Freestyle Libre 3: Review and Comparison to Libre 2

Today we’re talking differences between the Freestyle Libre 3 and Libre 2 (by Abbott), as well as the features, the cost, and which one I prefer after trying both.

freestyle libre 3 review

So, there are 2 big things happening in the world of metabolic health:

Number one is the rising rates of prediabetes (38% adults) and type 2 diabetes.

Number two is the growing interest in metabolic health even without insulin resistance.

Both require monitoring of blood glucose levels. But only one regularly uses a continuous glucose monitor system.

Can you guess which one? Sadly, it’s not the one with a medical need.

Since TRUEWELL is all about an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle, I like to focus on specific conditions that would benefit from this.

And pretty much all insulin resistance conditions fall under that category.

When insulin resistance is present, it’s extremely helpful to know what your blood glucose or blood sugar levels are at all times, and especially after meals. Stress, sleep, and exercise can absolutely affect blood sugar levels as well.

freestyle libre 3 review of glucose patterns from the last 90 days

All these factors make wearing a continuous glucose monitor really handy and convenient to keep an eye on how your body responds to these environmental and lifestyle factors, but also to your food.

So, when I got diagnosed with prediabetes I asked my doctor if I could get a prescription for a continuous glucose monitor. For more information on continuous glucose monitors, how they work, how they can benefit you, and how you can get one, catch this post: BENEFITS OF CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITORS AND HOW TO GET ONE.

So starting with the Freestyle Libre 2

I was prescribed the Freestyle Libre 2 continuous glucose monitor, which was the newest available at the time.

holding a freestyle libre 2 box

So, these things are pretty small, stick to the back of your arm, and track your blood sugar levels in your interstitial fluid.

What I was interested in was that the Libre 3 had been advertised a lot but I had to wait 6 or 8 months for it to actually be released and available at the pharmacy.

So now that I’ve actually used both, I want to share what the main differences are and which I prefer using.

Pros of the Libre 2

So first off, the Libre 2 really is small, it’s about the size of a quarter, maybe, and I believe you can wirelessly attach it to a monitor, but I feel like connecting it to the app you can get on your phone is way more convenient because that’s just one less thing you have to keep up with and most people have their phone on them at all times anyway.

size difference of a Freestyle Libre 2 and 3 continuous glucose monitor compared to a quarter

To use the Libre 2, you open the app and tap the Check Glucose or Scan Sensor button and then hold your phone close to the sensor. My phone does a little vibration thing when it’s scanned.

It’s super convenient to be able to see your blood sugar levels at any time, and then keep an eye on them in almost real-time, instead of having to do a finger stick every time.

So this thing makes it really convenient to monitor what food is doing to your body. But if you keep track of even your sleep, stress levels, and exercise as well, you’ll be able to easily start seeing trends in how your blood sugar levels are responding to all those things.

chart showing effect of exercise on blood glucose levels

The app allows you to make notes every time you scan for a reading, as well as enter the number of carbs you’re eating or any other notes. I would regularly log exactly what I ate and the order I ate the food so I could see, for example, if eating my protein, fat, and fiber before my carbs mattered.

I have a lot of videos of these types of experiments if you’re interested. Once they’re ready I’ll have them listed in the TRUEWELL channel, so make sure to subscribe to get notifications for these types of videos.

You can also enter a manual blood sugar reading in the log book so you can compare what the sensor is reading and the actual manual readings.

All of this information is available in the portal if you sign up for an account (which is free) on the Freestyle Libre website.

Cons of the Libre 2

What I noticed about the Libre 2 is that there are a LOT of error scans, so sometimes you have to keep doing it until it scans correctly.

freestyle libre 2 Scan Error message on phone screen

Another thing is that if you put it in a bad place on your arm, it may not even work. I had at least 3 that either were way off in their readings, or wouldn’t scan at all.

This becomes a big inconvenience when you then have to call Abbott and speak to someone for 30 minutes, giving them loads of info on the sensor, just for them to send you a replacement.

I also had a TON of false critical readings with alarms blaring several times during the night. I read up on a few forums and the reviews in the app store and others said the same.

False critical reading phone screen for Freestyle Libre 2

They did an update at one point that I believe allowed you to choose which alarms you wanted, but you can never turn off the most critical alarm. That alarm woke me and my husband up a ton of times before I disabled the app completely every night before bed, so that was super annoying.

