Scientists think they've found a secret lurking in your leftovers

We’ve all been there: you cook enough pasta to feed an army but there are only two of you eating. Before you throw the leftovers away, a new experiment has shown that re-heated cold pasta may be better for you than freshly cooked hot pasta.


Conducted by Dr Chris Van Tullekan on the BBC TV show Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, the research demonstrated that eating pasta which had been cooked, cooled and then reheated led to a 50% smaller rise in volunteers’ blood glucose compared to hot, freshly cooked pasta. 


Why does this mean you should be tucking into reheated spaghetti, then? Well, it's this rise and fall in blood glucose which can make you feel hungry again soon after eating. The study suggests that cooling and reheating pasta means that the starch becomes resistant to the enzymes in the gut that usually break it down and the body then treats it more like fibre, creating a smaller glucose peak.


Dr Van Tullekan said: "It's something that could simply and easily improve health. We can convert a carb-loaded meal into a more healthy fibre-loaded one instead without changing a single ingredient, just the temperature. In other words our leftovers could be healthier for us than the original meal."


While the experiment was conducted on a very small group of just 10 people and hence needs more research, senior nutrition scientist from the University of Surrey Dr Denise Robertson who oversaw the experiment has called it "robust science".

If you need another excuse to tuck into a bowl of pasta, why not try this chicken pesto pasta recipe,  mushroom and pancetta spaghetti or simple green pasta recipe. Just get the microwave ready for leftovers, too.