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Pasta is one of the most comforting foods of all time, yet some of us are still unclear about whether pasta is good for weight loss. Let us unveil the truth once and for all.
Eating pasta is good for weight loss, especially if you are consuming whole-grain pasta. Adding vegetables, fruits, fish, and poultry enhances the flavors and nutritions. Whole-grain pasta provides energy and has fiber as well, which is great for weight loss. As pasta has a low glycemic index and slowly digestible starch, it keeps you full for a longer time.
Another type of pasta is refined pasta, which is mostly tagged as unhealthy. However, as per Healthline, various studies show no difference in health terms after eating refined or whole-grain pasta. Furthermore, it can be really harmful if you consume a lot of refined carbs that come from refined pasta.
Now, if you love eating pasta and are concerned about your weight, then stick with me till the end. I will take you through a complete guide to pasta, and we will learn all the different ways of eating pasta that leads to weight loss.
What's In The Post
How Is Pasta Okay To Eat When Trying To Lose Weight?
Pasta that is made with whole grains is really nutritious. Whole grain pasta is nutritious and dense and contains more fiber and fewer calories than refined pasta. They are great for weight loss. Therefore, pasta is perfectly okay to eat when trying to lose weight.
Whole grain pasta also helps you to feel full for a good amount of time, so it keeps you away from eating unnecessary calories. Also, adding other ingredients like vegetables, fruits, fish, and other healthy food items elevates the richness of nutrition and flavors. Now some of us may get a little crazy with delicious pasta and consume more than hunger.
Is it unhealthy to eat too much pasta? Generally, eating too much pasta, compared to whole grain pasta, won’t have a serious effect on your health. The Conversation mentions that pasta that is low in GI dietary patterns does not affect body fat negatively and helps in weight loss. However, if you eat pasta that is high in GI pattern dietary fibers, then there can be various health issues.
Different Type Of Pastas And Which One Is Best For Weight Loss?
Depending upon the type of pasta, the nutritional values also differ. Some kinds of pasta are lower in carbs and calories, whereas there are types of pasta with more than 200 kcal of calories.
So in case you love pasta but want to lose weight, it is advised to choose the best type of pasta with fewer carbs and higher content of protein and fiber. Let us have a glance at the table below with different types of pasta and their nutritional values.
|Lupin Bean Pasta
|Hearts of Palm Pasta
|Whole Grain Veggie Spaghetti
|Red Lentil Pasta
|Black Bean Low Carb Past
|Whole Grain Einkorn Rigatoni
|Lentil & Quinoa Supergrain Pasta Rotelle
|Cauliflower and yellow lentils pasta
|Kamut & Quinoa Twisted Pair Organic Pasta
What Is Refined and Whole Grain Pasta?
Refined pasta is basically made with refined flour that has bran and germ removed and is only left with starchy endosperm. They have very fewer fiber and protein content and can cause rapid increases in blood sugar levels. However, refined pasta is very commonly used as they are cheaper, but consuming it on a regular basis can lead to an increase in weight loss as well.
On the other hand, whole-grain pasta is made from wheat kernels that include bran, germ and endosperm. They are highly nutritious and help in regulating blood sugar levels. Eating whole-grain pasta also helps aid various chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes. The price of whole grain pasta may be a little expensive, but they help in weight loss and do not have side effects if you eat a little extra.
|Whole Grain Pasta
|Refined pasta is made from refined flour. They generally have no bran and germ. Only starchy endosperm is present.
|Whole grain pasta is made from whole grain wheat (wheat kernel) that includes barn, germ and endosperm.
|Lower in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. High carbs and calories.
|Higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Lower carbs and calories.
|May lead to increase in blood sugar levels, and risk of chronic diseases.
|Lowers the blood sugar levels and helps in aiding chronic diseases.
|Longer shelf life
|Shorter shelf life
|Impact On Weight
|May contribute to weight gain
|Helps in losing and maintain idle weight
How Many Grams Of Pasta Is Good For Weight Loss?
