Pasta is an extremely versatile and highly nutritious food and a great source of carbohydrates, which give us the energy we need. It can be cooked in lots of different ways and combined with all kinds of ingredients. There are plenty of reasons for including pasta in your daily diet. Here are just some:
It is a key source of carbohydrates
Trendy low-carb diets that were all the rage a few years ago, and which have since been criticised by experts, prove that life with carbohydrates isn’t easy. Carbohydrates give us the energy we need every day, not only for our body but for our mind as well. So it is a good idea to have pasta for lunch to give you enough fuel to get through the rest of the day.
Pasta isn’t fattening, quite the opposite
The crucial thing to remember is that pasta cooked al dente releases less starch than if you cook it for longer, which means it is less fattening. Numerous studies have shown that pasta should form part of a healthy lifestyle, since it provides slow-releasing, easily digestible carbohydrates and is low in fat. In fact, 100 g of pasta contains only 130 calories, the same as two spoonfuls of butter or a piece of cheese.
Did someone say cheese?
Talking of cheese, instead of falsely accusing pasta of being fattening, the real blame lies with the bacon, cream and other fats we use to make the sauce that goes with it, not to mention the handfuls of grated cheese we like to sprinkle on top. So how about mixing pasta with fresh fish (some chunks of raw tuna, sesame seeds and chopped nuts, for example), fresh vegetables or a simple vinaigrette for a simple, light, healthy, energising meal with only a few calories?
More spaghetti and less Prozac
So says a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: a low-fat, high-carb diet is linked to lower levels of stress and depression and has a positive impact on psychological wellbeing. It is official: eating more pasta and less meat and dairy makes you happier.
Pasta is a great ally for people with mild digestive problems, as it is digested more slowly than other foods. This gives your body more time to absorb all the nutrients, so you won’t get hunger pangs soon after eating, something which can often happen with fast carbs.
Goodbye to cholesterol
Pasta is cholesterol free, so it is great for anyone looking after their heart. And if you eat it with extra-virgin olive oil, a key source of heart-friendly unsaturated fats, so much the better!