If you’re looking for a way to make rice, pasta, and potatoes better for your health, we have a trick for you. When these foods are cooked and then refrigerated, some of the ordinary starch they contain transforms into resistant starch, a type of fiber that benefits your blood sugar, helps “good” bacteria in your gut flourish, and may even help with weight management. Resistant starch passes through your small intestine intact — it resists digestion. How does this benefit you? Resistant starch helps you feel full, makes for a steadier blood-sugar rise, and is a “prebiotic,” meaning that beneficial bacteria in your gut consume it. Research also suggests that when you eat, say, whole-wheat noodles that have been cooked and then refrigerated, you digest less food and consume fewer calories than if you ate the same amount of freshly cooked noodles. Other sources of resistant starch — cooling not required — as are unripe bananas and plantains.
” You’ll get the benefits of resistant starch whether you eat cooked-then-cooled foods cold, as in pasta salad, or reheat them.” says Cleveland Clinic nutritionist Amy Gannon, R.D.