people should take in more calories as needed (but starting low is better than starting high). If you’re eating less than 1800 calories, I’d say supplements are a must. The average male eats 3900 calories in the US. You could either supplement with potassium citrate or buy the dried (or fresh) coconut water in my toolkit. It has 35% of your daily needs for potassium in 100 or so calories. I add a pill of 400iu vitamin E in my huge spice mix jar. I also take a selenium supplement that has the RDA for vit E.

      1. Thank you! what is your recommended vitamin e brand? The one you put in your spice mix?

        Also, could you define “carb intolerance” ?

  30. so as a vegetarian can I just use whey concentrate as primary protein source, with some pea isolate as well what about nucleotide’s for vegans vegetarians should I supplement with those as well you didn’t mention that.

  31. Hi!
    I love this diet and your blog it has helped me a lot, but i have some silly questions:

    Is parboiled rice fine?
    Are chicken broths the same as stocks? Is it fine if i have beef/chicken stock?
    My country does not sell steel-cut, is it ok if i have rolled oats?
    And about how many grams of rice/lentils/potatoes do you normally have during your meals?

    Thanks : )

    1. Parboiled only if you don’t have problems with glucose control and you are active.
      Mostly the sae and yes.
      Ya,

      1-2 servings.

  32. Are you sure about calcium supplementation? When a person takes calcium tablets after any meal containing even little phytic acid, calcium combines with phytate to form calcium phytate that doesn’t allow absorption of calcium. Is it better to do simply find alternative sources for it?

    Also, could you please write what exactly you eat to allow for caloric restriction? rice is incredibly high in calories as well as nuts, seeds and 4oz of eggs. If you combine it with 3 banans, 1 orange/blueberries and take 1tbls of honey before and after bed than it is really hard to keep caloric restriction ( simply checking cronometer).

    1. So what if some phytate bind to calcium? The effect is relatively small from what I’ve read.

      The average American male eats 3900 calories. I eat maybe 1600. I don’t eat that much rice, nuts or eggs. 1-2 servings of rice per a meal 2 X a day. 1-2oz of nuts a day, 1 or 2 bananas, some seeds and a protein source. 1 tsp of honey. I don’t follow your calculations.

  33. Most importantly: what do you think on protocols like Jack Kraus’ for increasing leptin sensitivity by eating 50 grams of protein upon waking with NO carbs? could I eat pure protein for breakfast and then eat the RS you recommend later ?

  34. Please help! I have problem finding appropriate animal proteins for my breakfast ( and probably lunch as well). So far I used to depend on red meat -lamp, cow, goat, etc- but now I do no know what to substitute.

    Eggs – I react strongly to egg whites.

    Fish – I react to wild salmon and especially smoked salmon which are both too expensive anyway

    Chicken – I do not have problems with chicken but I believe that it is really the worst of the proteins – high on omega 6 and 97 percent of all chicken have some bacteria. I really can not see myself eating chicken for breakfast.

    Pork – (not kosher :) )

    Whey – for some reason whenever I eat whey I get elevated blood sugar level that remains high over an extended period of time. I tried Jarrow’s following your recommendation but it was no different.

    I was recommended crickets as an alternative but it is too hard to find :)

    What do you recommend? do you think that different fish might not cause problems?sardines ? should I eat beef for break fast every day? Chicken? What do you recommend?

    And – why does whey cause such spikes? should I only take it in the evening after intense work out?

  35. Hi! every time I eat sauerkraut and sometimes when I drink kombucha I lose my concentration get a weird feeling as if i am drunk or just got hit by a a baseball bat. Do you have any idea why? what do you recommend instead?

  36. Hi Joe, sometimes I do not have time to refrigerate hot brown rice so I put it in the refrigerator for two hours and it freezes almost completely by this time. I then eat it frozen. Do you think it is healthy to eat food that is almost completely frozen – it does make me more satiated but feeling like chewing ice cubes.

  37. Hey SelfHacked,

    Can you cook the green bananas (and let them cool), or do you have to eat them raw?

    Green bananas are a Caribbean staple so I’d love to bring some down home cooking into this protocol.

