Please be a myth… please be a myth. Maybe if we all cross our fingers?
Does Pasta Make You Fat?
Not necessarily. The myth stems from the way that pasta is processed by your body. Concerns about this process and its association with difficulties in losing weight have contributed to the commonly accepted attitude that “white and refined” carbs are evil and not to be touched. We all know the low carb craze has beat into us that pasta is not the way to go. But is this attitude based on fact or fiction?
What does the Glycemic Index (GI) have to do with my beloved pasta?
The glycemic index explains how a food with carbs will affect your blood sugar levels. Higher Glycemic Index values associated with a particular food item usually indicates that they are foods that will cause you to keep weight on and have difficulty losing weight, unless the item is consumed in moderation. Traditionally pasta has been an example of a high glycemic index food. However, the way in which it is cooked has been found to affect the glycemic index making it an item that can be consumed.
Al Dente Preparation Is The Key
What does “al dente” mean?
“Al Dente” means cooked firm to the bite. The term can be applied to rice, beans, pasta and vegetables.
Pasta that is cooked “al dente” does have a lower glycemic index.
The glycemic index is an evidenced-based, scientific process that is used to measure how foods affect blood sugar. This is particularly significant for people with medical issues with their blood sugar levels, such as people wishing to manage their diabetes or manage their insulin resistance.The index goes beyond just the number of carbohydrates that a food contains and looks at how the food is broken down by the body. The higher the food is on the glycemic index the more it affects your blood sugar. Therefore cooking the pasta “al dente” will allow your body to break down the pasta in a way that is healthier for your body to process.
Do I Have To Eat Whole Wheat Pasta?
No, “al dente” cooking of the pasta should do the trick. I am especially relieved to read this because I can say from experience that I don’t love the whole wheat pastas I have tried. I may be trying the wrong ones, in their defense. It was mentioned in the article that I will link below, that pasta company Barilla has made a change in their structure of pasta that is supposed to make it easier for your body to break it down over the course of time. That is definitely going a long way to dispose of the “evil” pasta reputation.
To review- “I’m tired and I want to make pasta. Am I going to end up fat?” No, and here is a bonus: you don’t have to cook it as long. Ergo you will have the food on your plate faster. Just remember: you want to have the pasta cooked “al dente.”
Is buckwheat pasta or brown rice better for me than “al dente” pasta?
As long as you consume it cooked firm to the bite, the buckweat pasta is comparable to the glycemic index of the other options mentioned. The pasta will give you a steady release of energy that keeps you feeling full longer and you won’t have to run a marathon to work it off (though, let’s be honest we should all be doing that, right?)
If you are interested in reading a little more on fact and fiction in foods please go to this link.
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