Pasta is a very popular food in Brazil. With a variety of pasta options, sauces and side dishes, pasta can be prepared in a variety of ways and is an easy and quick meal for many people. However, with the growing concern about healthy eating and the fight against obesity, many people are wondering if pasta can be part of a healthy diet.
In this article, we're going to explore the truth behind pasta and find out if it can be a healthy ingredient in our meals.
What types of pasta exist?
Pasta is a food made from flour, water and, in some cases, eggs. The dough is kneaded and mixed until smooth, then rolled to the desired thickness. After that, the pasta can be cut into different shapes, such as spaghetti, penne, fusilli, among others.There are many types of noodles, including regular, whole grain, gluten-free and rice noodles.
Regular pasta is made with refined wheat flour, while whole wheat pasta is made with whole wheat flour, which contains more fiber and nutrients. Gluten-free pasta is made with alternative flours, such as rice, corn or chickpeas, for people with gluten intolerance.
Noodles can be prepared in a variety of ways, including boiling in salted water, sautéing in a sauce, or adding to soups and stews. It is a versatile food that can be combined with many different ingredients to create delicious and nutritious meals.
Is pasta nutritionally bad?
Pasta is a source of carbohydrates, which acts by providing energy for the brain and muscles. However, the quality of carbohydrates found in pasta can vary depending on the type of pasta and the ingredients added to the dish. Some pasta can also be high in sodium and fat, which can be harmful to your health if consumed in excess.Here is some nutritional information about regular pasta:
- 100 grams of cooked pasta contains about 131 calories.
- Pasta is a source of complex carbohydrates, which are absorbed more slowly by the body and provide energy for a longer period.
- Pasta is low in fat and cholesterol.
- Pasta is low in fiber, with about 1.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams of cooked pasta.
Can pasta be part of a healthy diet?
Yes, pasta can be part of a healthy diet as long as it is eaten in moderation and prepared in a healthy way. One study¹ looked at the dietary intake and nutritional status of pasta consumers and non-consumers in the United States, and the results showed that pasta consumers had a higher intake of important nutrients such as fiber, iron, and vitamin E.
already another article², showed that pasta has a low glycemic index, which means that it digests slowly and provides sustained energy. Care should be taken with the amount consumed, exaggeration can lead to health damage such as: type 2 diabetes³, increase in LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressurel⁴, and can even increase the cancer risk⁵.
4 tips for eating pasta
1. Add vegetables to the dish
Adding vegetables to the pasta dish can increase the nutritional value of the dish and provide more vitamins and minerals. Try adding broccoli, tomatoes, peppers or spinach to your pasta dish.
2. Reduce the amount of sauce
Pasta sauce can be high in calories, sodium and fat. Try using less sauce or choosing healthier options like homemade tomato sauce or pesto sauce.
3. Control your portion size
The serving size of pasta is also important. Try to limit the amount of pasta in your diet and balance your meal with lean protein and vegetables.
4. Choose lean proteins
Adding lean protein to your pasta dish can help keep you full longer and provide more nutrients. Try adding chicken, fish, or tofu to your noodle dish.
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