    1. I noticed a decrease in insulin resistance. My biggest issue was insulin resistance rather than weight problems, though I’ve lost some weight on it. Everybody is different. This diet is meant to prevent insulin spikes.

      1. Thanks for the response. Do you use a glucose monitor to see change in insulin resistance or some other measure/feeling? I believe I have insulin resistance and have a monitor to check glucose levels.

        1. Fasting glucose is the best marker of insulin resistance that is easily accessible. Other methods are done by special laboratories. If you get tired after carbs or are overweight, it’s very likely you have IR.

  38. This is wrong. The body cannot burn fat and release insulin at the same time.
    Holy God, no wonder why the country has an EPIDEMIC!!!
    Are you an agent provocateur for Bristol Myers squibb per chance?

    1. The Japanese are stick thin and they eat rice at most/every meal. They are the thinnest people in the world and their diet is low in fat. How do you explain that?

  39. Hi! One question – I have been extremely underweight all my life. I can not gain any mass – especially not muscle mass. Do you have any suggestion how to modify your diet to gain some mass ( muscle preferably)?

    1. General advice – More protein from whey, specifically BCAA’s, specifically leucine. Also more carbs – not RS. Is your objective to look good? Relevant info would be if you have an underlying health problems…

  40. Hi Joe!

    I am a nutritionist and have been enjoying your site. I see you have a ton of questions to answer, so when/if you have time, I’m wondering what your thoughts are on coconut manna, coconut aminos, and brown rice protein powder (i.e. Growing Naturals). Also wondering what you think about Dr. Mercola’s stance on the importance of whey prot. powders being cold pressed? Thanks in advance for your time!

    In Health,
    Tanya

    1. Hi Tanya!

      The only coconut consumption I advocate is dried shredded coconut. It’s hard to go overboard with the whole coconut. I’m not a fan of the butters.
      No experience with coconut aminos. Brown rice protein powder should be fine. I tried a dif company a while ago. I’m going to give it another go.

      With the whey, I think it depends. The more unprocessed the whey is, the more likely it can cause issues for people sensitive to it. So even though it has more good stuff, it has more bad stuff if people are sensitive. I felt shitty from a lot of whey’s. I’m still experimenting with more whey’s to see which one is the best. I just finished an ultrafiltered one that was pretty decent by Jarrow. When that’s done, I have a NOW whey isolate that I will give a go. The most imp therapeutic substance in whey is lactoferrin, IMO. I’m experimenting with that separately now.

      Best,
      Joe

      1. Thanks Joe! I have had good luck with Dr. Mercola’s whey protein concentrate that is cold pressed. Only one that settles well with me and my fam.

  41. Hi! would you recommend using green multi vitamins like Athletic Greens or high ORAC green powders as an insurance policy for full nutrition? why?

    Also, what is your experience with probiotics? have you tried any blends like the following for SIBO/IBS?

    Primal Defense
    Prescript Assist
    MegaSpore
    Body Biotic
    Primal Flora

    ?

    1. I think any branded product is a waste of money, with a few exceptions like longvida curcumin and some others. I never buy branded products and that’s why I don’t spend much on supps. You pay 3-10X the cost of the isolated product.

  42. Hi my family and I are following a diet based on Ayurvedic principles. I could not help but notice that there are many similarities between our diet and yours.

    One question – according to Ayuverda, one should not combine animal protein and starch in the same meal.

    Do you think that the diet you propose would have the same for me benefit if upon waking I would consume protein and then wait 3 hours and eat starch. Should starch be the first thing in the morning or will protein alone will do?

    1. I would eat starch first thing in the morning and then protein for lunch. I humbly and respectfully disagree with the approach of not mixing starch and protein. I think they should be mixed. I wouldn’t mix protein and fructose, though.

  43. Hi!

    I have been on a low carb diet for a long time; lost 5kg of muscles and got stupider in the process. Every time I try diet higher on carbs (and I am currently trying the “Free the Animal” version of resistant starch diet) I gain tons of muscle in a really short time but with the muscle I get acne. Alot of it.

