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Old 03-05-2013, 09:32 AM   #1
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Raw cornstarch experiment, anyone? :)

I've been really interested in resistant starch lately, and I know you potato hackers are probably already sold on it.

"Starch" is a horrible word to us who low-carb, but not all JBs do, so I thought I'd post here to see if anybody's interested in joining me in an experiment.

Raw cornstarch--from what I understand--acts almost more like a fiber or very, VERY slowly digested carb. If you cook it or mix it with lemon juice (lemon juice?! ) it loses this property; it will be easily converted to glucose. But in its raw form, it provides a slow, steady source of energy.

I came across a lot of this info a couple years ago while trying to find out more about resistant cornstarch (I ordered it from Netrition but wasn't sure how to use it). I found that parents of children with Type 1 diabetes use it to prevent overnight hypoglycemia, and that people with Glycogen Storage Disease use it...well, to stay alive! The info didn't seem very helpful at the time, since I have Type II diabetes, but with the popularity of the potato hack, I'm finding out more about resistant starch.

I often have nightmares that wake me up; my heart is pounding and it's difficult to go back to sleep. Based on many bits of info suddenly coalescing into what felt like a genius idea, I started taking 1tbsp of resistant cornstarch before bed...and I have not been having nightmares! If I do wake up, it's just to go to the bathroom or something, and my heart rate is normal.

So my next idea is to try cornstarch during the day to help me go longer periods without eating. I sometimes get shaky if I fast, or a few hours after I eat carbs. Today I had a really light breakfast of broth and broccoli, and I'm going to see if I can use cornstarch to keep from getting hungry.

Does anybody want to try this? Or think about trying this?
I thought it might be a really good tool for DDs.

The Extend snacks line of products is made with raw cornstarch, and designed to keep blood sugar stable for approx 6 waking hours or 9 sleeping hours.

(From what I've read, "unmodified potato starch" works similarly, if anyone is avoiding corn products. Bob's Red Mill sells it.)
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Last edited by piratejenny; 03-05-2013 at 09:47 AM.. Reason: Extend snacks link
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:42 AM   #2
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And I'm not really good at reading/interpreting sciencey stuff, but this report says that people who took cornstarch after ingesting glucose didn't have hypoglycemic reactions. So that might be useful for previous low-carbers who are re-introducing carbs.

Cornstarch ingestion after oral glucose loading: effect on glucose concentrations, hormone response, and symptoms in patients with postprandial hypoglycemic syndrome.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:44 AM   #3
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Another thought: maybe cornstarch would help those who can't fall asleep on DDs?
1 tablespoon has 30 calories.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:19 PM   #4
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Do you monitor your blood glucose, Pirate Jenny, and have any idea of how the modified cornstarch affects that? A friend of mine has terrible problems with insomnia, but she also has to watch BG as a long-term type II diabetic. I'm wondering if this would work for her ...
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #5
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I take it right before bed and haven't been testing immediately after.
I'll try to do that and let you know.
Is resistant starch considered modified?

I've been waking up with BG around 100--good for me.
From what I understand, nightmares make your cortisol, adrenalin, blood pressure, and blood sugar skyrocket, so even if my BG is overall a little higher through the night, but steady instead of dropping & spiking, I think that's probably healthier in the long run.

As an insomniac myself, I have several different problems--
trouble falling asleep
waking up after 2 hours or less of sleep
nightmares
waking up from nightmares
trouble falling back asleep

I'm not sure if the starch has been helping me fall asleep,
but it's definitely helping with the other problems.
I've been taking it pretty close to bedtime; maybe I'll try taking it a little earlier and see if it helps me get to sleep.

Maybe have your friend read reviews about the Extend Snacks to see if she thinks the cornstarch would help her. There are quite a few on the Netrition site.

Thank you for replying! This thread was lonely today!
-------------------------------
My experiment went well today, for a 1st day. Will have to try some tweaks.
But basically I went from 10 to 6:30pm on broccoli, 1tbsp cornstarch, SF jello,
1 tbsp cornstarch, and 3 cheese sticks (80 calories each).
I haven't been counting calories or anything for months, and I usually have a lot of protein for breakfast,
so that's an unusually small amount of food for me.
I got caught up doing errands this afternoon and made it home a bit later than I expected,
and I was very hungry! So I ate real food for dinner instead of drinking more cornstarch.


