You may have come across a recent article in the news that asks the question ‘Is reheated pasta less fattening?’, and consequently you may be considering how on earth this could ever be the case. Pasta has no fat in it, it is a starchy carb irrespective of how it’s cooked, and it can’t be ‘less fattening’ because it has cooled once right? Well, when I first saw this title I had already thought of a few mechanisms by which this ‘less fattening’ theory might work…first in mind was the ‘stubborn starch’ theory.
Stubborn starch is another name for resistant starch and it refers to the chemical changes that occur in starchy carbohydrates structure as a result of heating, cooling and reheating. This reheating process causes the chemical bonds to change which makes them much harder for the digestive system to breakdown and use. This change causes the starch to be somewhat resistant to the enzymes ordinarily responsible for breaking them down, consequently they act similarly to fibre. Fibre, as many of you will know is key to fat loss because 1.) it increases the transit rate of fat through the bowel meaning you excrete more fat/ calories than usual, and 2.) it encourages satiety meaning you feel fuller than without fibre.
So there you have it, it seems that reheated pasta, or carbs in general could actually be less ‘fattening’ than regular pasta.
BBC News Magazine, (2014). Is reheated pasta less fattening? Retrieved 21st October, 2014, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29629761