Reheating Pasta Can Help You Lose Weight!

Reheating Pasta Can Help You Lose Weight!

We all know the rule: pasta is a once-in-a-while treat, thanks to it being a starchy carbohydrate which takes longer to work off than it does to cook.

But the results of an experiment in the latest series of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor might change this commonly-held view.

As a form of carbohydrate, pasta is broken down in the gut and absorbed as sugar, immediately increasing blood glucose sugar levels, which the body then has to produce insulin to bring back down because high levels of glucose in the blood are a no-no.

The team showed how the rapid rise and then fall of glucose is the reason why we feel hungry again quickly after eating a good plate of pasta, sweets or any food high in starchy carbs or sugar.

They also showed that by changing these types of foods to act more like fibre, (which slows down this process and is why nutritionists tell us to eat a more balanced plate of food) could actually help us to lose weight, rather than putting it on.

Apparently, cooking pasta, then cooling it before eating, changes the structure of the carbs and turns it into to “resistant starch” which is so called because after cooling, it becomes resistant to the enzymes in the gut which usually break the carbs down and release the glucose which goes on to cause that dreaded unwanted, blood sugar surge. According to Dr Denise Robertson, from University of Surrey, your body will treat cooked then cooled pasta as though it’s fibre, and this will slow down the glucose rush and help to feed the good bacteria in the gut. This also means – and this is the important part – you will absorb fewer calories from the meal.

However, nobody likes to eat cold pasta and according to the programme, most scientists also thought that once the pasta was reheated, it would change return back to its non-resistant self. But the experiment had never been done so this have never been proved.

So Dr Chris van Tulleken decided to recruit some volunteers to take part in controlled experiments for what makes a  fascinating episode of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, (which you can watch again on iPlayer) The outcome was mindblowing.

The controlled experiment confirmed that eating cold pasta led to a smaller blood glucose rush and insulin than eating freshly cooked pasta.

But what was more surprising was that they inadvertently also proved that cooking, cooling and then reheating pasta made an even bigger impact. It had a smaller effect on blood glucose, reducing the rise by 50%!

Though more tests are being undertaken by Diabetes UK, they initially proved that a carb-loaded meal could be converted into a more healthy fibre-high one just by changing the temperature.

So finally some good news for pasta lovers: we get to have our pasta AND eat it too (after it’s cooled down and been reheated!).



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