Pasta is the most dreaded food for those on a diet. This is because it is mistakenly believed to make you fat more than other foods. But there is no greater mistake than banning pasta from the daily diet. Yes that’s right, it does contain a good portion of refined carbs (they’re the worst enemies of those trying to lose weight), but it’s also packed with other essential nutrients for a healthy body, unlike packaged muffins and snacks.
145g of cooked pasta contains about 38g of carbohydrates, 7.7g of protein and 0.6g of fat. In addition, there is all the water absorbed by cooking and important micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. The same amount of cooked pasta contains about a quarter of the daily requirement for vitamins B1 and B9, half of the need for selenium, and 10% of the requirement for iron. Therefore, if we want to reduce our intake of refined carbohydrates, let’s stop eating sweets first, not pasta when combined with vegetables and legumes.
The right balance of macronutrients
The energy (calories) we absorb from food is needed by the body for metabolic processes, physiological functions, muscle activity, heat production, and the growth and formation of new tissues. The main sources of energy are carbohydrates, proteins, fats and, to a lesser extent, alcohol. However, if daily energy requirements differ from person to person, based on age, build, gender, and physical activity, the balance between macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates, and proteins) should remain the same for everyone. Numerous studies have shown that an imbalance between these can increase the risk of chronic disease. But the form of fats (such as saturated, polyunsaturated, or monounsaturated fatty acids) or carbohydrates (such as starches or sugars; high or low glycemic index) can also influence the risk of these diseases,
According to the recommendations of experts, we should get 45-65% of our energy from carbohydrates, 10-30% from proteins, and 20-35% from fats. The ratio was determined on the basis of healthy eating, and is designed so that each of us gets enough vitamins and minerals.
It is easy to lose weight if you eat pasta regularly
Pasta is not the enemy of size. In the context of a healthy diet, it has been shown that people lose more weight when their diet includes pasta regularly. Also, one Systematic review From ten different studies it was found that pasta (one of the main food sources of starch on the glycemic index (GI)) allows you to keep your blood sugar level low, with all the advantages that follow, compared to bread or potato. Therefore, instead of giving up spaghetti, reduce the portions of food in your plates and favor wholegrain pasta which, thanks to its high fiber content, provides important benefits for gut health and helps you feel full for longer.
But how many times a week should we eat it? Pasta – says A Today Nutritionist Ester Brucci – It can also be given 5 times a week, taking care to balance the correct calorie intake based on meals consumed during the rest of the day and by exercising a little.
Is white pasta or whole pasta better?
Both can be consumed alternately, respecting the body’s energy needs. However – the nutritionist emphasizes – that pasta made from whole grains, which consists of fiber, needs more time to be digested, which leads to a longer stay in the stomach and thus a feeling of satiety for a long time. There are also alternative types of “pasta” such as Quinoa, which does not contain carbohydrates because it is a herbaceous plant of the same family as spinach, and is indicated for very low-calorie diets. Finally, pasta made from rye, oats, barley and spelled is very rich in fiber and minerals.
What is pasta combined with
Pasta is not usually eaten on its own. And this is a big plus, since “naked” carbohydrates (simple carbohydrates eaten without other foods that help slow digestion), if not managed properly, can cause blood sugar levels to spike and drop causing health problems. This danger is not related to pasta, which always forms the basis of a more complete meal, and can be a way to help people eat more vegetables: think of children (or adults to some extent) ‘hide’ mashed or grated vegetables in pasta sauce.
Not eating pasta alone is also important to your protein profile. Plant foods are generally not complete proteins, which means we must eat them with other foods, such as pasta, rice and whole grains, to absorb the different types of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) that we need to survive. “Pasta – the nutritionist advises – should always be mixed with vegetables, in order to introduce the right amount of daily fiber and to balance energy intake, avoiding seasonings such as butter and preferring extra virgin olive oil, but without exaggerating with the quantities. An example of a healthy and light dish is pasta And broccoli, which allow the absorption of folic acid and iron, or pasta with tomatoes and basil, which allow the absorption of lycopene (a powerful antioxidant), or, again, spelled pasta with legumes that allow a greater absorption of iron.
Leftover pasta is less caloric
You’ll never believe it, but pasta is even healthier if it’s left over from the day before. When pasta is cooked and cooled, some of the carbohydrates turn into resistant starch, that is, they are not digested in the small intestine, but rather ferment in the intestines, feeding the intestinal bacteria beneficial for digestion, resulting in less energy (calories). and improving blood sugar levels. So if you reheat and whip leftover pasta dish, remember that it will have fewer calories than the night before.
Eating pasta for dinner fights insomnia and stress
If evening noodles are eaten at dinner in appropriate amounts, it will not only lead to weight gain but also promote comfort and reduce stress. It’s all thanks to the tryptophan and B vitamins found in pasta. To say it’s a 2019 study of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston Published in the scientific journalLancet Public Health”.
“Pasta – explains the nutritionist – stimulates the production of leptin, the hormone of satiety, and adiponectin, which regulates insulin production. Thanks to the presence of tryptophan, the production of serotonin and melatonin, substances that promote good mood, is stimulated. Moreover, it supplies the brain with the sugars necessary to manage attention and focus. And also to manage moments of stress.” Obviously, the suggestion is to never eat too late, in order to avoid going to bed immediately after a meal and suffering from digestive problems.
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