    Could you hypothesize what is the cause? How would you suggest to deal with this problem?

    1. Simple, acne and muscle growth are both a product of higher insulin and therefore IGF-1. IGF-1 is one of the main causes of acne. This should only happen if you aren’t eating the right carbs, not preparing them the right way or are insulin resistant (perhaps because of eating them with tons of fat).

    2. I have noticed a problem with acne when supplementing a vegan gluten-’free diet with vitamin B12 in the form Methylcobalamin B12 (referred as the most absorble form vs Cyanocobalamin B12.) Changing forms of B12 helped the acne clear up SOMEWHAT, but I decided to drop all vita B supplementation, including that in my multi vitamin and the acne cleared up within a month… after MONTHS of suffering the break-outs. I am careful to eat foods which naturally contain vita B12, or are fortified with B12 such as Nutritional Yeast, non-dairy almond milk,etc. Only a small amount of B12 is required and most vita B supplements contain a MEGA dose. Hope this helps. Acne is so stressful, frustrating & saddening to endure.

  44. Does all resistant starch have to be cold for it to keep it’s properties? I understand that potatoes must be cooled first, but what about brown rice or lentils? If I add potato starch to a smoothie made with coconut milk, will the fats interfere with it? Or if I sprinkle potato starch on hot food will it damage it? What about slightly warm? I understand that some of my diet is different than what you have laid out, I’m primarily concern with getting more resistant starch in it and want to understand how it works.

    1. -Lentils and legumes in general don’t have to be cooled. Honestly, though, the only time I actually notice improved cognitive well-being – which I believe is a result of butyrate and HDAC inhibition – is when I eat semi green bananas. When I wake up in the morning I’ll eat like 2 bananas and I’ll get what’s now a familiar butyrate buzz. The semi-green bananas is what got me excited about RS. So if you’re not keen on ingesting nutritionless flours, then get yourself some semi-green bananas.

      -Fats won’t interfere

      -Sprinkling it on hot food shouldn’t be a problem to my knowledge

      -It changes the gut flora and produces butyrate, which is also a kind of fuel for the brain.

      The main health benefits of the diet are not from the RS per se. They are only a portion of it. IF you only want more RS I suggest to just eat green bananas, but I think you’ll be missing out on improved performance, health and weight loss that is provided by the rest of the diet.

  45. Hi!

    I am currently trying your diet. I am eating cold potatoes + lentil with eggs for breakfast and with fish for lunch. In the evening, I eat cold brown rice mixed with nuts, cranberries/raisins/wild blueberries and powdered flax+sesame+ spices.

    I am feeling great and losing weight.

    But I started having terrible gas all of the time to the point that I consider switching back to my old diet.

    This gas might be due to some food sensitivity as I don’t usually eat eggs but I really do not know. Please help.

    1. Thanks for sharing your results.

      It’s either from a food sensitivity like to eggs as you suggest, or because you aren’t acclimated to RS. You may also experiment cutting out dried fruit like raisons and cranberries. If you ingesting potato or arrow root starch then stop. The diet provides enough RS and it’s possible you may be getting too much.

  46. One more question – how many meals would you recommend for this diet? Which one is the most important? You write some places that you recommend skipping lunch. Why not breakfast?

    1. 3-5, breakfast.

      Breakfast shouldn’t be skipped because you’re already doing a mini fast when you sleep. Studies have shown skipping breakfast is bad for health and weight loss

  47. Hi!

    I find eating fish hard – I do not like it, it is expensive and I know for a fact that I have some reactions to shellfish and possibly salmon.

    Visualizing your RS diet minus fish in cronometer, I see that I might need to supplement with selenium – would you recommend that? what is the best source?

  48. I liked the idea of eating “Go Raw” granola as it can take my head off dinner; but can you really eat uncooked buckwheat? Isn’t it like eating an uncooked rice granola?

  49. I have heard that quinoa is not optimal for people with gut problems (like myself). Which starch is the least irritating for the gut – rice, buckwheat or potato (I know that buckwheat provides the most nutrition per calories)?

