Pasta is a lot of people's go-to comfort food.
It's tasty, filling and often covered with delicious sauces and cheese. What's not to love, right?
If you can't be in Italy, at least we have the chance to delve into the nation's delicious food. And, it turns out, it could be pretty good for you too.
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Health guru Michael Mosley recently revealed a simple pasta cooking hack could help you lose weight. He also alleges it could reduce the risk of some cancers too.
The health expert, who's known for his Fast 800 and 5:2 diets, said there's a way you can cook pasta that could have many benefits for your health.
All you have to do is cook it, leaving enough for leftovers, and then reheat it before you eat. Apparently, the resistant starch has more benefits than you realise.
Talking on his Just One Thing podcast, Michael explained: "By taking the pasta, cooking and cooling it, it turns into something called resistant starch and resistant starch acts rather like fibre, which means when I eat this reheated pasta, my blood sugars go up less.
"It also means that if I eat a lot of resistant starch that should reduce chronic inflammation, and even potentially reduce my risk of some cancers."
Dr Darrel Coburn, from Pennsylvania State University, spoke alongside Michael on the podcast, and also shared his views. He talked about how resistant starch, which is created by reheating pasta, can aid the gut and also help people maintain a healthy weight.
Dr Coburn added: "Butyrate is what we call a short chain fatty acid and we do want lots of this being produced for several reasons. One of these reasons is our colon cells are the cells lining our gut, and butyrate is their preferred energy source, and so they're in a healthier state when they are consuming that.
"And that in turn can lead to things like having a better gut barrier function. So you have less things leaching out of your intestinal tract into your bloodstream, but it can have a number of other effects as well.
"So it's a fairly potent anti-inflammatory factor that can help maintain lower levels of chronic inflammation which is associated with general health really – but can particularly be linked to things like inflammatory bowel disease, cancer of the gut and systemic inflammation."
Michael also said it can work to reduce cancer risks, as the little known type of carb carries a surprising range of health benefits.
He noted a recent study carried out by scientists from the University of Newcastle and Leeds asked around 1,000 people with a high genetic risk of cancer to add a 30 gram supplement of resistant starch to their diet or a placebo.
They had to do this each day for around two years.
It was later found the people who consumed the resistant starch were nearly half less likely to develop cancer, specifically types of the disease that impact the upper part of the gut. This includes areas like the oesophagus and the pancreas.
"It is an impressive finding because these cancers are difficult to diagnose, and often very hard to treat," he added.
For more information, Michael's Just One Thing podcast is available to listen to on BBC Sounds.
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