Mind & Body

Reheating Your Pasta Could Have Health Benefits

Whether you're dieting or diabetic, it seems that everybody these days is going low-carb. If you're one of them, there's good news: leftover pasta that's been cooled and reheated is significantly more healthy than when it's fresh.

How It Works

Cooling hot pasta turns it into what's called a "resistant starch": a starchy food that will cause a smaller rise in glucose than the same food when it's hot. Resistant starches are therefore a bit better for you than their freshly cooked form. In 2014, Dr. Chris van Tulleken conducted an experiment in which he reheated cooled pasta and fed it to volunteers to see if it kept its resistant starch status. To his surprise, the reheated pasta caused an even smaller glucose spike than the cooled pasta, making it the healthiest option out of the hot, cooled, and reheated meals.

What This Means For You

This works with other starches too—a 2015 study found that cooling and reheating rice can slash its calories by as much as 50 percent. But this is about more than calories. Studies show that consuming resistant starches may help with insulin sensitivity, reduce fat accumulation, and make you feel fuller. So next time you cook up a batch of pasta, make a little extra. Those leftovers will do your body good.

Watch And Learn: Our Favorite Videos About Carbs

The Surprising Benefit Of Reheating Pasta

Leftover pasta is actually better for you than fresh.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. When you eat a carbohydrate, your body breaks it down into simple sugars and your blood glucose spikes. 00:47

  2. Cooling down cooked pasta seems to make it resistant to the enzymes that break down carbs. 01:24

  3. In one experiment, reheated pasta caused an even smaller glucose spike than cooled pasta. 02:27

The Science of Carbohydrates

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5 Common Myths About Carbs

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Written by Curiosity Staff January 9, 2015

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