Skip to main content


Effect of acute resistant starch consumption by Hispanic women on blood parameters associated with diabetes


NSF-funded researcher and MILES Co-director Dr. Susan Duncan (Food Science and Technology) in collaboration with Dr. Bill Barbeau (Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise), and recent MILES IGERT trainee graduate (Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, December 2009) have formulated and characterized granola bars containing resistant starch. The researchers have investigated the potential of resistant starch as functional food ingredient in granola products that provide health benefits associated with glucose control and diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in developed countries and is characterized by high blood glucose, high blood insulin, and insulin resistance. In the United States, over 23 million people have diabetes and incidence is twice as common in the Hispanic/Latino population as in non-Hispanic whites. The increased incidence of type 2 diabetes and associated blood markers may be related to an increase in oxidative stress from production of molecules that react with oxygen. Resistant starch is a food ingredient has been suggested to promote beneficial physiological effects related to blood glucose control. Resistant starch (18 g) was incorporated into a granola bar and served to 14 Hispanic women. Blood glucose and other blood parameters were measured several times between 0.5 to 2 hours after the granola bars were consumed. There was no significant difference in blood parameters for diabetes or oxidative stress, when considering the entire groups of study subjects. A subgroup of 9 participants did show a decrease in blood glucose within 30 minutes after resistant starch consumption compared to consumption of a control granola bar.

Address Goals

Dietary approaches to controlling risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in at-risk populations such as Hispanics, could help reduce the $132 billion spent on medical costs associated with treating diabetes. This study advances the knowledge of resistant starch to help those individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes and the scientific and medical communities as they search for solutions and approaches to controlling or reducing the risks associated with this disease. The food industry can use information from this study in developing foods that help reduce the diabetes risk.