We all know that pasta contains carbohydrates. When carbs are digested, they are broken down and absorbed as simple sugars, which causes glucose levels to rise, prompting an influx of insulin from the pancreas in an attempt to balance things out.
Once cooled, the chemical structure of pasta changes and it becomes what is known as a resistant starch — meaning it resists the enzymes in the human gut that normally break carbohydrates down to release the glucose that causes the familiar blood sugar surge. The body digests resistant starches similarly to how it digests fiber, meaning the glucose peak is significantly smaller and you absorb fewer calories.
The results came from a small experiment from the television series Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, in which the glucose levels of nine people were tested after eating different meals. Eating cold pasta led to a smaller spike in blood glucose and insulin compared to eating freshly made pasta. When the cooled pasta was then reheated, the effect on blood glucose was even more dramatic, reducing the rise in blood glucose by 50 percent.
So there you have it: While you should still eat pasta in moderation, with this trick you can turn a carb-laden meal into a healthier, fiber-filled one instead.