A new study from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto suggests
pasta can be part of a healthy diet — it’s not as evil as some
think it is. What are your thoughts? Can pasta be part of a
healthy diet? Why or why not? If it can be, what kind of pasta
should someone eat? If not, why not?
I believe that in order to have a healthy relationship with food, it is a good idea to avoid positive, negative, evil, etc. associations with foods. Pasta is not a super food, it does not provide an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins or minerals, it is simply a simple carbohydrate, that in most cases is low in fiber, protein and fat, while being higher in carbohydrates. The macronutrient breakdown of pasta results in a spike in insulin levels upon consumption, especially if the portion size is large like those served in restaurants. This spike in insulin reduces the body’s ability to utilize it’s own fat stores for fuel and the drop in insulin levels can result in an energy crash and intense cravings for sugar or carbohydrates.
Pasta is not an evil food, it should simply be consumed in moderate portions along with a quality protein and heart healthy fat. For all of the pasta lovers I recommend “cutting” in vegetables to reduce the amount of pasta consumed (i.e. Steam broccoli into your pasta with meat sauce.) This reduces overall carbohydrate and calorie consumption. Large plates full of pasta will contribute to weight gain over time due to its influence on insulin and blood sugars. Be mindful of your portion control and always consume it with fibrous vegetables, some source of protein and some healthy fats. A higher fiber pasta made from quinoa or vegetables in the healthier option to reduce the impact on blood sugars.