Especially when I needed to continue it reading through the night to check on the dawn phenomenon situation.

Notification settings for critical alarms for Freestyle Libre 2

There were also a LOT of alarms for getting too far away from my phone for it to read. I think there may be a way to disable that as well, I think there were enough complaints about the alarms that they did an update in the app so you have more control over the alarms.

holding 2 separate pieces of the Freestyle Libre 2 continuous glucose monitor

The Libre 2 also comes in the package with 2 separate pieces that you have to line up and put together before you apply the sensor. I’m guessing a lot of people have trouble with this because when I’ve had to call them to have mine replaced, they asked several questions to ensure I didn’t do something other than exactly what the instructions say for putting the applicator together and the actual application process.

gaps in data from the Freestyle Libre 2

And lastly, if you don’t scan the sensor for 8 hours, there’s a gap in data. That means you MUST scan it immediately before you go to bed, and if you sleep longer than 8 hours there will be a gap.

Same for during the day.

Summary of the Libre 2

All in all, to get started with a continuous glucose monitor, the Libre 2 gave me a ton of information and has made me super aware of how my blood sugar is affected by what I eat.

It’s surprised me many times that things like chips and salsa, or even seed crackers would make my blood sugar spike. And I was eating those things regularly, so it’s no wonder I’ve had a high A1C.

Review of the Freestyle Libre 3

I was super excited for the Libre 3 to come out because it’s got better features than the 2, it’s even smaller, and back last year in 2022 they advertised that it would also monitor ketone levels.

Now that I’ve gotten one and they’ve released it, the part about the ketones is completely missing. The information I read sort of indicated that the next version may have it so my thought is they couldn’t get it accurate or whatever to just get this thing released so they took it out of the description and the app.

screen showing that data will be merged between the Freestyle Libre 2 and Freestyle Libre 3 in the LibreView account

The Libre 3 has a totally different app than the Libre 2, but if you have that account online through the Freestyle Libre site, it will connect the two and put all your data in there.

holding a phone screen showing the Freestyle Libre 3 app

What I love about the Libre 3 is that it’s even smaller than the 2, here you can see the size difference.

size difference of the freestyle libre 3 and freestyle libre 2 continuous glucose monitors compared to a quarter

This might not seem like a big difference, but I can’t tell you how many times just a millimeter or two of height has caused the Libre 2 to get stuck on bra straps or even the car seat when I’m moving around.

applying the freestyle libre 3 to arm

I also love that there’s only one piece in the package. You don’t have to make sure it’s all lined up and then put it together before applying it. They took that component out completely so that applying the sensor is more seamless.

The biggest thing I like about the Libre 3 is the fact that you don’t have to keep scanning it. You do your initial scan when you apply the sensor, then you don’t have to scan it again as long as you stay within about 30 ft of your phone.

scanning the freestyle libre 3 on the arm after application to connect it

This means there are no weird gaps in data like there were with the Libre 2.

This was a big deal for me because I’m constantly trying to figure out what’s affecting my blood sugar at night. I’ve had differences based on types of alcohol and how much I’ve had, plus I had one type of CBD that made it drop really low at night as well.

All of this is important to get to know your body better and be able to make more informed and better choices for your health.

As far as I know, the same disclosures hold true about high doses of Vitamin c and putting a lot of pressure on the sensor.

high doses of vitamin c warning for freestyle libre 3 continuous glucose monitor

I also feel like the readings have been more accurate with the Libre 3 than the Libre 2. That’s a big deal because you don’t want to be worried about readings that aren’t really true. Especially when you have to correct with either insulin or glucose.

I don’t really have any cons to list here on the Libre 3.

The one thing that I’ve seen people complain about is they took out the ability to log manual blood sugar checks from the logbook. BUT—I personally don’t really feel like it’s a big deal because at any given time you can add a note like you could in the Libre 2 app and can just enter the manual blood sugar reading there.

removing the freestyle libre 3 continuous glucose monitor with tweezers from the arm

Both have super sticky adhesive, so when you take it off, it feels like peeling a band-aid, so there’s no comparison really on that one.

removing the freestyle libre 3 continuous glucose monitor from the arm

Price of the Freestyle Libre 3 vs Libre 2

The price is nearly the same for the Libre 3 as it was for the Libre 2.

