Since the low-carb craze came on in full force, pasta has gotten a bit of a bad rap with dieters. While in a general sense, standard white pasta is loaded with carbs and not the best way to spend your starch calories, the pasta industry has met the changing appetites of dieters to provide better options. Consider the options before making your decision about whether or not to include pasta in your diet.
How Pasta Went Bad
Pasta dishes have been around for centuries. There is some form of pasta or noodle in every culture. Pasta crosses cultural, economic and culinary boundaries all across the world. Because pasta is easy to make and done so in mass quantities, it’s cheap and readily available. It’s known as a staple item in most households. With a history of popularity, pasta started its downturn with the onset of the low-carb craze that encouraged dieters to cut carbs of all kinds from their diets to lose and maintain weight. This meant pasta was kicked to the curb by a large percentage of people.
Why Pasta Is Considered Bad
Pasta is a simple carbohydrate rich food. Simple carbs are more difficult for the body to break down, which means they stay in the body longer and have a high chance of turning into sugars and being stored in the body as fat. In women, fat is most often stored around the midsection and on the thighs and butt. This is another reason people tend to cut pasta as soon as they see a plateau in their weight loss, or a gain while maintaining.
Better Pasta Choices
Instead of cutting pasta from your diet and buying into the bad rap, consider better pasta choices instead. Whole wheat, gluten-free and multi-grain pastas are now available at grocery stores everywhere. If you’re unable to find a variety of complex carbohydrate pastas in your area, consider a specialty food store or shop online. When eating out, ask for a better variety of pasta instead of white pasta. Many restaurants are offering whole wheat and other varieties to better serve their patrons.
The key to the success of any diet is everything in moderation. Pasta is no different. A good rule of thumb for a portion size is about a half cup of cooked noodles. Most of the fat and calories from pasta dishes comes in the sauce. The best pasta dish ingredients are grilled meats and vegetables. If you must have sauce, go for no more than a third of a cup of your favorite sauce. Red sauces are the best choice because of the added benefits of lycopene and antioxidants derived from tomatoes and olive oil.
Maybe the low-carb life isn’t for you or your Italian friends, but everything in moderation is the way to go. Pasta isn’t out when you’re living a healthy lifestyle, but choosing the right pasta is in. Whether pasta deserves a bad rap or not is up to you, but consider the options available before you part ways with your favorite pasta dishes.