For many health conscious individuals, I’m sure they’ve heard that they should stay away from pasta and those other carbohydrates because they are terrible for health. While it may be true that too much may be bad for you, there’s no need to deprive yourself totally. Pasta is a delicious meal that anyone can conquer- even those who are picky, healthy eaters.
Many people that stay away from pasta simply do so because they may be living a low-carb lifestyle. However what if you want to continue eating healthy, but you still want to eat carbs? Keep in mind that you can still do this! That whole no-carb lifestyle really isn’t for everyone out there.
Let’s take a look at those pasta myths:
- There are no Nutrients in Pasta
Face the facts- when was the last time you heard someone say that a bowl of pasta is filled with all types of vitamins and minerals? Probably never. The truth is that there are types of pasta that are actually loaded with nutrients! Read those labels carefully and look for boxes that contain folic acid as well as B vitamins. Also, be sure to opt for whole grain. Sometimes they have a lot more fiber than the regular pasta that you buy.
- I will get fat from Eating Pasta
Here’s the thing- you won’t get fat from solely eat that pasta. You will get fat from eating too many calories with unsaturated fats, sugar etc. If you look at just a 2 ounce serving, there are about 200 calories, which isn’t too bad. Add some greens and olive oil and you’re good to go.
- If I want to Eat Healthy, I can’t Have Pasta
Again, not true. You need carbohydrates for energy and for proper muscle function. Unless you want to go on a crazed carbohydrate free-diet, pasta will not harm you. The USDA even says that carbs should be in about 45-65 percent of your total calories for the day. Try adding fresh tomatoes, kale and even lean meat for a healthy meal. Your taste buds will definitely thank you!
- There’s No Fiber in Pasta
This is something that drives me nuts! Most people think that the only places you can get fiber is prunes. Keep in mind that there is a world of food out there! Regular pasta can provide you with about 2 grams of fiber in every serving. That’s more than you thought, isn’t it. That number increases if you opt for whole grain pasta. Have a nice salad on the side and maybe a piece of grilled chicken and you have a balanced dinner.
- I’ll Be Able to Get Energy But I Will be Burned Out Later
Since pasta is a carbohydrate, it is true that it will give you mounds of energy for your body to function throughout the day. But for the carbs that burn you out later, it’s usually those products that have a high glycemic index. Keep in mind that pasta is a product with a low glycemic index so it can break down the substances slowly instead of a rapid rate.
If you’re looking for healthy options to eat with your pasta, try vegetables. Zucchini, squash and even broccoli are excellent dishes to whip up. Happy eating!
Anita Haridat, Ph.D