The quantity of pasta to consume for weight loss really depends from person to person. On average, 80-100 g of pasta is fine. You can obviously adjust the quantity as per your appetite and the course of the meal.
If you are eating pasta as a main course, 100 g or more is fine, but if it is a starter, it should not exceed 80 g. The quantity of pasta also differs from male to female. As males require more calories and protein, they are advised to have a little extra compared to females. However, it also depends on how much physical exercise is involved.
How Is Pasta Made?
The process of making pasta includes various steps, from kneading the dough to drying the pasta. Once the complete process is completed, they are packed and shipped all over the world. Let us first see what ingredients are used in pasta.
- Flour (wheat, semolina, etc. )
- Water (Drinking water)
- Eggs (optional)
- Bay leafs
- Gum gluten
- Glyceryl monostearate
- Egg whites
Process Of Making Pasta
1. Mixing Process
The first and very important step in making pasta is to mix all the ingredients together. In a mixing machine, simply combine the ingredients like flour and water.
Add the optional ingredients. Then everything is nicely mixed without leaving any bubbles. The main goal is to make a great dough from which pasta can be made. Usually, a huge mixer is used to make lumpy dough.
2. Rolling Process
Once the dough is done in a huge machine, it is then transferred to the laminator. Laminators roll the pasta dough using a large cylindrical rolling pin. The main idea is to flatten the dough and leave no air bubbles behind.
3. Cutting Process
After the pasta dough is evenly flattened, the pasta is given shapes. The blades cut the pasta according to the pasta type. Spaghetti and such pasta shapes are cut by rotating blades at equal lengths. At the same time, other pasta types like macaroni or fusilli are made by first using the dough with an extruder and cutting by the rotating blades at the right length.
4. Drying Process
This is the most important part of making pasta. How pasta is dried determines its shape, which is why it is a crucial step. The pasta is placed in a big drying machine with a perfect flow of circulating hot and moist air. The drying process should be closely monitored. If the process is faster, then there are high chances of breaking. If the process is slow, then the pasta can be spoiled.
5. Packaging Process
The last step in the pasta-making process is to pack everything very nicely. They are packed in a bag with no air. Furthermore, carbon dioxide and nitrogen are added to increase the shelf life of pasta. The packed pasta is shipped all over the world through transportation, and hence it lands on your plate with cream and sauce.
Is Pasta High In Calories?
Yes, pasta is generally high in calories. However, if you choose some specific types of pasta, like Shirataki Noodles or Heart of Palm pasta, they are generally very low in calories. Pasta can be a beneficial addition to your diet if you choose the right type of pasta and recipe. People that are on a low GI diet usually lose weight after consuming pasta.
Pasta is usually great in carbohydrates, fiber and protein (especially whole-grain pasta). However, eating too much regular or refined pasta can be hazardous to your health, leading to weight gain and a high risk of chronic disease.
So everything comes to the single fact – the right type of pasta and a great recipe makes your pasta delicious and healthy. For instance, adding vegetables, fruits, and poultry products is really healthy and makes your pasta more nutritious.
Pasta Has a Low Glycemic Index
Before we talk about pasta with a low glycemic index, let us know what exactly the glycemic index means. In the above para, we have mentioned a low GI diet, which means eating food that less impacts our blood sugar levels. The glycemic index helps to rate the food from 0 to 10 based on its impact on blood sugar levels.
The low glycemic further means that these food items have less impact on blood sugar levels. Therefore, pasta has a low glycemic index, which means there are fewer carbs. Having a low glycemic index also means that it helps to manage blood sugar levels and lesser hunger sensation.The pasta digests slowly, so it keeps you fuller for a longer time, and hence they are great if you’re looking for weight loss.
Here’s What You Should Know While Adding Pasta To Your Diet
Eating pasta is not only a comforting sensation, but it can also be great on the health radar. In case you are diet conscious or trying to lose weight, then you should be a little cautious. Let’s see how you can make pasta a better addition to your diet.
