Pasta and rice are starchy carbohydrates which when uncooked are hard to digest, but heating them in water weakens the structure meaning the glucose can be absorbed easier into blood. The speed at which glucose is absorbed into the blood can be measured on the Glycemic Index which is a scale 1-100 (100 being quick absorption). There’s more information about the Glycemic Index in our podcasts and webinars.
We’ve known for a while that allowing starchy carbohydrates to cool reduces the effect on blood glucose as the structure is reorganised again and the starch becomes more resistant. More recently we’ve discovered reheating the starches reduces the rise in blood glucose by 50%. Reheating turns starch into resistant starch which is not just good for reducing the impact on blood glucose levels (risk of type-2 Diabetes) but the resistant starch also becomes a form of fibre which means it is a prebiotic which feeds the good bacteria in your large intestine helping to support your immunity.
Day 3 of our 30-day nutrition challenge is to cook, cool, then reheat pasta/rice. Using the cooking, cooling, reheating method means:
- pasta/rice provides longer lasting energy as blood glucose levels fluctuate less
- less cravings for sweeter food
- easier for diabetics to control blood glucose levels
- reduce the risk of type-2 Diabetes
Diabetes UK suggests the following healthier swaps:
- Pasta and sauce swap for cooked then cooled pasta and sauce
- Boiled potatoes swap for boiled then cooled new potatoes
For more healthy foods swaps and other tips to improve your energy and concentration check out our Improving energy webinar.
If cooking but not eating rice immediately, remember to cool it quickly and store it in the fridge for up to 1 day. Allowing cooked rice to sit at room temperature encourages bacteria growth.
If you’d like to find out more tips to improve your health check out our webinars and Bitesize Nutrition podcast. If you’re new to podcasts you can listen free without registration on your phone & PC by clicking on the podcast link in this paragraph, or listen to Bitesize Nutrition on iTunes & Spotify.
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- The information in this article is for educational purposes and should not replace medical advice.
- The information is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.
- If you have a diagnosed medical condition, you should consult a doctor before making any major changes to your diet, and;
- Some supplements may interact with medications and you should check with your GP before commencing any supplement programme.