My insurance doesn’t cover mine because my diagnosis was prediabetes, so I pay out of pocket. For one month it comes out to around $78. If you’d like to know more about how to get one, check out my article that talks all about continuous glucose monitors.

So… all this to say… until a newer better version comes out, I think I’m convinced that the Freestyle Libre 3 is the best option, and that’s absolutely the one I’ll continue to use.

Got more questions? Leave them in the comments below or DM me at:

removing the freestyle libre 3 continuous glucose monitor with tweezers from the arm

Benefits of Continuous Glucose Monitors and How to Get One–Qo

One of the biggest health crazes lately is to monitor blood glucose levels with a continuous glucose monitor– even when you don’t have insulin resistance. But with the statistics now standing that 1 in 3 adults has prediabetes, there’s definitely a need for more ways to understand our blood sugar levels in the battle to reverse insulin resistance.

These little devices are a vast advancement in awareness around and management of daily blood glucose. This is huge if you do have prediabetes, type 1 or 2 diabetes, PCOS, or other insulin resistance conditions.

continuous glucose monitors

So what is this little device, and how can it help? Well, in more ways than you’d think!

What is a continuous glucose monitor?

So first of all, a continuous glucose monitor is a little disc that attaches to your skin with super strong adhesive, and has a really strong filament that goes into your skin. It monitors your blood glucose levels, or blood sugar levels, and either has a device that connects wirelessly, or many can actually connect to an app on your phone.

a continuous glucose monitor on the back of an arm

Over the last few years a lot of advancement has been made in not just the capability of cgms, but also the ease of use.

So how does a continuous glucose monitor work?

Like I said, the continuous glucose monitor is a little disc with adhesive to hold it firm to your skin. It has a little filament in the center that will essentially puncture your skin so it can stay in the tissue the entire time you’re wearing the device. Some monitors will last a week, many last 2 weeks at a time.

I know it sounds like it would hurt or be uncomfortable, but I assure you, it doesn’t. It really doesn’t even hurt when you apply it.

installing a continuous glucose monitor on the arm

Manufacturers put them into an installation device and honestly, the only discomfort I’ve felt is if I didn’t let the alcohol dry completely it stung a little, but really the edges of the applicator pushing in around it was more uncomfortable than the filament puncture.

A continuous glucose monitor is different from manual blood sugar monitors in that they measure blood glucose levels from the interstitial fluid, while manual glucose monitors take an actual blood sample.

continuous glucose monitors side view of fillament

What this means is that manual glucose monitors can give you accurate on-the-spot readings, while continuous glucose monitors have a lag, usually about 10-15 minutes.

How to benefit from a continuous glucose monitor

How to use a continuous glucose monitor to your benefit lies in a few different factors. The first is if you have insulin resistance or hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar episodes where you need to monitor your blood sugar to ensure there’s no emergency situation with your health.

Those with type 1 diabetes almost always need this because their bodies don’t produce much, if any, insulin. They’re required to take insulin, but sometimes calculations aren’t 100% accurate, and there’s always the risk of going into severe hypoglycemia, which can cause coma and death.

Those with hypoglycemia episodes pose the same risk, so it’s really essential for them to always know what their blood glucose levels are.

Those with type 2 diabetes sometimes have hypoglycemic episodes as well, but it’s more common for them to have hyperglycemia, which is blood glucose levels that are too high.

manual blood glucose monitor and lancets

Those with other metabolic issues like prediabetes or PCOS can use continuous glucose monitors to get a handle on what foods affect their blood glucose in different ways to get their blood sugar levels under control in an effort to lower their A1C levels.

Many are also trying to reverse insulin resistance. Having a constant monitor on lets you know how things like food, sleep, stress, and exercise either help or hinder your blood glucose levels.

Then there is another subgroup of those that don’t have insulin resistance but are interested in how all these factors affect their glucose levels. This starts veering into what’s called biohacking. Many people are getting on board with research showing that lower continuous glucose levels are better for metabolic health as a whole.

What you need to consider when using a glucose monitor

There are few things to consider when using a glucose monitor.

Accuracy of continuous glucose monitors

The first is that sometimes it’s not always super accurate. The reason is that even though these units are calibrated by the company before they’re packaged, where you place it can have an affect.

