I read here that if we prepare dried beans this way:

soak overnight.
put them in the refrigerator.
eat them cold.

They would be digested in the intestines rather than in the stomach, acting as resistant starch. If is this indeed the case, in which way would this alter the nutritional profile of beans in terms of calories and nutrient absorption?

Some additional scholarly articles related to this issue can be found here.

  • I don't think this will be on-topic here, but it's certainly not on-topic without some sort of reference to the claim being made. Where did you read this claim?
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 20:21
  • Questions about cooking and nutrition are generally on-topic only when they're related to medical treatments as mentioned here. However, this question seems borderline so I'll let it stand. But as @BryanKrause said, you're definitely going to have to provide a reference to the claim. The claim isn't compatible with my understanding of the digestive process.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 22:39
  • 1
    hello, here is a link to an article about this topic healthline.com/nutrition/cooling-resistant-starch#section3, specifically how cooling beans would alter their absorption. scholarly articles abut this topic can be found here: scholar.google.com.mx/…. Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 23:37
  • I'm not a doctor, so I might be wrong, but my interest is because cooling beans after cooking seems to alter their caloric and nutritional values ,since their absorption in the intestine would be mainly through fermentation, which might be relevant to people with specific dietary requirements. Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 23:42
  • 3
    @black-clover I edited your question to add the links you provided. In the future, when you add information to a question you should always edit the question and add it rather than just putting it in comments.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 0:19

1 Answer 1


Heating and cooling starchy foods (potatoes, pasta, barley, rice, beans...) can convert a small amount of starch into resistant starch, which cannot be digested in the small intestine but can be fermented by normal intestinal microbes in the large intestine.

There are 4 types of resistant starch, the one produced during food cooking and cooling is type 3 (RS3).

The nutritional characteristics of RS3:

  • RS3 is not digested into glucose, so it does not raise blood glucose levels after meals (Harvard.edu).
  • RS3 is fermented into short-chain fatty acids and some other nutrients, which are absorbed in the large intestine, have some nutritional value and may have some beneficial effects on the intestinal lining and the growth of intestinal flora (Institute of Food Technologists).
  • Fermentation of RS3 results in a lower calorie value of absorbable nutrients (~2 Cal/g) than digestion of starch (~4 Cal/g) (EJCN).
  • The fermentation of RS3 also yields gas that may cause some bloating and flatulence.

Cooling the food after cooking converts only 1-2% of starch into RS3 ( Harvard.edu, ACS.org). This means that the effects of resistant starch (lowering calorie value and glycemic index of the food) will be only small.

There is insufficient evidence to say that high consumption of resistant starch is effective in weight loss, lowering glucose or cholesterol levels, improving intestinal flora or prevention of diabetes or colon cancer (Advances In Nutrition, AJCN).

  • Thanks a lot for the clear answer and the links. Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 16:36

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