For pasta to be a healthy option depends on who’s eating it, what it’s matched with, and what their day and week look like overall in regard to food, drink, and exercise.

Clearly, pasta is an issue for those who cannot tolerate gluten or wheat and those with insulin resistance and diabetes need to be careful of their carbohydrate intake. For others, pasta is a part of an overall healthy diet.

Pasta is very low in protein and nutrients but takes on a whole new nutritious life when topped with olive oil, garlic, vegies and protein such as meatballs, salmon, prawns or tofu, with avocado or cheese on top.

There are slight advantages to whole wheat pasta, which has more fibre and nutrients. However, all wheat has to be refined so we can eat it, so it’s largely a refined carbohydrate which can negatively affect weight and blood glucose levels. There’s also a big nutrient difference in what you buy off the shelf and homemade pasta.

In Italy, they tend to have pasta as part of a bigger meal, so the ingredients in the pasta are sparse, and don’t require balance as they would normally follow up the pasta with a protein meal. In Australia, we tend to eat pasta as a whole meal itself, which is why it needs to be balanced with protein to be a healthy meal.

I chatted to Stephen Cenatiempo on 2CC Talking Canberra on this topic, you can listen here:

 

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