- Nov 27, 2022
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What Are The Health Benefits Of Pasta?
Pasta has had a bad reputation for several years, because of its carbohydrate content. However, this reputation is not deserved, and the good news, if you love pasta, is that you can consume pasta as part of a healthy diet.
Pasta is a simple plant-based food, made from grain; choosing whole grain pasta provides more health benefits though, as it is higher in fibre, manganese, selenium, and lower in calories. Diets rich in whole grains are recommended for healthier diets.
Protection Against Disease
Whole grain pastas, including whole wheat spaghetti and other varieties, can help lower cholesterol. Pasta has good nutritional value, with fibre, and vitamins, and nutrients, it helps protect against some cancers, like stomach and colon cancer.
As a plant based food, whole grain pasta may help prevent chronic diseases because of the anti-inflammatory properties and nutrients in plant-based foods.
Protection Against Obesity and Weight Gain
When you eat pasta, it is a satisfying meal that fills you up, reducing your hunger for food for a long time, which can help you to lose weight. Keeping to a proper portion size is critical though. Whole grain, enriched pasta is a great source of complex carbohydrates, for long lasting energy.
It is fat free, and a staple in a Mediterranean diet, which is known for its health benefits and excellent weight control advantages.
Despite pasta's bad reputation, pasta does not lead to obesity, but may actually help towards a lower body mass index. A study showed that people who ate pasta in a Mediterranean diet had a lower BMI and less belly fat, compared to others who did not eat it.
Protection Against Heart Disease
Pasta has a low sodium content, so as long as you don't add on sauces and toppings that are salty, it can help prevent and manage high blood pressure. It is also cholesterol free. Avoid heavy cream sauces, and choose heart-smart options.
Protection Against Diabetes and High Blood Sugar
Pasta has a low glycemic index of under 55, so blood sugar does not spike, and it can help prevent diabetes.
Good Nutritional Value
Enriched varieties are good sources of several vitamins and nutrients, including iron, folic acid and other B-vitamins. Whole grain pasta is rich in fibre, so while it may be high in carbohydrates, they are complex carbs.
For those with a gluten sensitivity, who need a gluten free version, or choose to have more variety, there are options made from corn, legumes like black beans and lentils, brown rice, buckwheat, and even quinoa.
The nutritional value of these will vary depending on the ingredients, but these can also be healthy alternatives. Legume and bean based versions of pasta provide high levels of fibre and nutrients.
You can have a delicious pasta dish with tomato sauce or another vegetable-based sauce, with extra vegetables, like red peppers, spinach, and others, and lean meats like chicken or salmon, or plant based proteins. This provides a complete balanced meal providing complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and essential nutrients and vitamins.
You can add a little parmesan cheese or other cheese in moderation, or replace the cheese with nutritional yeast.
Great Food for Quick, Nutritious Meals
It is fast and easy - so you don't turn to fast foods or less healthy quick options, and it has a long shelf life, so it is always on hand, making it a perfect go-to any time, with whatever healthy ingredients you have available to go with it.
Choose the Right Sauces and Toppings
The key is what you add to it. The health benefits of pasta can be counteracted by heavy, fatty, processed commercial sauces. On the other hand, the right sauce is a good way to get more vegetables and healthy foods in, deliciously.
A main advantage of pasta is how flexible it is, so you can make it as healthy as you want.
Pasta salads are great options, as a base for adding healthy fats, like olive oil, and lots of veggies to, for an excellent, complete, lunch or dinner. Adding a little lean protein to your pasta salad, like chickpeas, for protein keeps you fuller longer and adds even more nutrition.
Eating Pasta With Healthy Sauces
Choose healthy and wholesome sauces like La Dee Da's pasta sauces. In a range of vegan, plant-based varieties, for convenient, quick meals on the go, pasta consumption is part of a healthy diet.