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Cooling and then reheating starchy foods dramatically reduces spike in blood glucose

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  • Cooling and then reheating starchy foods dramatically reduces spike in blood glucose

    I find this to be a very interesting and quite profound discovery for nutrition in general and for diabetics specifically.

    There are few things that really surprise me about nutrition, but one of the experiments from the latest series of Trust Me, I'm a Doctor really did produce quite unexpected results.

    You are probably familiar with the idea that pasta is a form of carbohydrate and like all carbohydrates it gets broken down in your guts and then absorbed as simple sugars, which in turn makes your blood glucose soar.

    In response to a surge in blood glucose our bodies produce a rush of the hormone insulin to get your blood glucose back down to normal as swiftly as possible, because persistently high levels of glucose in the blood are extremely unhealthy...

    ...But what if you could change pasta or potatoes into a food that, to the body, acts much more like fibre? Well, it seems you can. Cooking pasta and then cooling it down changes the structure of the pasta, turning it into something that is called "resistant starch"...

    ...One obvious problem is that many people don't really like cold pasta. So what would happen if you took the cold pasta and warmed it up?

    When we asked scientists this question they said that it would probably go back to its previous, non-resistant form, but no-one had actually done the experiment. So we thought we should...

    ...Just as expected, eating cold pasta led to a smaller spike in blood glucose and insulin than eating freshly boiled pasta had.

    But then we found something that we really didn't expect - cooking, cooling and then reheating the pasta had an even more dramatic effect. Or, to be precise, an even smaller effect on blood glucose.

    In fact, it reduced the rise in blood glucose by 50%.

    This certainly suggests that reheating the pasta made it into an even more "resistant starch". It's an extraordinary result and one never measured before...

    ..."We've made a brand new discovery on Trust Me I'm A Doctor", he says, "and it's something that could simply and easily improve health. We can convert a carb-loaded meal into a more healthy fibre-loaded one instead without changing a single ingredient, just the temperature. In other words our leftovers could be healthier for us than the original meal."...

    Java "Is reheated pasta less fattening?" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  • #2
    Certainly interesting.

    Ben Goldacre would probably point out that there is a difference between demonstrating impacts to an intermediate effect (insulin response) and real measurable health benefits (like a reduction in bodyfat or obesity related illness).

    Should be a relatively straightforward study to do though...