    1. I had a problem with quinoa also. Do you have a source for quinoa irritating the gut? I thought I was just an anomaly. All three are great.

      1. There is an article I bought some years ago listing the saponins concentrations in different foods. Quinoa was high on top on many different kinds of saponins.

  50. Could you provide your scientific reasoning for the importance of legumes in the diet? After all, I can get all of you recommended value of RS from sources other than legumes (which would be preferable for me)

      1. I have a general issue with high- lectin foods including nightshades (especially tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant) dairy, egg whites, wheat, soy, peanuts, etc.

        whenever I eat those I get some acne and fatigue.

        My mother has rheumatoid arthritis (it is said that 20% of all cases of rheumatoid arthritis are caused by lectins in the nightshade family).

        Since I can use other types of starch in the diet to substitute for the potatoes, the only thing that stops me is the legumes.

        Are there any alternatives? And – why are they so important?

        1. Legumes have fiber, RS, protein, potassium, magnesium and a bunch of vitamins and minerals, in addition to a bit of carbs. There’s also other benefits, depending on the type of legume. There’s tons of epidemiological studies showing benefit for a bunch of diseases. If you are allergic or sensitive to them then don’t eat them. I’d say to eat potatoes, bananas and avocados to get potassium and magnesium (potatoes and avocado have magnesium), in addition to monitoring your intake of potassium to see if you are getting an adequate amount. If you aren’t getting enough potassium then I’d supplement (supplemental potassium can damage the gut) or restrict salt, since sodium competes with potassium..

  51. Hi! Taking a first step towards adopting the diet, this week I introduced cold kasha meal every morning and evening which includes organic un-roasted buckwheat cooked in broth with carrots, onions, lentil and chicken/beef. I also started taking 200 mg DPP4 before the kasha meals and 1 cap of bromelain after.

    In the morning I also add 1 egg.

    I am feeling awesome and losing weight + gaining muscles. The redness I used to have beneath my eyes is gone.

    But two question – I started getting constipated (really bad). Should I wait for my body to adapt? Also, I see relatively large chunks of food coming out from the other end (pieces of nuts, etc); I never had this problem before. Is it normal?

    Also, out of curiosity, do you have any palatable way to have whey with you meals?

    1. The constipation is really odd, given the amount of fiber you are taking in. Try to include leafy green veggies as well. The best therapy for constipation is a veggies smoothie consisting of celery, lettuce and cucumbers.

      Constipation may be a sign that you are including too much RS. Are you also taking in Arrowroot or potato starch? Whey is delicious on its own. I use whey. cinnamon, carob, vanilla and stevia. Take it before your meal.

  52. I really like the the idea and the design of the diet. I like that you understand that there are people who eat to live and not vise versa.

    You write that you need only one hour of food preparations per week. This was of the things that attracted me to this diet.

    But after trying your diet for a week I noticed that I spend much more time in the kitchen than ever before.

    I have to cook fish/eggs/chicken every two days which takes at least 30 min (except eggs). If I eat fish I usually prefer to not keep it more than 24 hours.

    If I make a chicken broth with carrots, lentil and rice it will take even longer to prepare.

    Do you use fenugreek + ginger powders?

    I need to peel and cook potato or sweet potato an every two days because you can not eat potato after 48 hours.

    Lentils and rice can be kept refrigerated for 4 days but I will also have to remake them then.

    My question is- could you please tell me exactly what is your cooking routine, storage and preparation that allows you to forget about food.

    1. Hi Gene,
      You’re doing it wrong then. I cook rice and legumes once a week. It lasts 7 days in the right container. I will post it in an update what I use. In any case, it stays for 5 days in its own pot, so maybe your fridge temp isn’t high enough or you’ve gotten rotten food that causing other things to spoil quicker. Hardboiled eggs also last a while – at least 5 days. I use fish, eggs, chicken for the first 4 days and then I use a whey powder after that for my protein in addition to smoked salmon, anchovies, herring, etc..

      I use already prepared broth and cook the rice and lentils with it.