Next time I will try more cornstarch per "feeding"--
I only had 1tbsp at a time, and it only seemed to hold me for about 2-3 hours.

Last edited by piratejenny; 03-05-2013 at 05:14 PM.. Reason: add info
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:04 PM   #6
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I noticed that Extend has protein shakes, so I might try adding cornstarch to shakes tomorrow instead of putting it in water.

I personally don't mind the taste of cornstarch--I get these little twinges of nostalgia when I drink it!
I lived in Costa Rica when I was little, and at school they gave us drinks with oatmeal and cornstarch in them for breakfast; it's also common in Latin America to put cornstarch in hot chocolate.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:26 PM   #7
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I wonder how it would do to mix a T in a cup of broth? I know it would thicken it....maybe have the same effect as gluc powder? I'd be willing to give it a try.

ETA: On second thought, a T in a cup of broth would probably be too much! More like a teaspoon, I think.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:51 PM   #8
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Oh, no...you don't want to heat it at all!
If it starts to thicken anything, the structure of the starch has already been changed.

Last edited by piratejenny; 03-05-2013 at 05:56 PM..
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:59 PM   #9
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No, of course not. I only meant to dissolve it in water, then add to broth. That would defeat the purpose as well?
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:10 PM   #10
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Maybe if it's about room temperature?
I don't really know at what exact temperature it changes.
I got the impression that most of the parents of the diabetic kids were putting it in cold milk or water.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:01 AM   #11
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If you keep trying this, Pirate Jenny, I'll be interested to learn whether eating cornstarch at intervals throughout the day has more effect on limiting your nightmares and helping sleep than just eating cornstarch before bed. I know you mentioned using it throughout the day to blunt hunger, but I know that sleep issues are important for you, too. Or would you expect only the before-bed cornstarch or other resistent starch to have any effect on insomnia and nightmares?
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:37 AM   #12
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I'm listening!
Very interesting!
Good luck.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:00 AM   #13
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Just pour the cornstarch in a tablespoon and eat it?
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:07 AM   #14
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If anyone is interested in the extend products, I found some of the bars at walgreen's, locally....I've never mentioned it before, but I sure do have some problems with my sleep...I have vivid dreams, and sometimes have trouble falling back to sleep..I'm going to save some calories to have at the end of my eating window, and see if it helps me with the problem...sometimes I get concerned because I wake up feeling kind of upset and stressed...don't know if it's my BS going to high or what...but..it's worth a try if it would help me.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svenskamae View Post
Or would you expect only the before-bed cornstarch or other resistent starch to have any effect on insomnia and nightmares?
Hmm, yes, that is what I was assuming.
I hadn't thought about whether CS earlier in the day would help.
If it does help with appetite suppression, it might be a good idea to take one dose at least a couple hours before bed (so you're not hungry at bedtime) and another right before bed (to stabilize blood sugar through the night).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eieio View Post
I'm listening!
Very interesting!
Good luck.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bows1 View Post
Just pour the cornstarch in a tablespoon and eat it?
No, I mix it in a glass of cold water or milk.
Last night I put it in a strawberry protein shake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymar View Post
If anyone is interested in the extend products, I found some of the bars at walgreen's, locally....I've never mentioned it before, but I sure do have some problems with my sleep...I have vivid dreams, and sometimes have trouble falling back to sleep..I'm going to save some calories to have at the end of my eating window, and see if it helps me with the problem...sometimes I get concerned because I wake up feeling kind of upset and stressed...don't know if it's my BS going to high or what...but..it's worth a try if it would help me.
On some of the websites I was reading, people were using the Extends right before bed (instead of just plain cornstarch) and it was helping them sleep through the night with no nightmares.

I think waking up feeling "upset and stressed", even if you just had a "vivid" dream and not a nightmare, has to be bad for the body. It means that you could be releasing adrenalin and your blood pressure could be going up when you should be resting. Seems like that could interfere with weight loss at least, and possibly be bad for your adrenal glands and heart.

I know that dreams are thought to be a way of your brain working out problems and storing memories, but I think nightmares might be a way of your brain trying to wake you up because something is out of balance.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:41 PM   #16
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Jenny,

Come on over to the PHD thread. It has suddenly turned to a discussion of resistant starch. Check it out:

Very interesting!


Perfect Health Diet - May
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:02 PM   #17
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Holy guacamole, PHD sounds harder than earning said degree! I've been dealing with weird wheat issues, but I craaave corn, which isn't a good sign either...
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