What’s the Deal: Is pasta healthy or unhealthy for your diet?
The one thing that most American kitchen pantry’s have is some form of pasta. Whether you make it home-made or buy it from your grocery store, pasta is a staple in most households. Now-a-days we see all forms of pasta – gluten free, vegetable pasta, whole grain, and refined… what is the difference?! Is one truly better for you than the others? Keep reading to find out and I’ll let you decide.
Good ol’ fashion pasta is most commonly made from wheat, water, and eggs. However these days many companies have been altering it by using other grains. Not necessarily for the worst reasons.
Lets go over the facts!
- Provides us with some beneficial nutrients that we need in our diets.
- Easy dish to cook.
- Pasta is high in carbs and most of us know that this can be bad if consumed in large quantities.
- When the pasta has been refined it is stripped of numerous nutrients.
- Refined pasta is higher in calories and lower in fiber content.
- This leads to a decreased feeling of being full. We tend to eat more than the necessary amount.
- Consuming lots of refined carbs has negative affects on your overall health.
- Such as an increase of heart disease, blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
Whole Grain has a lot more to offer vs refined pasta
- whole grain is usually higher in fiber, manganese, and selenium
- Refined is higher in iron and B vitamins… oh yeah higher in carbs and calories too!
Eating foods high in carbs can increase your blood sugar levels + are linked to increasing the risk of diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Now most whole grain pasta is made from wheat flour that’s pulverized which takes away the beneficial effects associated with whole grains.
Want to increase the health value of your pasta? Make sure to add in some protein, heart healthy fats, oh and of courses VEGGIES! Try and avoid high calorie sauces or even topping it with cheese. Check out my instagram post today for a tasty and healthy pasta recipe!!
Remember too much of anything can be bad, everything in moderation! I hope this article was able to clarify the good, the bad, and the ugly side of pasta. Comment below with any questions and/or thoughts!
Kim Shapira MS, RD