For example, I’ve tried them on my right arm, and no matter where it gets applied, it’s not close to accurate. On my left arm, I only have one or two spots that show accurate results. Usually the more fatty areas are said to be more accurate than more muscular areas, and that’s held true for me.

Reporting time of continuous glucose monitors

The second thing is that there is a lag in reporting. That’s usually 10-15 minutes, so if you’re using one for hyper or hypoglycemia, you may need to act quickly and constantly monitor with a manual blood glucose monitor.

The good news is that you can usually set a threshold on the device or within the app so that if it does start heading too high or too low you’ll get an alarm so you can correct the situation.

Other reasons a continuous glucose monitor may not be accurate

The third thing to know is there are a few other situations which would render  a continuous glucose monitor as inaccurate. One is taking high doses of vitamin C, which the package contains a warning about.

continuous glucose monitors screenshot

The other is that sometimes – seemingly for no reason- you could get super low or high random readings. This has only happened to me during the night, and I’ve read on a few forums from others that it can happen if you put heavy pressure on the sensor, like if you roll over and have that arm under you while you are sleeping.

The 4th thing is that it can take a day, sometimes 2, to get really accurate on readings. It’s important to still check with a manual blood glucose monitor in those times to ensure you’re getting accurate readings and can make sure they coincide.

Why I am wearing a continuous glucose monitor ; why I decided to try out a continuous glucose monitor

I’m wearing a continuous glucose monitor for a few reasons.

The first is that I’ve been diagnosed as prediabetic. This alone does not warrant my insurance company paying for a continuous glucose monitor. But I’ve opted to initially pay out of pocket because I’m in the age bracket where my hormones are going wacky and I was waking up in sweats every night.

This can be from hormones, or it could be due to the dawn phenomenon. This is when your blood sugar drops very low in the middle of the night, then your body kicks in glucagon to bring it back up, and many times this can create more body heat and sweating. Many people have strange or even bad dreams when this happens, but it usually results in waking up frequently.

research snippet for the dawn phenomenon for diabetics

Once I wore my sensor for 2 weeks and saw that trend, my doctor advised that it proved that my situation was genetic. I wanted to know that for sure because I maintain an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle, and very rarely eat sugar or bread, and have eaten low-carb for years.

He confirmed to me that if you have the genetics for it, it can be really hard to still keep your A1C under control, but that if I *hadn’t* been eating healthy and low carb as I had, I probably would’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes years ago.

Now I’m using it to see how different foods affect my blood glucose levels, but also different things like:

  • What order of macros do to my blood sugar levels– if I eat protein first, then carbs, what happens, or if I eat fat with carbs, or reverse the order.
  • I also want to know the effect of exercise, sleep, and stress. For example, I had a really stressful day and night of New Year’s Eve because we had company the entire week before, then had a lot of people over that night, then stayed up late for the ball to drop. My blood glucose levels were much higher than normal all day long, then the next day stayed elevated as well.
continuous glucose monitors results of exercise

Wearing this sensor has been extremely eye-opening for me, and I’ll continue to use them until I feel comfortable with how I’m managing my blood sugar with lifestyle and dietary changes.

How to get a continuous glucose monitor

So for some this can be tricky—here’s why.

If you’ve been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, your health insurance should pay for these, absolutely. If you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia, PCOS or other insulin resistance conditions, they *may* pay for them.

If you’re diagnosed as prediabetic, they probably won’t. And if you don’t have any of these conditions they won’t.

However—what I’ve learned is that even though my insurance company won’t pay for it, there are still 2 ways you can get them:

1: Ask your doctor

The first is simply to ask your doctor if he or she will write a prescription for one. Tell them you’re really interested in your metabolic health and would like to trial a sensor for a month or so. Many doctors have no problem doing this.

woman doctor

Just know that you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket. My out-of-pocket runs around $78 a month, and that includes 2 sensors that each last 2 weeks. I am currently wearing the Freestyle Libre 3. I have another post that compares the Freestyle Libre 2 and Libre 3 and the features of the 3 if you’re interested.

2: Private continuous glucose monitor companies

There are companies that offer sensors and a membership that will help you interpret the data and have coaches on staff as well. Although these can get pricey, they do give a ton of information as well as support if you’re really into your metabolic health and haven’t been diagnosed with a condition that warrants a prescription.