      Potatoes can easily last 5 days as well and everything can be prepared in one shot.

      Sometimes I freeze some of my preparations and defrost it on day 5 to get me through the week, because while the food is good for 7 days, I don’t like to push the limit.

      Also include frozen and dried fruits, in addition to bananas. Sometimes I run out of food and drink a shake and eat less that day.

      I take in a lot of olives, which last a really long time.

      I’m not seeing how the preparation takes so long.

      Two hours at most….

    2. 30g is a good recommendation for flax and sesame in a day. That’s about what I get. I also use some chia and hemp. Are you referring to the drink? I mentioned that I didn’t find it optimal to only consume that. That drink is supposed to last 3 days or so, which equals 20g/day of both of them Either way, the drink needs fixing and I am working on it. There’s one ingredient that’s not working so well. It may be the waxy maize. More testing to come.

      So in summary, 30g of both flax and sesame is a fair recommendation.

      1. Can you keep fish in the refrigerator for more than max 2 days?
        If not, then after two days the only sources of proteins you have are eggs and whey…

        1. Once it’s cooked fish and chicken last 3 days. After that I can eat smoked salmon, pickled fish and whey. Sometimes I’d boil a batch of eggs in middle of the week. It doesn’t really take any time since you can do other things while they’re boiling. Also, I think it’s beneficial to cycle and have protein restriciton for a few days anyway.

  53. Hi Joe! you advised me to take chayawanprash upon waking and before bed. But you also often use it interchangeably with Amla. I can get either one. Does it matter which one I get if the goal is to stabilize GLP-1?

  54. Is this diet ideal for women? How many calories should women aim for on this diet. I’m petite at 5’3″ and have been skinny-fat forever with high body fat percentage. Will this diet help me lean out?

  55. I have brain fog.
    I am willing to try eating the following everyday:

    Breakfast:
    -Cold Japanese SP/arrowroot starch + cold brown rice
    -Carrots
    - olives
    -2 raw garlic cloves
    -Spice mix= N Flakes, Tomato powder, Italian seasoning(oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley), Fennel, Ginger, Turmeric, Coriander, Cumin, Curry, OLE, Holy basil, Cayenne, black pepper).
    – 4oz salmon

    Lunch:
    -Protein powder, Ground Sesame+Flax, Rice Bran, Coconut flour, -Cinnamon+Cocoa, Licorice, Vanilla + potato starch + spirullina powder
    -Chayavanprash

    Supper:
    - Same as breakfast but with eggs + raw vegetables (cucumbers, turnips, basil, arugula, tomato).

    Supplements: iodine + zinc+ vit d3 + k2 + colostrum + glutamine + beef gelatin + glycine + 1g creative + curcumin.

    But before I have several questions:

    How long have you been on the resistance starch diet?
    How many mutations did this diet go through?
    Why were these mutations introduced/accepted?
    How many people followed your recommendations for brain fog?
    how many of them did NOT experience positive results?
    What are the most common reasons someone would get negative results on this diet?
    What kind of people would you NOT recommend this diet to?
    What kind of health problems can be worsened by this diet?
    What mistake do you assumed people will make the most when trying the diet?
    What are the most important tests you would recommend someone to take before trying the diet?
    Are there any foods or supplements that should be introduced slowly rather than abruptly?
    What bio markers or objective numerical tests would you recommend to follow to track the diet’s success/failure? Zeo? wellnessfex? etc?
    How long will it take to see results from this diet?

    I am sorry for all of these questions. After having some bad (really bad) experience with previous online dietary recommendations I am very skeptical about everything. I find it hard to follow any recommended diet or receive any consultations before these questions are answered.

    1. You’re missing legumes. Best to add in chicken sometimes and beef occasionally. Legumes are critical. 8 months. This diet hasn’t gone through mutations, though Ive went through thousands of mutations to get here. A few dozen. None. None, unless people are allergic to certain foods. Immediately, but a few months for full results. This is a Mediterranean type diet minus oils, breads and pastas, with some RS added- it’s completely safe. Moderate exercise is imp with starch based diets. I’d suggest adopting the diet without arrowroot and then slowly adding it in. Be careful with licorice and to a lesser extent cocoa. Cocoa can be good for bf but it’s rough on the gut.

