A lot of people avoid pasta to prevent them from fattening or increasing their blood sugar levels.
The truth is, pasta contains carbohydrates which after being broken down in the guts are absorbed like simple sugars. This, in turn, causes spikes in their blood sugar. As a result, the body produces more insulin to bring back their blood sugar levels down to normal.
However, a quick increase in blood sugar levels, followed by a rapid fall can make them feel hungry soon after having their meal. And, it’s not just pasta that leads to this, but other carb-rich foods as well. They include white rice, potatoes, white bread, as well as sugary sweets and cakes.
That’s why dieticians recommend eating high-fiber foods since they cause a much more gradual increase and drop in blood glucose levels.
But, what if we can turn our carb-rich pasta into food that acts like fiber to the body?
That would be great, enjoying our pasta without feeling guilty or afraid of spiking our blood sugar.
How to Prevent Pasta from Increasing Blood Glucose Levels
Scientists explain we can turn the structure of our pasta into a resistant starch which won’t raise our blood sugar as much as carbohydrates. We can do this if we let our cooked pasta cool before eating.
The resistant starch in cold pasta is resistant to the gut enzymes which break down carbs and release glucose, which, in turn, leads to blood glucose spikes.
So, as the lead author, Dr. Denise Robertson, explains, cooking our pasta and letting it cool before eating will make our body see it as a fiber. This, in turn, will cause a smaller glucose peak and lower calorie absorption.
So, by letting our pasta cool before eating we’ll kill two birds with one stone – we’ll prevent a significant blood sugar spike and absorb fewer calories.
But, what if we don’t like eating cold pasta? Is it safe to reheat it?
Can We Reheat Our Pasta?
Another 3-day research investigated the effects of reheated pasta on blood sugar levels in a group of volunteers.
The first day, they ate a freshly cooked pasta with a plain sauce of garlic and tomatoes for breakfast.
The second day, they had a cold pasta with the same sauce for breakfast.
The last day, they ate reheated pasta with sauce. Researchers made sure the cooked pasta cooled throughout the entire night before giving it in the morning to the volunteers.
They were quite surprised by the results. After measuring their blood glucose levels every 15 minutes after eating the pasta for 2 hours, they concluded:
- eating cold pasta causes smaller blood sugar spike than eating freshly cooked pasta
- eating reheated pasta causes even smaller blood sugar spike than eating cold pasta
In fact, the reheated pasta lowered the rise in blood sugar by an incredible 50%.
It turns out the best way to consume pasta is cooking it, letting it cool, and then reheating it. In this way, it’ll contain even more resistant starch which is beneficial for blood sugar levels.
So, by changing only the temperature, we’ll turn our regular pasta into a lot healthier meal.