This week I read a really great piece of research about how starch (like pasta and potatoes) need not be the diet destructor as previously thought! And just knowing how to prepare it could actually make it a equal to eating a bowl of dietary fibre...
Studies by the University of Surrey have found that when pasta is cooled down and then reheated for the second time it turns the carbohydrate into a resistant starch. The body digests resistant starch differently, causing a smaller rise in blood glucose levels (up to 50% reduction) and fewer calories to be absorbed.
Resistant starch simply means that it is resistant to the normal enzymes in our gut that break down carbohydrates and release glucose. According to scientist Dr Denise Robertson, from the University of Surrey, if you cook and cool pasta down your body will treat it much more like fibre.
How did they test?
Volunteers were asked to eat
either hot, cold or reheated pasta on different days.
Day 1: The pasta was freshly cooked served with a plain sauce of tomatoes and garlic.
Day 2: The pasta had been chilled overnight, served with the same sauce (as day 1).
On day 3 the volunteers ate pasta that had been chilled and then reheated.
Just as expected, eating cold pasta led to a smaller spike in blood glucose and insulin than eating freshly boiled pasta had.
The biggest discovery however showed that cooking, cooling and then reheating the pasta had an even more dramatic effect - in fact, it reduced the rise in blood glucose by 50%!
Further research - funded by Diabetes UK - is looking into whether adding resistant starch, with no other dietary changes, can improve some of the blood results associated with diabetes.
Visit BBC food to access some tasty and healthy pasta recipes http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/healthy-pasta