• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Phase 2 starch blocker help prevent carbohydrate absorption

October 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A recent study has found that where your carbs actually came from has more of an effect on your weight, even though they had the same amount of calories.

The suggestion is that a carb is not really just a carb. And according to retired pharmacist David Foreman, what type of carbohydrates you eat is a very important when it comes to your girth.

"They actually found that the more refined the carb was, the pasta - bread - bagel kind of stuff, sugar - honey, would convert to fat a lot more readily," he said.

Yet some carbohydrates contain something called resistant starch, a compound in food that isn't absorbed and passes through your system. Oatmeal, bananas, beans, sprouted bread and potatoes are a few examples.

"The more complex it is, in other words, the more it is in the form of the way it grew on the earth, the less effect it's going to have on your blood sugar and your weight," Foreman explained.

White kidney beans contain the most resistant starch, but you couldn't eat enough beans to get the same effect, and the calories would far offset the benefits.

But a supplement ingredient known as Phase 2 is a white kidney bean extract that inhibits the starches from being broken down. A capsule before a meal can help keep you from absorbing unwanted starchy, sugar calories. But watch out for copy cats.

"You want to look for something that has the ingredient Phase 2 on the label because there are a lot of white kidney bean extracts out there that are not the same," said Foreman.

The imitation supplements may cause flatulence and gastric distress.

Yet a study from the March 2011 Nutrition Journal found Phase 2 can block up to 65 percent of a starchy meal without causing these issues. So choosing the right carbs and blocking starch are a few helpers in fighting fat.

Another tip to curb cravings, drink green tea often. Foreman recommends two to five cups a day.

"Green tea will speed up your metabolism but without making you feel nervous or jittery," he said.

The catechins in green and black tea have been shown to retard starch digestion.


Load Comments