We are all guilty of eating a delicious bowl of pasta every once in a while. However, if you are on a diet, many people may tell you to steer clear of pasta as it may make you fat. Is there any accuracy to this statement?
Pasta doesn’t make you fat. Pasta is a food with a low glycemic index, which means that it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Thus, eating pasta keeps you full for a longer time. When combined with green veggies, it becomes a healthy meal.
This is great news for pasta lovers. Studies show that you can eat pasta as frequently as thrice a week and still maintain your diet. But before you overindulge, there is a thing or two you should know about what it means for your diet.
You Can’t Get Fat By Eating Pasta
Many people, for a very long time, thought that because pasta is high in calories, it might contribute to weight gain. It stands somewhat true when you are on a calorie-counting diet. But if you are on a diet that includes foods with a low glycemic index then, pasta is actually good for you.
In a study, conducted by researchers at St. Micheals Hospital in 2019, people were served half a cup of cooked pasta in a week instead of other carbohydrate-rich foods like rice and white bread. There was no weight gain recorded in the participants. Instead, the participants lost about one pound of weight.
This study concluded that pasta didn’t contribute to increasing BMI (body-mass index) and thus, didn’t make you fat. Pasta also keeps you feeling full for a longer time which also reduces cravings. Reduced cravings also help reduce binge eating.
Reason Behind This
The reason behind this is simple. Pasta has a low glycemic index which doesn’t spike your blood sugar. It increases blood sugar only by a little. This leaves you feeling full.
When you consume half a cup of pasta or 3 servings of it, there is a high chance you won’t gain weight as pasta doesn’t increase the BMI of the body.
It is always advised to have homemade pasta as restaurant-made pasta has a lot of fats and juices. There are some ways you can have pasta and also make it a part of your diet.
Ways To Make Pasta A Healthy Meal
Everyone loves a cheesy alfredo or a meaty bolognese but alas! You can’t add these recipes to your diet chart. However, there are ways that you can have pasta and make it healthy.
1. Use Whole Wheat Pasta
You can swap the refined pasta with whole wheat pasta. It is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates but high in fiber. If you want to add pasta to your diet then, whole wheat pasta is a great choice.
If you want a side-by-side comparison of the two, here it is.
|Nutrients||100g Whole Wheat Pasta||100g Refined Pasta|
|Fat||0.8 g||1.2 g|
|Protein||7.5 g||8 g|
|Carbohydrates||36 g||42 g|
|Fiber||6 g||2.5 g|
2. Add A Lot Of Veggies
Adding a lot of veggies to your pasta is a really great way to make your pasta healthy. This increases the number of vegetables in a portion that helps fulfill hunger, increases the fiber content of the meal, and also makes bigger portions with low carbs.
3. Swap Flour And Starch With Vegetables
Many people use pasta made from vegetables instead of traditional pasta. This is a great way to cut carbohydrates while having a sense of eating pasta. Noodles made from zucchini are a great hit on social media. You can also use pasta made from spiralized carrots. Another social media favorite and low-calorie pasta is the buttery squash spaghetti pasta.
4. Use Cheese As Garnish
When you use cheese as an ingredient to the pasta and add it while cooking, you are actually making a mistake. When the cheese melts, it incorporates pasta and reaches nooks and corners of the dish. You can add a lot of cheese without knowing and actually end up consuming a lot of fat.
If you use cheese as a garnish, it not only accentuates the virtual appeal of the pasta but also increases volume and taste by still having less fat than the regular pasta.
5. Make Your Portions Smaller
The simpler way is to consume less pasta. You can eat your pasta as a salad or side dish to your main course. This way, you consume less pasta. Less pasta equals fewer carbs and calories.
You can also not eat vegetarian pasta to avoid the fats that bacon and other meats have.
6. Refrigerate It
Refrigerating your pasta is a great way to make it healthier. Refrigerating pasta changes its chemical structure. It transforms the starch into resistant starch. It helps you feel full for a longer period of time. Resistance starch also promotes the oxidation of fat in the body. Who knew, right!
You can eat your pasta without worries as it doesn’t make you fat and there are studies to support it. You can always make your pasta healthy by eating whole grain pasta, adding a lot of veggies, using cheese as a garnish, and serving the pasta cold. These are simple steps you can follow to maintain your weight while still enjoying your favorite food.