Strategies to Stay Lean While Eating Pasta
1. Portion Control
It is not always important what you eat but how much you eat. Even if you eat pasta that has lots of calories, you can still stay fit and lose weight. Simply control your portion size. A single serve of pasta that is equal to one cup will not harm your health or hamper your weight loss journey. Also, make sure to eat pasta with lots of vegetables and protein content.
2. P Is For Pasta And Post Workout
If you want to know the right time to eat pasta, then it is for sure after a heavy workout session. If your pasta is enriched with protein and fiber, eating it after a workout will help you regain all the energy, and the protein will help add to the muscles.
3. Sauce Is The Key
The sauce of the pasta determines the taste and flavor of the pasta. So make sure you make it right. Simply eliminate creamy sauce-based pasta, as they are very high in calories. The best sauce is the one made with tomato and has no added sugar or refined oil. Prefer the one made with olive oil, and you are in good shape even if you fill your stomach with delicious pasta.
Expert Advice On Incorporating Pasta Into Your Weight Loss Plan
Before adding pasta to your diet, you need to make sure that you consider the below points. These points will help you to enjoy pasta without much bad impact on your health and eventually help you in weight loss and staying fit.
1. Choose whole-grain pasta
Without any doubt, whole-grain pasta is way better than your regular or refined pasta. They are more nutritious. High in protein and fiber, whole grain pasta helps in losing weight and helps in fighting with chronic disease.
2. Portion game
Keep a check on your portion. Try to control how much you eat, and eventually, you will avoid any unnecessary calories. Eating less nutritious food is the key to a healthy body.
3. Add Protein
Adding protein to your pasta is another great way to make sure that you eat well. You can go for protein-rich food or lean protein meat, like grilled chicken or tofu, to name some.
4. Make a proper meal plan
A properly prepared menu with the right proportions and healthy nutrients will help you knock off some calories while still enjoying your meals. When planning your meals with the Lasta app, take the guesswork out of the question. It also helps in monitoring the food you are eating. The Lasta app can also help in saving time. Planning your meals avoids last-minute trips to grocery shops and reduces time wastage deciding on what to eat.
5. Vegetables are tasty
You must add lots of vegetables to your pasta recipes or at least pair your past with some side vegetables. This will make sure that you eat your greens well. A tip is to use spinach for the sauce and enjoy creamy and healthy pasta.
6. Sauce It Up
Make sure to use tomato-based or low-calorie sauce options in your pasta recipe. Avoid cream-based sauces as they are rich in calories and fat. Go for sugarless sauces that are made in olive oil.
Is There Any Best Time To Eat Pasta For Weight Loss?
Yes, eating pasta after a great workout session is advisable. Pasta that is rich in protein and fiber will give you enough energy to revive yourself from heavy training. It will also help in repairing the muscles and keep you full for a good time.
As mentioned by the Washington Post, morning carbs are better than late-night carbs. Eating pasta after a workout replenishes glycogen (or carbohydrate) stores that can be depleted after intense exercise. Also, make sure to avoid eating pasta before going to bed as the presence of carbs will give you extra fats, says India Today.
Is Pasta Also Good For Muscle Gain?
The key to growing your muscles is to eat lots of protein and good carbs. Therefore, there is no doubt that eating pasta will help you to gain muscles. The carbohydrates present in pasta will help in increasing muscle mass and maintain your muscles too. Adding pasta to your daily diet is a healthy way of building muscle mass as it’s rich in carbohydrates and protein.
A user at Quora mentioned one study that showed that pasta was more effective than other forms of protein in helping to increase muscle mass. The user further added that the participants confirmed that they felt fuller after consuming pasta than after consuming other forms of protein.
Pasta is really a great choice for building muscle and losing weight and can increase energy levels instantly. So yes, pasta is a really good addition to your diet if you’re looking for muscle gain. Just make sure to select the right recipe for your meal.
Now it is not a hard and fast rule to have only healthy recipes all the time. Sometimes I make some cheesy pasta and enjoy it with great wine and call it a day. Just make sure to balance the nutrients the next day.