I hope this gave you enough information to make a better decision about using a continuous glucose monitor, and let me know if you have any more questions in the comments!

👉 SUGGEST NEXT: The Freestyle Libre 3 vs Libre 2 Review (Continuous Glucose Monitor)

continuous glucose monitors

How To Increase Resistant Starch Naturally in Foods

When it comes to healthy tricks- knowing how to increase resistant starches in foods should definitely be in your health toolbox.

So, in case you don’t know already– Resistant starches are a type of carbohydrate that can resist digestion in the small intestine and reach the large intestine, where they can feed the good bacteria in your gut.

Benefits of resistant starches

Now both of these two things are really important, especially for those with insulin resistance. This is because resistant starches, since they’re not digested in the small intestine, can help keep blood sugar from spiking.

Short-chain fatty acids

The second reason resistant starches are really important is that they help produce short-chain fatty acids in the large intestine by becoming food for the good gut bacteria through fermentation. They’re really good at this because they’re not absorbed in the small intestine and can reach the colon intact.

Short-chain fatty acids play a crucial role in maintaining gut health and have been linked to various health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, promoting satiety, and improving insulin sensitivity.

Short-chain fatty acids can reduce inflammation in the gut and the body, which can help prevent chronic diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and type 2 diabetes.

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Short-chain fatty acids can also improve insulin sensitivity, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

Short-chain fatty acids are believed to support the immune system and protect against certain types of cancer.

And, as a bonus, Short chain fatty acids also play a role in regulating hunger and satiety, which can help with weight loss or maintenance.

gut health resistant starch

Overall, Short chain fatty acids are an important component of a healthy gut and a healthy body.

Foods that Contain Resistant Starches

One way to increase your intake of resistant starches is to add foods that naturally contain them to your diet.

starchy foods in meal prep containers

There are many foods that contain high amounts of resistant starches. Some examples include:

  1. Green bananas: Unripe bananas are a great source of resistant starch. Just remember that as the banana ripens, the starch is converted into simple sugars.
  2. Beans and legumes: Foods like lentils, chickpeas, black beans, and navy beans are all great sources of resistant starches.
  3. Oats: Oats are not only high in fiber, but they also contain resistant starches.
  4. Whole grains: Whole grains like barley, rye, and quinoa contain high amounts of resistant starches.
  5. Nuts and seeds: Some nuts and seeds, such as almonds and pumpkin seeds, contain resistant starches.

How to Increase Resistant Starches

One thing we’ve learned in the last couple of decades is that foods made with refined flour like pasta are really bad for blood sugar levels because they cause spikes. This is something even those without insulin resistance want to avoid for metabolic health but truly needs to be avoided for those with insulin resistance conditions like prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and PCOS, among others.

bowl of pasta

A few years ago, some researchers from the University of Surrey were curious about what happens to pasta when you cook it and cool it in terms of resistant starches. What they found is that the starches actually increase when the pasta was cooked and then cooled, which helped blunt the blood sugar response.

Then they went a step further and cooked it, cooled it, then reheated it—and what they found is that this next step reduced blood sugar spikes by 50%!

The study was then repeated and confirmed by a peer-reviewed study in 2019.

study screen shot of how to increase resistant starch in food

This study cites that other reviews also showed the same results with rice, potatoes, and maize porridge.

study screenshot of how to increase resistant starch in food

This is important, not only because of the difference in blood sugar response but also because increasing the resistant starches decreases the number of calories absorbed. This matters for weight loss, gain, or maintenance.

Just know that this isn’t permission to go crazy with pasta and rice if you’re insulin resistant—you still need to manage the total amount of carbohydrates. But it does give a few more options in terms of better carbohydrates.

Guidelines for increasing resistant starches in foods:

  1. Cook the food,
  2. cool it at least 12 hours,
  3. then reheat it so it’s hot,
  4. and eat it while it’s hot.
bowl of cooked potatoes

The best carbs to use the cooking/cooling trick:

How to know it’s helping your blood sugar:

One thing to note about anything with nutrition is that results from studies and trials give an average—meaning that things don’t react the exact same way for every single person. So just know that you could have a different response in some way than even someone you’re related to.

how to increase resistant starch in food

That being said, the only way to know is just to Test it!

