Amylose is a type of resistant starch, meaning it isn't well-digested and absorbed in the small intestine. Instead, it's fermented by bacteria in the large intestine the way some types of fiber are broken down and may have some of the same benefits, such as limiting spikes in blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol. Whole, plant-based foods are likely to have the most amylose and other types of resistant starch, but some processed foods are made with starches containing high levels of amylose as well.
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Amylose Content in Some Foods
Plant foods typically store starch in a ratio of 1 part amylose to 4 parts amylopectin, with the exception of some waxy forms of potatoes and other plants that contain almost all amylopectin. Amylopectin isn't a resistant starch, and it's quickly broken down and absorbed by your body. Rice contains up to 24 percent amylose, depending on the type, and beans and other legumes typically contain 30 to 40 percent amylose.
High-amylose corn contains 70 percent amylose, regular corn contains about 28 percent and sago and wheat have about 26 percent amylose. Arrowroot consists of about 21 percent amylose, potatoes are about 20 percent amylose, sweet potatoes contain 18 percent amylose and cassava is about 17 percent amylose. Waxy rice and waxy sorghum varieties don't contain any amylose.
Other Foods High in Resistant Starch
To increase your resistant starch intake, eat a cup of cooked white beans, which provides 7 grams. A tablespoon of Hi-maize resistant starch, 1/4 cup of uncooked oats and a medium green banana all have more than 4 grams of resistant starch, and 1/2-cup serving of cooked lentils provides 3 grams. One-half cup of pearl barley has almost 2 grams of resistant starch, and an ounce of pumpernickel bread or 2 ounces of white pita bread each provide more than 1 gram.
Longer cooking times tend to decrease resistant starch, and some foods, such as yams and potatoes, contain more resistant starch after they are cooked and cooled than when they have just finished cooking. Puffed wheat cereal contains more resistant starch than puffed rice or corn, and pumpernickel and rye breads provide more of this starch than sourdough or wheat breads.
Potential Health Benefits of Resistant Starch
Resistant starch may help limit your risk of constipation and keep your digestive system healthy, according to a report published in the Food Australia Supplement. It may also help control your blood sugar levels and increase feelings of satiety. Because not all of the calories from resistant starch are absorbed, foods containing these starches may help you control your weight.
Use of High-Amylose Starches
Look for processed foods that contain Hi-maize resistant starch, which could be listed on ingredients labels as resistant cornstarch. You can also purchase this type of starch to add to your own smoothies, sauces, baked goods and casseroles. This can help you increase your intake of resistant starch from the more typical 3 to 8 grams per day to the recommended 15 to 20 grams per day, according to an article published in Today's Dietitian in September 2012.