I've read a couple of things claiming that allowing your pasta to cool and then reheating it significantly changes its glycemic index resulting in a much lower blood sugar spike after eating.

This sounds too good to be true to me, I enjoy eating pasta and would choose to eat it on a more regular basis if it was less likely to result in that 'post-lunch tiredness' due to no sugar crash. Also, considering my day job is sitting at a desk all day, would this likely aid weight loss (or rather, reduce weight gain)? Is this a big deal?

Source article: https://www.sciencealert.com/heating-your-pasta-makes-it-significantly-better-for-you - also I've been reading the book 'The clever guts diet' by the same author.

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1 Answer 1


What happens during cooling and reaheating pasta (or other starchy foods, such as potatoes or rice) is that some starch is converted into resistant starch. "Resistant" means resistant to digestion, like fiber.

Resistant starch is less digestible, so it results in lower glucose spikes:

Replacing digestible starch with resistant starch induces a lower blood glucose rise after a meal.

Because it's less digestible, it also contains less calories (~2 Cal/g).

Resistant starch is known for few decades, but I don't think it has became a popular way of controlling blood glucose levels or weight, at least not on medical diabetes sites...The preparation sounds complicated and there may be an issue with the taste...

One type of resistant starch is in cooled and reheated pasta; other types are in whole grain products, legumes, green bananas and in foods with added "modified starch."

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    If you look at e.g. Processing effects and were these occur naturally, are reduced in most applications but then increased by just cooling I wonder where you get the 'complicated' and 'taste' ideas from? With potatoes it seems to partially improve taste as well? Looks like it's just time and cooling, so the preparation is less complicated than the chem/bio processes involved that might need complex explanation. And it has become popular (on the net at least), even though i do that just out of lazyness in the kitchen ;) Jul 16, 2018 at 15:12
  • It sounds time-consuming to heat pasta, cool it and heat it again. It also doesn't sound fresh to me. I don't know, but to me, this sounds complicated, because there are many foods, such as whole-grain bread, with resistant starch or "slow carbs" you can buy in a store and just eat it. There does not seem to be a lot of recommendations to prepate resistant starch this way on medical diabetes websites. But there are other types of resistant starch that occur naturally in foods.
    – Jan
    Jul 16, 2018 at 15:30
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    The reason I was interested in this is because you can make a pasta dish for dinner and then have it reheated for lunch or whatever the next day with minimal effort. To heat, cool and reheat pasta on it's own would be a bit silly potentially? Either way, this is interesting stuff.
    – John Hunt
    Jul 17, 2018 at 7:48
  • I checked few major diabetes websites and I got the feeling that this cooling pasta thing is not widely recommended. My question is why to try to make something out of plain pasta, when there are other natural whole-grain products (including pasta) available. Only a relatively small percent of starch, not all of it, converts into resistant starch, so, the effect may not be so dramatic as it seems, anyway.
    – Jan
    Jul 17, 2018 at 8:11
  • Thanks Jan. I am not a diabetic, and after my little trial yesterday I felt very sleepy after eating the reheated pasta - perhaps I'll stick to my rye bread with tuna and tomatoes!
    – John Hunt
    Jul 18, 2018 at 12:24

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