Diet Rich in Slowly Digestible Starch Is Effective for Type 2 Diabetes

When it comes to treating type 2 diabetes, the focus is mostly on diet and nutrition, along with physical activity and lifestyle change.

The purpose of the treatment is to prevent and delay complications by maintaining the level of blood sugar, as well as improve the quality of life.

Regarding diet, it’s usually recommended that individuals with type 2 diabetes should aim to get more or less half of their daily calorie intake from carbs.

In this case, the trick with carbs is that quality is more important than quantity, meaning that carbs with a low glycemic index are recommended for optimal results.

Previous studies have shown that slowly digestible starch is a key player in managing blood sugar levels. [1] [2] [3]

A recent clinical study has investigated the effects of a slowly digestible starch diet on individuals with type 2 diabetes.

What’s Important

Diabetes is becoming very prevalent, so finding effective ways to treat it through diet is imperative.

Starch is a complex carbohydrate produced by most green plants as energy storage.

When your body digests starch it turns into glucose, an essential energy source for cells.

However, there are three types of starch according to digestibility:

  1. Rapidly digestible starch - has a higher rate of digestion; results in a quicker release of glucose in the blood; white bread, white rice; freshly cooked potatoes.
  2. Slowly digestible starch - has a low rate of digestion; slow and steady release of glucose; wholegrain bread, some legumes, cooked and cooled potatoes, and pasta.
  3. Resistant starch - resists digestion and is fermented in the large intestine; considered as dietary fiber; oats, barley, beans, lentils.

The difference between rapidly and slowly digestible starch is the method of preparation - exposure to heat, moisture, and/or pressure can transform slowly digestible into rapidly digestible starches.

Slowly digestible starch is beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes because it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

Some Details

The purpose of the study was to design a diet containing slowly digestible starch from commercially available starchy products and examine the effects on diabetic individuals.

The starchy products were further classified into either high or low in slowly digestible starch.

The study included 8 patients with type 2 diabetes who randomly consumed high or low slowly digestible starches, while their blood sugar levels were monitored.

Here’s what they found:

  • The high slowly-digestible-starch diet was easily implementable and appreciated by the participants of the study;
  • There was an improvement in postprandial glycemic response (blood sugar levels following a meal) in patients taking metformin and sitagliptin, medications commonly prescribed for type 2 diabetes.
  • In Conclusion

    The results of this study indicate that a diet high in slowly digestible starch could be easily created using products that are easily accessible for everyone.

    Resource: Goux, A.; Breyton, A.-E.; Meynier, A.; Lambert-Porcheron, S.; Sothier, M.; Van Den Berghe, L.; Brack, O.; Normand, S.; Disse, E.; Laville, M.; Nazare, J.-A.; Vinoy, S. Design and Validation of a Diet Rich in Slowly Digestible Starch for Type 2 Diabetic Patients for Significant Improvement in Glycemic Profile. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2404. doi: 



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