Objective: Dietary fiber represents a broad class of undigested carbohydrate components. The components vary in chemical and physical nature and in their physiological outcomes. Resistant starch is starch that escapes digestion in the small intestine and that may be fermented in the large intestine. The purpose of this study was to estimate consumption of resistant starch by the US population and to identify key sources of dietary resistant starch.
Design: A database of resistant starch concentrations in foods was developed from the publicly available literature. These concentrations were linked to foods reported in 24-hour dietary recalls from participants in the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and estimates of resistant starch intakes were generated.
Subjects: The study population included 18,305 nonbreastfeeding individuals in the United States.
Statistical analysis: The dietary intake of resistant starch was determined for 10 US subpopulations defined by age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Three estimates of resistant starch intake were made for each person based on the minimum, mean, and maximum concentrations of resistant starch in the foods consumed.
Results: Americans aged 1 year and older were estimated to consume approximately 4.9 g resistant starch per day based on mean resistant starch concentrations (range 2.8 to 7.9 g resistant starch per day). Breads, cooked cereals/pastas, and vegetables (other than legumes) contributed 21%, 19%, and 19% of total resistant starch intake, respectively, and were top sources of resistant starch.
Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest that the estimated intake of resistant starch by Americans is approximately 3 to 8 g per person per day. These estimates of resistant starch intake provide a valuable reference for researchers and food and nutrition professionals and will allow for more accurate estimates of total intakes of carbohydrate compounds that escape digestion in the small intestine.