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Why potato salad is a microbiome-boosting summer food!

Updated: Jul 31, 2021

Do you know why potato salad is great for your beneficial gut bacteria? And cold potatoes can be better for your blood sugar than hot ones? It’s all to do with something called resistant starch.

Potato salad in a blue-glazed bowl. New pink potatoes in a box with a handwritten price label.

When cooked potatoes cool, some of the starch contained in them converts to resistant starch. We can’t digest resistant starch, so it passes through our digestive system to our large intestine where most of our microbiome lives. When gut bacteria feast on resistant starches, they produce beneficial compounds — such as butyrate that feeds the cells that line our gut and decreases inflammation in the gut and elsewhere in the body.

When we digest starches in our food, it’s converted into sugars that we absorb into our bloodstream. Because some of the starch content in potatoes is converted to resistant starch through the cooling process, eating cold potatoes is