The Health Benefits of Pasta
Pasta is a perfect foundation for healthy, nutritious and satisfying meals: pasta is generally eaten with nutrient-dense food partners, such as fiber-filled vegetables and beans, heart healthy fish and monounsaturated oils, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce and protein-packed cheeses, poultry and lean meats. Pasta offers:
Carbohydrates like pasta provide glucose, the crucial fuel for your brain and muscles. Pasta is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which provide a slow release of energy. Unlike simple sugars that offer a quick, yet fleeting boost of energy, pasta helps sustain energy.
Low Sodium & Cholesterol Free
Pasta is very low in sodium and cholesterol-free. Per cup, enriched varieties provide a good source of several essential nutrients, including iron and several B-vitamins. Whole wheat pasta can provide up to 25% of daily fiber requirements in every one cup portion.
Enriched pasta is fortified with folic acid – essential for women of child-bearing age. FDA regulations require enriched grain products to contain this important vitamin. A serving of dry pasta supplies the equivalent of roughly 100 micrograms of folic acid, or 25% of the recommended daily intake.
Pasta is part of a well-balanced diet. Current dietary guidance calls for up to 65% of daily calories to come from carbohydrates, such as pasta.
Pasta has a low Glycemic Index (GI) so it does not cause blood glucose levels to rise quickly. Blood glucose is sometimes referred to as blood “sugar”.
Healthy Weight Program
Pasta is a fat-free, low sodium food that can fit right in with your weight loss plan. One cup of cooked pasta contains just 200 calories, in addition to valuable vitamins and minerals. It also fills you up so you don’t feel hungry while trying to lose weight! Watch out for the sauce which can add weight.
More Reason to eat Pasta
Besides being delicious, we know that pasta has plenty of health benefits like providing folic acid, being cholesterol free, and sustaining energy. As if those weren’t enough reasons to eat pasta, WebMD recently listed 14 more reasons why you should eat pasta! Pasta is part of a good diet – it provides energy and is great for adding other health foods.
- It keeps you fuller longer. As a filling dish, you won’t be quick to follow your pasta meal with unhealthy foods.
- It’s affordable – because it has cheap ingredients, pasta is consistently an affordable meal.
- Pasta is versatile. You can have it as an appetizer, side dish, or the main meal. It can also come as a salad or can be used for breakfast or even dessert!
- It’s a simple meal to make. Even the most beginner cooks can make pasta. It also comes with easy cleanup!
- With so many different shapes, there are countless possibilities for pairing pastas. You can have lots of fun switching shapes for different recipes.
- Whole grain pasta has added health benefits like protecting against stomach and colon cancers.
- It can help you lose weight. As shown in a recent study, people who ate pasta as part of the Mediterranean Diet lost more body fat than those who did not.
- Pasta is low in sodium. Many foods high in salt content can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- It’s low in fat. Pasta by itself has just slightly more than half a gram of fat per serving.
- Pasta can help keep blood sugar regulated due to its low glycemic index. This can also help prevent diabetes and obesity.
- Pasta stays good for a very long time. Both dry and frozen pastas have shelf life of several months.
- Pasta can be gluten-free so those with gluten sensitivities don’t have to miss out!
- Pasta can even be eaten for dessert!