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Diabetes: Can eating cold leftover rice improve your blood sugar levels?

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Want to lower the glycaemic index of your rice to make it more diabetes-friendly? Cook the rice, refrigerate it and have it the next day for better glucose control. While this may sound unbelievable at first, many studies have proven that cooling of high-starch foods such as rice and potato could convert the digestible starch into resistant starch which is healthier for your body and helps control blood sugar levels. Consumption of rice subjected to the cooling process results in a lower increase of postprandial blood glucose in subjects with type 1 diabetes, says a study published in Nutrition and Diabetes journal. “The cooling of rice after cooking causes retrogradation of starch, which becomes a non-absorbable product in the human digestive tract,” the study further noted. (Also read: Diabetes: Healthy ways to eat rice for managing blood sugar levels)

Nutritionist Pooja Makhija in her recent post talked about the benefits of storing rice in refrigerator for a day and then eating it. Makhija in a video simplified observations of several clinical studies and explained in detail what happens to your blood sugar levels when rice is refrigerated for 24 hours and then eaten.

Several clinical studies have proven that cooling of the cooked starch causes a process known as starch retrogradation which converts it to resistant starch, says Pooja Makhija.

Makhija says that when one eats high starch foods such as cooked rice or potato after refrigerating it for 24 hours, the digestible starch is converted into resistant starch.

“Digestible starch is the one that our body breaks down and our blood sugar levels rises. Resistant starch is the one that your body cannot break down. Now resistant starch is not bad for you. It is actually what is known as prebiotic because this feeds our gut flora. So, it’s great for us. It doesn’t spike our blood sugar but it feeds our healthy gut microbiome,” adds the nutritionist.

Makhija says she tried and tested the process herself with glucose monitoring and observed that cooked rice kept in the refrigerator for 24 hours and reheated and eaten had a far lower glycaemic response as compared to freshly cooked piping hot rice.

So, diabetics can follow this simple hack to make rice more diabetes-friendly.

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