      The biggest mistake ppl make is not understanding what’s called treatment resistance. Everything I recommend helps but the body adapts back to its former diseased state-albeit less severely-unless there’s a tipping point reached. Every chronic disease and hard to treat health issue abides by this concept. People think if they just take one pill or make one change they can get better. It can help but homeostasis rules and if you are in a diseased state, that’s your homeostasis.

      1. Every time I try legumes for more than two weeks I get acne. Tried Ferriss’ slow carb.

        Tried overnight soaking, overnight refrigeration, boiling, eating with foods and without. Alternatives? why important?

      2. did not try lentils per se but legumes (beans, kidney beans, etc.) give me acne after two weeks.

        I have conflict: no matter what I eat or how much, when I fat 18 hours a day I have high energy all day and become highly motivated.

        Down side of fasting – hair loss, decreased sexual drive.

        When I eat breakfast I become tired all day and demotivated.

        I would rather trade my hair and sex for my energy. Why can I enjoy both worlds?

  56. Do you make your own kombucha?

    Can potatoes be refrigerated for entire week? sweet potatoes?

    Why do you grind flax+sesame every week and not once a month/year? why do you not get them powdered?

  57. I have heard that Resistant starch in someone with IBS or SIBO will destroy their gut. The argument goes that the opportunistic bacteria in their gut love amylose and will feed on it.

    1. RS normally gets metabolized in the large intestine. Do you have studies regarding that? I had IBS and never had a problem with it. Too much can cause stomach upset, but the right dosage is good. If you feel backed up than just reduce dosage and slowly work up. The dosage will be different by everybody and people need to ingest the amount that’s right for them. In general, a starch based diet and 2 semi green bananas shouldn’t cause problems in most. A study on sibo Anders would be appreciated.

  58. Will this diet work for a type 2 diabetic? I’ve been low carb/ Paleo, and have kept my blood sugar under control, but I’ve lost too much weight and can’t seem to put it back on. I started including some more carbs, mainly sweet potatoes, to no avail.

  59. One question. I have been trying your diet for the past week and a half and I have some problem. Prior to this diet ,I was on Paul Jaminet’s PHD. While I did not feel that the PHD was optimal for me (got blurry vision + floaters + loss of muscle), it did provide me with balanced energy the entire day.

    I would eat my first meal everyday at 14:00 and the last one at 21:30.

    Upon modifying my diet based on your suggestions (simply switched all the fats with cold brown rice, arrow root starch and green banana but keeping the meal times intact), I started to feel really tired and weak in the morning although I did lose fat and gained muscle and my blurry vision improved. Being tired in the morning (between 6:00 to 14:00) was never an issue for me previously

    The only other changes I made were to add 2g of inositol daily + 500 mg of Pantothenic Acid.

    Thank you!.

    1. Sounds like insulin resistance. If you are relatively thin then you also probably have over expression of GLP-1. Both of these problems are gut problems. You shouldn’t be touching casein, gluten and yeast. You’re also likely sensitive to other foods so find out what they are. Much of the fatigue will go away as your body adapts. You also need to eat smaller meals. You should be having 5 small meals a day. A small meal is like 10 bites of food and then wait 2 hours. When you were on the high fat diet you wwere used to eating 1 or 2 meals a day probably. You also need to eat starches with whole food fats like olives, nuts, ground seeds, and animal foods. Also, DPP4 enzymes, lipoic acid, cinnamon, vinegar pills and kidney bean extract will help. Use lots of spices. If fatigue still sets in, exercise – pull-ups or push-ups -right when you feel tired. These steps should take care of this problem. No need for more than 10mg PA.

      1. Thank you so much Joe! over-expression of GLP-1 makes more sense than IR as I usually do not get tired after meals and my blood glucose is 70.

        I did however use to fast for sometimes 20 hours a day and have 1 meal/day. After doing it for some time I completely lose my sense of hunger. After adding RS to my diet last week I even became less hungry and had to force myself to eat.

