The Health Benefits of Pasta
Know the feeling? Your tummy is growling, imploring you to eat that fresh, steaming delicious bowl of pasta you have been craving, but your conscience is having none of that……
“Carbs are bad”, “Your butt won’t thank you for that” and “Remember what that magazine said in 2010?”
Pasta has got a bad rap lately, and it seems, quite unfairly. Recently published research indicates that pasta consumption doesn’t contribute to obesity, and was actually linked to a lower body mass index. While surveying the eating habits of 23,000 Italians, researchers found that pasta did not correlate to waist size or BMI among those studied.
That fact is, pasta is a staple ingredient of a Mediterranean style diet. Yep, that’s right. One of the most popular, effective and gimmick free eating plans of this millennium, the Mediterranean Diet, wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for pasta.
The Health Benefits of Pasta
Pasta is the perfect foundation for a healthy, nutritious and satisfying meal. Why? For starters, pasta is the ideal partner for so many other foods, including fibre rich vegetables and beans, heart healthy fish, antioxidant rich tomato sauce and protein packed cheeses, poultry and lean meats. Pasta also offers:
Carbohydrates like pasta provide glucose, the crucial fuel for your brain and muscles. And because pasta is an awesome source of complex carbohydrates (unlike those of the refined and processed variety – yuk), releasing energy at a slow and sustained level, you don’t get the energy spikes associated with simple sugars.
Low Sodium and Cholesterol Free:
If you’re watching your cholesterol levels, pasta is perfect for you, being very low in sodium and cholesterol free. Per cup, enriched varieties of pasta provide a good sources of several essential nutrients, including iron and B-vitamins.
Enriched pasta is fortified with folic-acid – essential for women of child-bearing age. 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, with current Australian Government guidelines suggesting 35% of our daily calories intake should come from complex carbohydrates such as pasta. Combine pasta with lean protein and vegetables for a complete meal that puts you well on the path to hitting those dietary goals!
Combine pasta with lean protein and vegetables for a complete meal that puts you well on the path to hitting those dietary goals!
Need more convincing to tuck into that bowl of delicious pasta? Well pasta is also good for our brains. A recent study found that a Mediterranean style diet has a protective effect against age-related cognitive decline in men and women 65 years of age and older.
So stop feeling guilty and enjoy that delicious pasta meal you have been craving!