When eaten in moderation, pasta can be a wholesome component of a healthy diet, which includes all 3 macros, protein, carbs and fat.
What’s the best way to enjoy pasta?
Let’s see what we can learn from the Italians.
- Choose whole grain pasta which is made from the entire wheat kernel and contains more fiber, vitamins & minerals than refined pasta.
- Watch your portion size, supplement the pasta with veggies and lean protein.
- Leave the cream & cheese based sauces for special occasions & choose a tomato sauce such as Papa Vince Sicilian Cherry Tomato Sauce. Our sauce is made with real ingredients, has no added sugar, is low in acid and in sodium & tastes delicious.
- Make it Mediterranean by adding more veggies. This allows you to eat a larger volume of food and makes you feel fuller without adding lots of extra calories. Of course you get the extra fiber and nutrition too!
- Add EVOO - a raw unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil like Papa Vince will enhance the flavor, allow for better absorption of the nutrients in the dish and give you the benefit of adding a healthy fat to your diet.
Many Italians cook their pasta to al dente perfection. This means 'to the tooth' and refers to a texture that is both tender and chewy at the same time. Then they throw cold water over it to cool it down. This is what Mama taught them to do … because it stops the pasta from continuing to cook.
However new research has shown that this process actually alters the chemical structure of carbohydrates in foods and converts it into a ‘resistant starch.’ It is named as such because it is resistant to digestion and the body can’t break it down. Resistant starch strengthens your gut by feeding the good bacteria, it reduces insulin resistance and doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes. It can also burn fat and help to reduce your appetite because you feel fuller more quickly.
It’s an easy little habit to put into practice, then of course, think of those cold summer pasta salads.
(for more information on resistant starch please refer to: https://www.consumerreports.org/healthy-eating/resistant-starch-may-speed-weight-loss-and-improve-health/)