        I am really underweight for my age and height and try to gain weight. I can see my chest veins :)

        Looking at your toolkit it appears that you only have a supplement protocol to increase expression of GLP-1. what would you recommend for GLP-1(-)? Again, thank you!

        1. I would suggest looking at the recommendations in the brain fog post. The best way to decrease GLP-1 is by taking biocore DPP4 enzymes – 200mg on an empty stomach before meals. You need to transition to small balanced meals and make sure to take some chayawanprash before going to sleep and right upon awakening. A half hour later eat a small meal.

          You have to understand a deranged gut stops the production of DPP4, so you really need to fix it.

  60. One question:

    1. I try to gain weight, not lose it. I have 6-8% fat percentage. is this diet for me?

    2. I have high energy all day but also have brain fog. I do not feel better or worse after eating carbs (even after eating a lot). I did get some hives recently that lasted for a long time together with the brain fog but after adopting a diet low on histamine producing foods and high on low histamine foods it went away. the brain-fog stayed. any suggestions?

      1. I never went to the doctor with my problem no, my experience is that the medical industry is largely a pez-dispenser for big pharma. There are difficulties with self-diagnosis of course, so i never tried to pin it down specifically, but it basically consisted in chronic indigestion, bloating, fatigue, occasional stomach pains, flatulence, halitosis and bad skin. I’m not exactly sure what that constellation of symptoms points to, but dietary and previously mentioned measures seem to have been remedial.

  61. I’ve been on this diet for a couple of weeks and it’s been great at completely ridding me of energy fluctuations throughout the day/after meals. I also love the time and money saving aspects of it… which is why I’m doubly disappointed that it seems to have exacerbated troubles I have with my large intestine, such as bloating and blockage in large parts of it. I am now attempting to sort these problems out, and will hopefully be able to return to an R.S diet in time. Just a warning for those with intestinal blockages; you may want to address this problem first. Personally I am having great success with colonic hydrotherapy. I’m aware of the lack of rigorous studies and widespread attempts to discount the treatment, yet I’m even more acutely aware of a) how much rancid material comes out (far more than goes in), b) how great and refreshed I feel afterwards and c) how much my bloating and gas is reduced. Anyway, colons aside, still looking forward to that kombucha article Joe! Thanks for all your intriguing work.

      1. I hadn’t been taking much in comparison to yours… I think you said in the article it was 20-30g a day with the green bananas, at 5g each, and I didn’t include those and only took the rice/lentil/carrot mix twice a day, so I’d guess around 10-15g? I imagine that shouldn’t be enough to cause this, unless I was really close to an intestinal catastrophe and that just pushed me over.

  62. Hi, thank you for sharing this, really interesting and I am about too jump on board !

    Some questions please:

    1. Anything wrong with baking potatoes in an oven instead of cooking them?

    2. Anything fundamentally wrong with cottage cheese or kefir? I love those things plus cheap protein source, hope it is not necessary to ditch them

    3. Bananas – how long do semi green bananas hold their “freshness” in resistant starch terms? Do you have to buy them every day?

  63. Hey Joe !

    I have been following your blog and I want to ask you a question.

    What is your opinion about soy ?
    Do you consume it ?
    Does it makes you grow man-boobs ?
    I am asking you because I feel like jumping on the soy fanboy wagon ( low cost, high protein content), but I am at a loss whether it is actually good for us, as men, or not. I do experience hairloss ( male pattern baldness) which I am somehow keeping away with Rogaine, with no hairgrowth to back me up, though.

