FAO – Carbohydrate Food Intake & Energy Balance


Variations in the starch in foods could affect the amount consumed or hunger and satiety. For example, the preparation method, the food source, and the amylose/amylopectin ratio can all lead to different glucose/insulin responses and hormonal profiles. Starchy foods vary widely in their glycemic response (the effect on blood glucose) from lente, a slow sustained glycemic response, to rapid increases in blood glucose (73). Slow digestion and absorption of carbohydrates helps to maintain steady blood glucose levels which can be beneficial to diabetics. High consumption of lente foods can also reduce serum triglycerides and improve lipid metabolism (100).
Altering the amylose/amylopectin ratio changes physiologic responses which could influence satiety. High-amylose starches are associated with a lower glycemic response than low-amylose starches, and they may also empty more slowly from the stomach. As would be predicted from these physiologic effects, increasing the amylose/amylopectin ratio has consistently been found to be associated with high satiety.

Predictions about how resistant starch would affect satiety are not straightforward. If similar amounts of resistant and regular starch are consumed, the resistant starch will deliver only about half the energy as the regular starch and one would expect decreased satiety and compensatory food intake. On the other hand, resistant starch may act like soluble fibre in that it could delay gastric emptying and prolong absorption which in turn could prolong satiety. When resistant starch (50g raw potato starch) was compared to an equal weight of pregelatinized potato starch consumed in a drink, the resistant starch was associated with a low glycemic response and was less satiating. Ratings of satiety and fullness returned to baseline fasting levels much more rapidly than they did with digestible starch (101).