You can do this using a manual blood glucose monitor or a continuous glucose monitor.

How to test your blood sugar levels to determine the effects of food:

  1. Check blood sugar immediately before eating;
  2. Check @ 1 hour and 2 hours after, which is called the postprandial blood glucose level;
  3. Test it against the food when you didn’t cook and then cool to truly see the difference.

Now when you’re doing this—think of it as a science experiment- (make sure to use as few variables and same conditions—same recipe, same time of day, same meal, same order of macros, etc) to get as accurate a result as possible.

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how to increase resistant starch in food

What is a Resistant Starch and Is It Anti-Inflammatory?

When it comes to carbohydrates for an Anti-Inflammatory diet, confusion abounds–so I’m here to answer the question: What is a resistant starch, is it anti-inflammatory, and is resistant starch good for me?

I think this is a really important topic to cover in this dietary style because there’s a lot of confusion over whole grains and carbs in general when it comes to reducing inflammation in the body.

A lot of this is because of the constant battle regarding carbs in the last two decades. People have a hard time distinguishing between sugars and complex carbohydrates and what they should or shouldn’t be eating. This becomes especially complicated when you’re trying to manage a condition that really relies on an anti-inflammatory diet as a basis for controlling the symptoms and pain of that condition.

So let’s start out with answering what a resistant starch is first.

what is resistant starch is resistant starch good for you anti inflammatory

What is the difference between starch and resistant starch?

The three forms of carbohydrates that we consume are (1) sugar, (2) starches, and (3) resistant starch.

Sugar is pretty obvious, besides the limitless disguises it’s given on food labels. But let’s take a look at the difference between starch and resistant starch.

what is resistant starch is resistant starch good for you anti inflammatory


Starches are long chains of sugar molecules, and come from those plant foods that we consider refined carbohydrates that are not straight sugar. Those would be refined flours that are used to made breads, crackers, pasta, and bakery items.

Even though these foods aren’t straight sugar, they’ve been broken down and have so much starch degradation that they are absorbed extremely fast into the bloodstream to have the same effect of straight sugar.

The foods that contain these non-resistant starches usually contain no fiber and are frequently paired with sugar and unhealthy fats to create a trifecta of inflammatory triggers in the body.

Most starchy foods in this category are ones that should be avoided for a variety of negative effects on human health. Alongside sugar, they’ve been shown to induce insulin resistance, inflammatory conditions, and contribute to heart disease.

what is resistant starch is resistant starch good for you anti inflammatory

Resistant starch

Resistant starches are still considered starches and carbohydrates, but they are slowly digested starch and also act as a prebiotic. Instead of breaking down into sugar for energy, they resist digestion and pass through the small intestine and into the large intestine.

Once they’re in the large intestine bacterial fermentation occurs and assists the colon in producing short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate.

Short-chain fatty acids matter because they help blood flow and absorption of minerals while blocking the growth of harmful bacteria and toxins. And butyrate suppresses colonic inflammation.

This nifty job is what helps generate a posh home for our good gut bacteria, which is why we should promote an increase in resistant starch intakes while eliminating regular starch and sugars.

Various varieties of resistant starch is found within many foods, and the addition of these into the diet is beneficial to digestive health.

Resistant starches also contain less calories than normal starchy food: we extract approximately 2 calories per gram of resistant starch, while regular starch is absorbed at approximately 4 calories per gram. That’s DOUBLE!

This means that the higher resistant starch is in food the less calories it contains. This helps tremendously if trying to lose weight or maintain it but have problems with appetite and feeling full.

These types of resistant starch do, however, still contain vitamins and minerals that are available for absorption.

(Note that this is not permission to go crazy with pasta. It’s still a good idea to reduce calories from these types of foods and increase your vegetable intake when your goal is weight loss or increasing insulin resistance.)

Is resistant starch good for you?

The resistant starch is also known as soluble starch and is considered an insoluble dietary fiber. These varieties of resistant starch offer many health benefits and have lower calories than non-resistant starch.

Several human studies show resistant starch can improve insulin sensitivity and blood pressure, decrease hunger and can help support a healthy digestive system, which has many health benefits in and of itself, including:

  • Improved gut health
  • Preventing colorectal cancer and colon cancer
  • Lower risk of depression and anxiety
  • Assistance in weight loss or maintenance
  • Appetite reduction
  • Lowered blood sugar levels
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Prevention or treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases

All of these factors, individually and cumulatively, add up to anti-inflammatory effects in the body.

