Yes. You read that right. What’s better for you isn’t freshly cooked, straight-out-of-the-oven pasta but a reheated one! This is important because if you’re anything like us, then you love pasta too! Inarguably a favourite around the world, pasta is preferred by a lot of people because of how simple and versatile it is. It’s also pretty fun—it goes with almost any sauce and comes in many shapes. But what about reheated pasta is good for you exactly? Well, to answer that question, we first need to talk about this undeniable truth:
Unfortunately, pasta is fattening.
This isn’t a surprise considering it’s a type of carbohydrate, and carbs are known to become simple sugars once digested and absorbed by the body. This causes our blood glucose levels to rise. In order to balance everything out, our pancreas releases the hormone insulin, and the result? Just as quickly, our blood glucose levels drop and surprise, surprise: we then become hungry again. This is a complete contrast to fibre—fibre-rich food produces a much more gradual rise and then fall of sugar levels.
According to University of Surrey scientist Dr. Denise Robertson, there’s a way to make pasta act more like fibre: by cooling it down after you cook it. The process changes the pasta’s structure and turns it into something called “resistant starch.” It’s named so because cooked starchy food, once cooled down, becomes resistant to the enzymes in our intestines that break the carbs down and turns them into sugar. But what of people who hate cold pasta and cold food in general?
This is where reheated pasta comes in.
In an experiment done by Dr. Robertson along with Dr. Chris van Tulleken with a group of volunteers for BBC’s Trust Me I’m A Doctor, they discovered that while cooling down pasta after it was cooked had less of an effect on blood glucose levels, cooking, cooling and then reheating it was even better: it reduced the spike in blood glucose levels by 50%. Talk about resistant starch being as resistant as ever!
This is, of course, no reason to start overindulging in pasta. It just goes to show that simply changing the temperature without changing anything on what you include in your pasta recipe can have a positive impact on your food! So no, don’t throw away the leftover pasta in your fridge—not only will it be such a waste, now you know that reheated pasta is definitely good for you.