By Dr. Jorge, Ph.D.
There’s no denying how tasty a big bowl of pasta topped with your favorite sauce and freshly grated cheese is. Most of us love a delicious, comforting bowl of pasta, but do you know if pasta can be a healthy meal? In this article, we’ll explore the nutritional value of pasta, how to enhance its health benefits, and whether this favorite food fits into your diet.
Is pasta healthy? Is pasta unhealthy?
Refined pasta, which is what most of us are familiar with, is not considered healthy or nutritious on its own. This is because refined pasta is high in carbohydrates, without offering much else in the way of nutrients. However, pasta can be made healthier if paired with more nutritionally dense foods, such as vegetables. Whole-grain pasta options are also healthy alternatives to traditional refined pasta.
Can I eat pasta every day and be healthy?
It is possible to eat pasta daily and still be healthy. The key to eating pasta every day is to limit your portion size and supplement your pasta bowl with essential nutrients. The recommended portion size is two ounces of dry pasta or one cup of cooked pasta. To create a balanced and healthy pasta meal, try adding vegetables, chicken, or fish. By adding veggies or lean protein, you can have a nutritious meal while still getting your pasta fill!
What is the main nutrient in pasta? What nutrients are in pasta?
The main nutrient in refined pasta is carbohydrates, with one serving of cooked spaghetti containing around 43 grams of carbohydrates. Refined pasta also contains some fiber and protein, with a single serving containing 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. On the other hand, whole grain pasta options contain double the amount of fiber with 7 grams of fiber, and are also high in iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Is pasta good for gut health?
A diet high in refined carbohydrates is generally not good for your gut health, since being on a high-refined carbohydrate diet can reduce the presence of good bacteria in your gut. This can result in digestion issues. However, like with any food, enjoyed in moderation, refined pasta should not have much of an impact on your gut health. If you are worried about gut health, you can try whole grain pasta instead. Whole grains are good for your gut health and help to contribute to an overall healthy gut microbiome.
Can pasta be a healthy meal? How to make pasta healthy?
Pasta can be a healthy meal. Since pasta is not very nutritious on its own, it’s essential to add other foods to your pasta that are high in nutrients. You can ensure a healthy pasta meal by adding your favorite veggies to your dish and a lean protein, such as chicken, shrimp, or fish. You should also avoid adding high-salt and high-sugar sauces that are commonly found in grocery stores. At Wildgrain, we make sure our classic marinara sauce, which pairs perfectly with your chosen pasta, is made with the freshest ingredients; we also avoid adding any unnecessary sugar and salt.
Is pasta on a heart healthy diet?
Whole grain pasta is heart-healthy. Research has shown that consuming whole grains, including whole wheat pasta, can help to prevent heart disease. Even better, tomatoes are also considered to be heart-healthy. Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that can also help to reduce the risk of heart disease, which means marinara sauce is an ideal topping for a heart-healthy pasta meal.
What pasta dish has the least carbs? What is the healthiest way to eat pasta?
Since traditional pasta is a high-carbohydrate food, pasta made from vegetables or beans offers the lowest carbohydrate option. Pasta dishes with the least amount of carbohydrates are pasta alternatives, such as pasta made from chickpeas, lentils, or hearts of palm. To still get the texture of pasta without the excess carbohydrates, you can also try spiralizing vegetables, spaghetti squash, or shirataki noodles, which are very low in carbohydrates. The healthiest way to eat pasta is to control the portion size of refined pasta, eat pasta made from whole grains, or pair your pasta dish with hearty vegetables, lean protein, and a healthy tomato sauce that is free of excess sugar and salt.
Where can I buy the best pasta online to cook at home?
At Wildgrain, we specialize in making high-quality, fresh baked goods that are delivered directly to your door. Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen delivery subscription service for fresh pasta, breads, and pastries. Some of our popular items include cheese tortellini, fresh fettuccine, fresh tonnarelli, and classic marinara sauce. Learn more about Wildgrain and our artisanal baking and cooking methods.
About the Author
This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional nutrition and/or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific nutrition and/or medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.