Defying Digestion

If you’re trying to shed pounds, don’t cut carbs — certain ones anyway. Dietary fiber called resistant starch is earning a reputation for fighting flab because of its indigestible qualities. Studies find that resistant starches help you feel full. Other research suggests intestinal fermentation produces butyrate, a beneficial fatty acid that may contribute to weight loss. One condition: This nutritional hero gains its superpowers when cooled, so serve at room temperature or out of the fridge.

Potatoes: Once blacklisted as a glycemic nightmare, spuds are back in style thanks to resistant starch. Go with a low-fat white or sweet potato salad, or a chilled red potato soup.

Corn: Often shunned as a high-sugar crop, corn drives the bandwagon of resistant starch. Not only can you acquire the specialty fiber from corn in its natural state, you’ll also find it fortifying many foods in the form of Hi-Maize, a resistant starch powder made from corn (look for it in health food stores or online to use in place of flour). If you want to enjoy the actual kernels, sprinkle into fresh salsa or add to a taco salad.

Beans: The protein power of beans begs to be added to any hot dish. But it’s a low-calorie carb you should eat fresh. Try hummus spreads or pinto bean dip with vegetables.

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