Best Healthy Pasta Recipes For Weight Loss
I have mentioned making your pasta recipes the right way so many times. You also know that eating the right food matters much, just like eating delicious food. So to help you with this, I am going to list some best pasta recipes that are super delicious and full of nutrients.
1. Butternut Squash & Sage Pasta
Simply delicious and full of protein. Try this simple yet elegant pasta recipe, and you will never look back. Great source of potassium, fiber and vitamin A.
2. Skillet Chili Mac
Easy to make and teases your tastebuds. If skillet chili mac is too spicy, replace chili with bell peppers, and you are good to go. Make sure to use good cheese.
3. Coconut Curry Pasta With Clams, Mussels And Corn
Everything is perfectly blended in this coconut curry pasta. From clams to mussels and corn, the coconut curry gives you a creamy and smooth texture. Indeed very comforting to the soul.
4. Whole Wheat Pasta in low-calorie white sauce
Craving creamy white sauce on pasta? Use whole wheat pasta and make your creamy sauce with whole wheat only. It tastes almost like your regular white sauce pasta but much healthier.
5. Chicken pasta
Protein and flavors go side to side when it comes to chicken pasta. Add lots of spices and herbs and elevate the flavors. Remember, use olive oil for the recipe.
6. Pasta Salad
Salads are not always boring, especially when it comes to pasta salads. Go for whole grain pasta and add lots of vegetables. It is always great to have your greens.
7. Tuna Pasta Salad
The delicious tuna paired with pasta and other salads is what you need right now. Perfectly combined, this can be eaten as a full-course meal.
8. Spinach Pasta
Blend some spinach and make a creamy and healthy sauce. Spinach Pasta is perfectly textured pasta with lots of nutrients and bursts of flavors.
9. Lower Fat Mushroom & Broccoli Pasta Bake
Mushrooms and pasta never go out of style. Simply baking it with some broccoli will ensure you have a good meal.
10. Spinach, Lima Bean & Crispy Pancetta Pasta
Can you name any better combination than spinach, lima bean and pancetta pasta? Little unique to the table but worth the try. I am sure you are going to love it.
11. Browned Butter Pasta With Roasted Root Veggies
The butter and roasted veggies make a perfect pair. Do not miss this recipe, as it is something made in heaven.
12. Carrot Pasta
Bunny or not, eating carrots is delicious and healthy. Make some carrot pasta and enjoy something simple yet elegant for the meal. Get the perfect crunch in every bite.
13. Eggplant Lasagna
Not a fan of eggplants? Add them to your lasagna, and you will discover new taste buds. Easy to make your kids eat their eggplants.
14. Chicken Pasta Primavera
Chicken and veggies – a perfect source of great nutrients. Combine it with pasta, and you have something to enjoy without worrying about calories.
15. Creamy Chicken, Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms One-Pot Pasta
A quick and easy recipe to try with lots of flavors and protein. You don’t need anything else because this recipe is a complete meal in itself.
16. Roasted Eggplant Tomato Orzo Pasta
The perfectly roasted eggplants with tomato orzo pasta are something to try at least once in your life. I love the roasted flavor; the tomato sauce and orzo pasta are all you need to have a balanced meal.
17. Cauliflower Mac And Cheese
Love mac and cheese? Add cauliflower and elevate the nutrient content. One of the versatile veggies combined with the best pasta recipe. A perfect love story.
18. Zucchini lasagna
Skeptical about eating zucchini? Trying making some zucchini lasagna. Easy and fun to make. Tastes so good that you would want more.
19. Springtime Asparagus Tomato Pasta
Nothing beats the combination of asparagus with tomatoes and pasta. Rich-flavored tomato sauce with springtime asparagus is all you want right now. Give a recipe a try, and thank me later.
20. Braised Cauliflower & Squash Penne Pasta
What’s special about this recipe? Cook your pasta and veggies in broth and see how the flavors elevate. One pot dish that calms all your cravings.
