Pasta Nutrition Facts
As a great comfort food, low in bad things- saturated fat, calories, salt and sodium; high in good things- fiber, vitamins, minerals and iron, pasta is a convenient, flexible, affordable and nutritious choice.
“Life is a combination of magic and pasta” … Federico Fellini
• Pasta is claimed to be a Chinese invention that was brought to Italy by Marco Polo in the 13th century.
• It is widely accepted that Italian pastas are superior in taste, made by durum flour from Canada.
• Canada exports high quality durum wheat to Italy and imports pasta from Italy.
• Today pasta is very popular, eaten in hundreds of countries all over the world.
• There are more than 600 pasta shapes produced worldwide.
• The word pasta comes from Italian word for paste- it means a combination of flour and water.
• Italian pasta is traditionally cooked al dente- Italian: “firm to the bite”, meaning not too soft.
Pasta Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits:
• Pasta is one of the healthiest foods around. One cup of cooked pasta provides 200 calories, less than 1 g of fat, 40g of carbs, very low in sodium and no cholesterol.
• It contains good levels of iron and B- vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamine and niacin.
• It is a good source of protein for vegetarians as it includes six essential amino acids, however it makes sense to add some lean meat or high protein meat substitutes for vegetarians to your pasta sauce to increase the protein content.
• It has the ability to give you sustained energy. Athletes have pasta to load up on carbohydrates to increase and store glycogen for prolonged activities.
• Complex carbohydrates in pasta provide fuel for your brain and muscles. Dietary guidelines recommend for up to 65% of a healthy diet should come from carbohydrates.
• Dietary fiber in pasta helps keep the bowel functioning. Whole wheat pasta contains 3 times more fiber than white pasta.
• Nutritional value of pasta is basically the nutritional value of complete pasta meal- which includes the healthy ingredients in the sauce: fish, lean meat, chicken, garlic, onion, herbs, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil. It is wise to avoid creamy pasta sauces as they are high in saturated fats. Low fat plain yogurt is a great substitute.
• Pasta is not a fattening food, if eaten in moderation. How much weight you put on depends on how many calories you eat. It is made by durum wheat, which is different to the processed flour used to make white bread.
• Pasta is low in glycemic index- GI so it does not cause instant spike in the blood glucose levels. The Glycemic index measures how rapidly a carbohydrate triggers a rise in blood sugar; the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. Whole wheat or brown pasta has even lower GI value. Overcooking pasta will raise its GI and lower its dietary fiber content.
• Whole wheat pasta contains folic acid, calcium, zinc, iron and vitamin E. It is a good source of antioxidants and may contribute to great looking hair and skin.
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Pasta Nutrition Facts, http://www.sanremo.com.au/ benefitsofpasta.
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