Resistant starches. Are the key here. Now its really not as complicated as it sounds.
White pasta, because it is highly processed, breaks down into simple sugars very quickly in the gut, in much the same way that white bread does. Because of these simple sugars, your blood sugar and insulin will spike and then quickly drop. And when it drops you are likely to feel tired, grumpy, hungry and craving for more simple sugars.
So even though you are throwing in large handfuls of veggies and lean protein to help fight this sugar slump, all their appetite and insulin curbing powers are reduced.
Recent research suggests that cooking the pasta and then cooling it, transforms its starches into resistant starches. These resistant starches are harder to digest, meaning it has some of the benefits of soluble & insoluble fibre, including:
- increases feeling of fullness
- aids weight-loss
- decreases blood pressure
- lowers LDL (Bad) cholesterol
- increases HDL Cholesterol
- decreases chance of diabetes
- decreases chance of intestinal cancers
- increase bowel health
- relieves constipation & bloating
I've found this method, while not only making your pasta dishes healthier also helps you save time!
- Bring a pan to the boil and measure out your pasta. Portion control is THE key to maintaining a healthy weight so all the lovely benefits of this pasta will be lost if you fill your boots. One cup of pasta is an ideal measure for an adult. Now my appetite is a little smaller than average, and LSP's is a bit bigger, so two cups work perfectly for us, because he gets the extra from my measure.
- Boil the pasta until fully cooked.
- Throw into a colander and run under cold water. OR if you are on a water meter, empty the cooked water and refill the pan of pasta with cold.
- Once cold, place the pasta in a bowl, if you are serving cold you can either add your sauce now, or add a few drops of water to keep it moist.
- Cover with film and refrigerate. If you are serving hot, simply cover and reheat in boiling water or in sauce. Because your pasta is safely tucked into the fridge, it is either ready to eat or edible after a few minutes heating so it can save you so much time if you've just got in from work and cannot be bothered moving!
Health properties of Resistant Starches
Read this article from today's Dietitian
- Nugent A.P. (2005). "Health properties of resistant starch, British Nutrition Foundation". Nutrition Bulletin 30 (1): 27–54.
- World Health Organization, Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation "Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases" 2003, WHO Technical Report Series 916.