21. Blackened Broccoli Pasta With Charred Lemon & Goat Cheese
I love broccoli, and when it is paired with pasta, it is very delicious. However, if you want something more flavorful, go for charred lemon and lots of goat cheese. A great protein-packed meal.
22. Fettuccine With Mushroom Alfredo
Fettuccine – a Tuscan cuisine with mushroom alfredo. Perfectly textured and very creamy. Eliminate cream, go for some fresh milk, and enjoy the flavors to the fullest.
23. Tahini Pasta
Vegan, rich and creamy. My go-to pasta recipe for every time I need something nutritious. Good news – it is gluten-free too.
24. Kale, Sausage & Pepper Pasta
The recipe name itself has lots of nutrition in it. Colorful and flavorful. Perfect for a dinner night with friends and family.
25. Pumpkin Mac And Cheese
Got stuck in the pumpkin challenge? Try pumpkin mac and cheese. Something new but for sure very delicious and comforting. A must-try recipe for everyone who loves pumpkin and mac and cheese.
26. Tandoori Pasta
A perfect blend of spices and herbs straight from India. If you have an Indian tastebud, go for this tandoori pasta, and it is filled with so many great nutrients that you cannot count on your fingers.
27. Smoky Shrimp, Corn & Pea One-Pot Pasta
Do I need to emphasize the flavors of smoky shrimp? I don’t think so. This one-pot recipe is a perfect combination of shrimp and corn with pasta and, not to forget – peas.
28. Pesto Zoodles
Tired of eating regular pasta made with flour? Simply peel and cut zucchini like noodles or spaghetti and combine with pesto sauce. Delicious and 100% healthy.
29. Creamy Cauliflower Vegan Alfredo
Try making this creamy vegan alfredo with cauliflower and unleash the amazing flavors and nutrients. Sounds complicated but very easy to make.
30. Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Alfredo
Add lots of vegetables like bell peppers, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, and mushrooms and make sure not to forget lots of cheese. More cheese means a better dish.
31. Spaghetti With Avocado Sauce
The avocado sauce is super creamy and delicious. Combine your spaghetti with avocado sauce, and you are not going back to your basic pasta sauce.
32. Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Tomatoes
Mushrooms and tomatoes in your pasta? A great deal for sure. Make sure to add Tarragon and sprinkle lots of parmesan or dairy-free milk. Enjoy your healthy yet delicious pasta.
We all love eating pasta, and this comforting meal should not come in the way of having a fit body. That is why I tried to make sure to state all the right facts about pasta and weight loss. It is very evident that eating the right type of pasta with lower calorie sauce and great ingredients is key to a delicious and healthy meal.
Be conscious of what you are eating and how much you are eating. I am sure this whole conversation was helpful, and now you can easily enjoy tasty pasta and still lose weight. I will be back soon. Until then, boil some pasta and throw in some sparkly tomato sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is pasta good for losing weight?
If you eat whole grain pasta, you can easily lose weight as whole grain pasta is rich in protein and fiber and keeps you fuller for a longer time.
What Is a Low GI Index Diet?
A low GI index diet includes consuming food items that impact less on your blood sugar levels.
Can eating pasta help in building muscles?
Yes, you can build muscles even if you have pasta in your diet. Pasta is high in carbs that are known for muscle growth. Make sure to add lots of protein and vegetables for the best results.
What are the best pasta recipes that are healthy too?
Butternut Squash & Sage Pasta
Skillet Chili Mac
Coconut Curry Pasta With Clams, Mussels And Corn
Whole Wheat Pasta in low-calorie white sauce
Chicken pasta recipes
Which is better – whole grain pasta or refined pasta?
If we compare whole-grain pasta with refined pasta, we know the winner is – whole-grain pasta. They are rich in protein and fiber. Whole-grain pasta is lower in calories and carbs and adds greatly to your diet.
Is Pasta High In Calories?
Yes, pasta is generally high in calories. Pasta can be a beneficial addition to your diet if you choose the right type of pasta and recipe. They are also great source of protein and fibre.