Enjoy pasta, potatoes, rice and more with the ULTIMATE GESTATIONAL DIABETES HACK with science to back it up!
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Have you seen moms say that they got a better glucose reading the next day even though they ate the same exact thing? Well an experiment with leftovers showed it's not just chance - there's a scientific reason.
If you're in any of the gestational diabetes support groups on Facebook you've probably seen moms baffled that they got better numbers after eating leftovers.
No has been able to really reason as to why it happened. Some even experimented and tried eating the same foods all day long (eliminating variables) and they found that they still got better numbers when eating leftovers.
All in all, they had no idea as to why leftovers gave better numbers. That's completely understandable because so many factors affect blood sugar: stress, sleep, food, activity, hormones, etc.
I came across this article by BBC.com in 2014 that summarized an interesting experiment.
If you want to read the actual write up (easy read), click here.
A doctor and scientist-conducted experiment tested glucose response to pasta in different states: freshly cooked, cooled and reheated. (It led to an officially funded project by Diabetes UK)
The experiment found that "cooking pasta and then cooling it down changes the structure of the pasta, turning it into something that is called "resistant starch"."
When any starchy food (pasta, potatoes, peas, etc.) is cooked and cooled, it becomes resistant to the normal enzymes in our gut that break down carbs and release glucose.
So what does all of this mean?
"According to scientist Dr Denise Robertson, from the University of Surrey, if you cook and cool pasta down then your body will treat it much more like fibre, creating a smaller glucose peak and helping feed the good bacteria that reside down in your gut."
In other words, cold pasta won't spike your blood sugar as high as freshly cooked pasta.
But probably the only time cold pasta or potatoes are appetizing is in some sort of pasta or potato salad.
But wait, there's more!
They had a few volunteers eat the same exact dish on an empty stomach. One day they ate it freshly cooked, another day it was chilled over night, and the last day it was chilled over night and reheated.
After each meal they had to test their blood sugar every 15 minutes for 2 hours.
The results were interesting!
The freshly cooked pasta produced the biggest glucose spike. The chilled pasta produced a smaller spike. The reheated pasta had the most appalling results. It gave the most minimal spike of all three dishes. In fact, the reheated pasta produced only 50% of the glucose response as the freshly cooked pasta.
Reheated pasta had the best (or lowest) affect on glucose.
"We've made a brand new discovery on Trust Me I'm A Doctor", he says, "and 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."
Since this discovery, Scientist Denise Robertson from the University of Surrey continued her research - funded by Diabetes UK - "looking at whether, even without other dietary modifications, adding resistant starch to the diet can improve some of the blood results associated with diabetes." You can read more about it here.
Try it yourself! Come back and tell us how it went in the comments below.
Does the same idea go for potatoes? Does eating cooled or leftover potato have the same reaction on the sugar level?
The Gestational Diabetic Chef
Hi Natalie! Yes, the concept is the same. So potato salad and/or leftover mashed potatoes will have a lesser effect on your glucose than freshly cooked potatoes.