Is resistant starch good for diabetics?

Although those with type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and PCOS (and other conditions with poor insulin sensitivity) are generally told to shift into a low-carb or even ketogenic diet which severely limit all starch including resistant starch, studies have shown numerous health benefits of resistant starch intake for these conditions by following and Anti-Inflammatory Diet in the form of the Mediterranean Diet.

Since resistant starch (especially when fiber is paired) helps blunt a blood sugar spike, improves gut health, and triggers short chain fatty acids, it can be especially helpful at improving overall health, including increasing insulin sensitivity.

Since many people with metabolic issues like type 2 diabetes are also overweight, including more resistant starch in their diet will also help with feeling full and satisfied to assist in weight loss (which is what many doctors recommend to those who are diagnosed with these conditions.)

What are types of resistant starch?

There are five types of resistant starch (a fifth category was added to include those produced by food manufacturers), aptly named, “Type 1”, “Type 2”, “Type 3”, and “Type 4”, and “Type 5”. Let’s discuss where you can find each one and what their pros and cons are.

Resistant Starch Type 1:

This refers to starchy food that has a seed or germ as its outer coating.

Can be found in grains, seeds and legumes. Type 1 resistant starch is unable to broken down by our digestive enzymes. This means our digestive system does not absorb its nutrients due to them being attached to fibrous tissue walls, as long as it is intact or just cracked (ie, not ground down into flour.)

Resistant Starch Type 2:

This type of resistant starch is naturally found within the starches of certain foods. The more raw these foods are, the more resistant the starches are. Once they are heated, the starch is more easily digested. These include:

  • raw fruits
  • potato starch from raw potatoes
  • corn
  • some legumes
  • hi-maize resistant starch products
  • green (unripe) bananas
  • plantains

Resistant Starch Type 3

Type 3 resistant starch is referred to as retrograded starch. This is starchy food that is cooked, then cooled. This heat and cooling application increases the resistant starch content.

These would include foods like sushi rice, and pasta or potatoes that are cooked and then cooled for a salad (for example.)

Resistant Starch Type 4

This type of resistant starch is chemically modified starch created by food manufacturers from starchy foods. The end products are resistant to digestion, but start out as rice, raw potatoes, or corn. These are created so that food companies can increase thickness or improve texture by adding resistant starch.

Resistant Starch Type 5

This is a new category that was recently added. This is another type of resistant starch that manufacturers also produce, but they heat and cool the starchy foods with fatty acids, waxes, or other lipids.

What is the best source of resistant starch?

Although types 2 and 4 have been shown to increase levels of good bacteria in the gut, the types of bacteria are different. This, along with the fact that each person is so different, makes it difficult to determine which would be better from a gut health perspective.

Aside from that, the most feasible options we have come from types 1-3. These include the resistant starches we can cook whole intact (or cracked) grains like:

  • rice,
  • farro,
  • oats,
  • amaranth,
  • barley,
  • quinoa,
  • teff, and
  • wheat berries

Also lentils; soybeans; and legumes.

And lastly, this includes raw fruit, green bananas, and plantains.

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How do you increase resistant starch in food?

A great way to increase resistant starches if you’re not able to find whole or cracked grains (like the ones listed above), but must make do with whole grain pastas or even potatoes in a recipe is to plan ahead.

If you start out with whole grains (or even lentil pasta), you can create dietary resistant starch in those foods if it’s cooked and cooled.

Further research done on resistant starch at the University of Surrey showed that blood sugar levels can be even further controlled when those foods are then reheated again.

Their study showed that it reduced blood sugar spikes by a whopping 50% when food was then reheated again! This has been confirmed with a study published by researchers in 2019 in the journal Foods.

All in all, resistant starches and the fiber that’s present in these types of foods have been shown to be immensely beneficial to gut health, prevention of certain diseases, blood sugar control, and assist in weight loss. Based on the data we have, resistant starches’ ability to do all these things has mega anti-inflammatory benefits.

That being said, as long as there are no food allergies or sensitivities to any of the foods listed as resistant starches or those where resistant starch could be made or increased, these are definitely foods that are recommended on the Anti-Inflammatory Diet.

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