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How cooling carbohydrates make them healthier

Did you know that making simple changes to the way some foods are cooked can lower their calorie content?

These changes can convert some of the starch in carbohydrates to a non digestible form called resistant starch.

Researchers found that cooling white rice after cooking it promoted crystallization, leading to an increase in resistant starch compared to normally prepared white rice. (1)

Resistant starch behaves more like a dietary fibre than a carbohydrate, as it is not broken down into simple sugars in the small intestine. (2)

It ‘resists’ digestion and begins to ferment, which in turn feeds our good bacteria. The resistant starch is used as fuel by the bacteria in our large intestine. (4)

There are several other health benefits associated with resistant starch:

  • Like high protein or high fibre foods, resistant starch can keep us feeling full for longer;

  • For some people, it can improve the glycaemic response (being the effect that food has on the body’s sugar levels);

  • Certain types of resistant starch can lower glucose and insulin levels after meals. (3) Although for others, it can cause digestive distress;

  • Can speed up lipid metabolism (referring to the break down of fats for energy) and improve immune function;

  • May decrease inflammation and effectively change the metabolism of the bacteria in the intestines. (5)

As you can see there are numerous health benefits for the entire body and the best part is it’s so easy to do!

You can increase the resistant starch in carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice and pasta by cooking them as you usually would, then allowing them to cool at room temperature if you are using straight away or in the fridge for later use.

The resistant starch even remains higher after reheating foods that have been previously cooled.

Remember to always follow food safety guidelines when storing and re-heating foods. If cooked rice is left standing at room temperature, the bacteria can multiply, which is why rice should be served either hot or cooled and then stored in a fridge.

Check out Food Safety Standards for more information here.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Functional Health Canberra does not treat, diagnose or cure any condition. Information is not intended to replace medical professional advice. Always consult your physician before any significant diet and lifestyle changes.








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