A study on the diet of more than 23,000 people has found that moderate consumption of pasta is associated with a slimmer waist and a healthier waist and buttocks ratio.

Want to increase the benefits of your favorite carbohydrates? First cooling! It’s all about creating resistant starch. While processed carbohydrates, found in white bread, biscuits and cakes, are easily absorbed by the body, allowing their calories to be easily stored as fat, resistant starch (hence the name for digestion resistance) turns into fatty acids with chain short, burning much more easily as energy.

Whole grains, legumes, whole grains and unripe bananas are full of resistant starch, but so are potatoes, white pasta and rice when they are cooked and cold. Surprisingly, if you let the potatoes, rice or cooked pasta cool in the fridge, the starch becomes resistant due to changes in the molecular food chain. Once cooled, they can be eaten cold or reheated. Potato starch is also an excellent source of resistant starch. Try using it instead of corn starch to thicken sauces, in pans or soup.

If you combine a source of resistant starch with a source of protein, it has been found that it speeds up fat burning if you compare it only to resistant starch or protein alone, so toss one boiled egg or two in the potato salad and cover the remaining plate of rice with some chicken pieces. This combination will enliven the metabolism, but also helps to stay full longer.

And it's not just that. It has also been found that resistant starch acts as a powerful prebiotic, strengthening intestinal health. It seems to reduce inflammation, increase the absorption of some minerals and reduce insulin resistance. The wonderful molecule can also help prevent type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. "Some populations and cultures have benefited from long-standing starch," researcher Paul Arciero told Time magazine. "In my conviction, this has protected them against the damage of the high-carbohydrate diet of modern times."

So, cool the carbs once and then you can enjoy them without worrying.