Is Reheated Potato Healthier?

Even if you are being troubled with diabetes, it doesn’t mean you need to bid farewell to creamy mash potatoes or simple salted-roasted potatoes. By controlling the portion size, starchy foods can remain part of a healthy diet.

In a short communication published last April, a team of U.S. researchers found that cooking method and serving temperature affect the nutritional profile of potatoes, specifically the content of resistant starch.

What Is Resistant Starch?

Resistant starch (RS) is a type of starch that is believed to yield health benefits similar to dietary fibers. They include better insulin sensitivity, improved glycemic control, and healthier gut. Unlike your typical starch, resistant starch “resist” to digestion; this means that the body cannot extract energy (a.k.a calorie) from it.

To learn more about resistant starch, we invite you to read our recent post.

The Study

Potatoes used:
Yukon Gold, Dark Red Norland, and Russet Burbank.
Cooking method and preparation:
Bake: Washed, wrapped in aluminum foil, temperature: 177°C (350°F) for 65-85 min
Boil: Washed, peeled, cut into small pieces, temperature: 100°C (212°F) for 10-11 min
Serving temperature:
Hot: 65°C (150°F)
Chilled at a temperature of 4°C (40°F) for six days
Chilled at a temperature of 4°C (40°F) for six days, then reheated to 65°C (150°F)

The Results

From their analysis, the researchers found that cooking method and serving temperature have an impact on the RS content. However, the variety of the potatoes did not affect the RS content.

The RS content of chilled, reheat, and hot potatoes are as followed: 4.3 ± 0.9 g/100 g, 3.4 ± 1.0 g/100 g, 3.0 ± 0.8 g/100 g.

In descending order, the content of RS vary as such: chilled>reheated>hot potatoes. Moreover, baked potatoes contain a higher amount of RS than boiled potatoes. 

A Side Note

On the British TV show Trust me, I’m a Doctor, Dr. Robertson, a nutrition scientist at the University of Surrey, conducted a small experiment on ten staff working in an Italian restaurant. The good doctor served hot, chilled, and reheated pasta to them on separate days. Their glycemia was measured every 15 minutes for two hours after the meal. In line with the U.S. study presented above, freshly cooked pasta top the list of highest raising glycemia while cooked-chilled-reheated pasta produced the lowest increase in blood sugar.

While the concept is pretty neat, it remains to be seen how it can help in the management of diabetes. After all, the difference in the content of RS is small. Hence, you still need to refrain yourself from splurging on potatoes and other starchy foods regardless of the cooking and preparation method.

Moral of the story: Enjoy potatoes, ideally chilled (just kidding!) or preferably reheated.

Check out our previous post to learn the quick and easy way to peel potatoes!


Carbs and Cooking. Diabetes UK. URL Link. Accessed September 29, 2016.

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