    Best regards,
    Radu

  64. Hi, just found your blog. I am the father of a now 24 yr old daughter who has been struggling with extreme fatigue/brain fog and many other physical issues since high school. Some of her other common symptoms are dizziness upon standing, easily stressed, irritability and high/low moods, “feed me or I’ll kill you” syndrome (very irritable when haven’t eaten), feels cold all the time, occasional panic attack/nervous breakdown when under extreme stress, has absolutely no stamina for exercise. Tests confirmed she has gluten sensitivity and possible candida. Other recent tests revealed thyroid antibodies and colonoscopy showed mild colitis. She obviously has gut issues. But from all I’ve read, she apparently has adrenal and/or thyroid issues as well. But from everything I’ve read (including on your blog), one common denominator that I always see included with all the other symptoms is an overweight issue – whereas my daughter has the exact opposite problem. She is 5’4″ and weighs barely 100lbs. She has always been thin and unable to gain weight as much as she’s tried. She is very self-conscious about this and wishes there was a way to actually put on pounds. We have tried many different things over the years but her weight barely budges and her doctors hardly ever have anything to say about except try to eat more. She has a normal appetite and likes to eat but if she eats the wrong thing she’ll end up with extreme and sharp stomach pains, so she has to be careful about her food selection. She and I feel that her underweight issue is somehow tied in with her other symptoms. But all my research over the years shows that people who have the same physical problems she is experiencing usually are overweight. So I’m left wondering where our daughter fits into all of this. I was extremely intrigued when someone pointed me to your blog about causes and cures for brain fog…until I read the solution was a diet that helps you lose weight, the one thing my daughter can’t afford to do.

    1. 1) The studies show RS as the single most effective tool for weightloss for people who are overweight. If you are underweight it won’t make you more underweight.

      2) I had very similar issues. Your daughter probably also has insulin resistance, OCD, attentional issues and other cognitive problems. Her inability to exercise is due to mitochondrial breakdown. Cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and/or cognitive decline will ensue. The good news is these issues can be fixed, but they need to be tackled from multiple angles. Much better sooner than later. You can see what you can glean from the blog or email me about a consult. Upto you.

      Best,
      Joe

  65. Here’s another data point for you…

    My normal diet was already similar to yours, except without the massive amounts of rice and lentils (I hate eating rice and lentils, no offense). So, after reading the Wikipedia entry you referenced, I added in a bowl of the following everyday this past week, without making any other changes to my diet:

    * 1.5 cups drys oats
    * 2 tsp turmeric (to counter-act the inflammation from the oats)
    * 1 heaping tablespoon of a flax, seasame, and sunflower seed mix (except on Thursday, when I spilled a lot of seasame seeds into it)
    * 1 tbl spoon non-fat homemade yogurt for probiotics
    * 1 dash each of cinnamon, ground Indian long pepper (piperine is supposed to boost curcumin bioavailability and piperlongumine is supposed to trigger cancer cell apoptosis, IIRC), and iodized salt for taste
    * 1 splash cold water to make everything mix enough that I can swallow it

    This bowl of oats, plus my normal daily banana puts me at ~35.8 grams resistant starch / day. Other than all the fiber softening my stool more than I am used to, I’ve had no ill affects. On the positive side, I have lost 4.5 lbs this week, mostly from my mid-section.

    Now, my shorts don’t fit and the department stores have already put fall-time merchandise on the shelves. Thanks for this problem!

    1. Haha. The mid-section is an unhealthy part of the body to have fat, so it’s double the good news.

      I don’t eats oats because I’m sensitive, but for the non-sensitive segments of the population it can work as well. Rice and lentils can be delicious with the right condiments.

      If only we all had such a dilemma!

      Best,
      Joe

    1. This diet would be suited for helping with acne, since a large cause of acne is IGF signaling, which is reduced by this diet.

  66. If you feel drowsy after eating potatoes or rice you have insulin resistance. End of story. Low carb/paleo/high fat diets temporarily makes you feel better but in the long term you’re worse off. Cold potatoes will help, but it won’t cure your insulin resistance. Maybe it will help 5-10%. To get rid of IR 100% requires other steps. You can either see what you can get from my posts or take advantage of a personal consultation.

    Best,

    1. So what do you make of fatigue after consuming carby foods such as potatoes or rice? I just made some russet potatoes this evening and felt drowsy after eating them. Is this where the cold temperature comes into play, or do I simply need to use different potatoes?

  67. The way you have compared the diet plan with the expenses is the best way for one to select the appropriate plan for long term. I really appreciate your hard work and research. Thank you.

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