A type of starch, previously thought to be just 'empty calories', actually helps prevent bowel cancer. At the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), researchers have revealed that resistant starch could be as important as fibre in the fight against bowel cancer.
They have noted that people in Africa, Japan and China have low rates of bowel cancer even though they eat less fibre than Westerners.
The researchers have discovered that resistant starch which, as its name suggests cannot be digested, passes into the colon where it releases substances that protect against cancer. Resistant starch is found in undercooked vegetables, partly-cooked pasta, baked beans, bread, brown rice, white rice ,wheat and almost all cereals - so long as you do not chew them too much. They are still trying to find out more about resistant starch - which, in the past, has proved hard to study because it is difficult to measure it.
Meanwhile, the healthy message is - keep on eating fibre, but start considering starch as well.
Source : CSIRO Annual Food Industry Conference