Nutrition

Is Pasta a Healthy Choice?

Today’s life is fast-paced and full of stress. It is not uncommon to struggle between social life, family, and work or school. You may even mess up things due to juggling between these. Amidst all these, you also are highly unlikely to find time for relaxing or to focus on your health.

Since you hardly find time for the gym, you are most likely to look up healthy recipes and spend time following them. This is when you are going resort to what most people do, which is buying instant foods or those that take less time to cook.

For example, pasta! Did you know pasta actually forms a large part of the Standard American Diets? It is a staple food and many consume it on a daily basis. It takes less time to make, is easily available and can keep you full for a long time.

However, many favorite types of pasta will not provide you with essential nutrients. In fact, they may even make you eat more calories than you need. This has led to many people, particularly in the United States, ponder over the question – Is pasta even healthy?

Seeing the levels of obesity in the country, this is a pretty valid concern. Though some research shows a decline in the consumption of pasta, a huge number still has it very often. According to the National Pasta Association, a person eats around 20lbs of pasta every year in the US.

Is Pasta Healthy?

The pasta you get at your favorite restaurant, which is dripping with three different types of cheese, may look unhealthy. However, eating pasta can be a healthy choice. Good evidence of this is the research on the subject which show people can lose weight while eating pasta as well.

For example, a study from the British Medical Journal shows that people with low-GI diets in an experiment were noted to still lose and control weight while eating pasta. It did not lead to any additional increase in fat or weight gain in the participants.

Read the study here. 

GI is a tool which can be used to look at the time a food full of carbs take to raise the levels of sugar in the blood of a person. Faster absorption of the foods means a rapid increase in the blood-glucose levels.

Doctors usually recommend foods with a low GI in order to lose weight as well as manage it. This also further decrease the risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

So, what is it that makes pasta ‘unhealthy’? Like mentioned before the pasta usually served in restaurants in unhealthy due to extra cheese and sauces. It is not pasta itself. With a controlled portion and healthy recipe, it will not increase your body fat content or weight.

How To Make Pasta Healthy?

The usual pasta you see in stores is only made from certain parts of the wheat kernel. This means you can possibly miss out on all of the wheat’s essential nutrients. In Mediterranean diets, pasta is a part of daily intake. The only difference is that is it whole grain pasta!

You are unlikely to feel any difference in the taste of your typical pasta and whole grain one. The latter will not only provide you with more nutrients but contain fewer calories. Whole grains are also linked with a reduced risk of obesity.

Try making whole grain pasta at home instead of going out for it. In addition, do not add heaps of homemade sauces and cheese. Remember, you have to keep it healthy and it will taste just as good. Add a lot of veggies. Leans proteins, homemade sauces, and nutritional yeast can also help.

Do not forget to limit the oil and use olive oil only. You can also use a bean-based or a lentil-based pasta if you cannot find the whole grain one.

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