Has it ever happened that just when you’re reaching out for a steamy bowl of pasta, you suddenly realise you’re supposed to watch your weight? Can’t imagine how hard it is to kill that temptation and fill your plate with raw veggies instead! But you don’t have to do this anymore. Why?
Pasta can help you lose weight, only if you’re cooking the right one in the right way. If you’re still doubtful about “is pasta good for weight loss?”, this quick read is for you.Contents:
Pasta is a rich source of carbohydrates and fibre too. When consumed in moderation, paired with veggies and other sources of protein like legumes, chicken or fish, pasta can be part of a healthy diet. It also depends on the type or variety of pasta you are eating, when it comes to answering whether it is healthy or not.
Pasta, when made of maida or commonly known as refined flour, can be unhealthy as it contains less fibre and is loaded with calories. Refined pasta usually loses all its nutrients during the production process and is less nourishing. Alternatively, it is recommended to pick whole-grain or whole-wheat or lentil-based pasta over traditionally/artificially enriched varieties of pasta.
To help you understand this better, here’s a quick comparison of the nutritional value of 1 cup (140g) of cooked whole-wheat pasta or spaghetti vs refined or enriched spaghetti.
Content in Whole-Wheat Spaghetti
Content in Refined/Enriched Spaghetti
Additionally, keep in mind that adding too many pre-made sauces or heaps of cheese can make an otherwise healthful pasta meal unhealthful.
Pasta can be a great addition to your weight loss diet but before you go all out and start bingeing on it, you have to understand three key factors that dictate whether pasta is good for weight loss or not.
Experts suggest that whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta is the best for weight loss. Certain studies have also found that pasta, when cooked the Mediterranean way, is the healthiest option for those on a weight loss journey. Mediterranean pasta is usually prepared with fresh fruits and veggies, olive oil and lean meat, all of which will not necessarily harm your weight loss effort.
Besides this, to avoid gaining weight with pasta, you should add chopped or sauteed broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes and onions while cooking the pasta, opt for a side salad (if you do not like too many veggies in the main dish!), use cheese only to garnish, switch to lean meats and use freshly made sauces at home.
Whole grains are primarily made of the entire kernel (the seed from which the plant grows) and as a result, are rich sources of fibre and other important nutrients. Pasta made of whole grains (wheat, brown rice, spelt, etc.) is full of nutrition and is considered healthier when compared to refined pasta. There are fewer calories in pasta made with whole grains and its high fibre content can keep you full for a longer time. This further reduces your hunger pangs and thus, helps in weight loss.
Other alternatives may include chickpea pasta, veggie noodles and soba noodles (made from buckwheat).
When eaten in moderation, pasta can be a healthy choice for your weight loss journey. Not only the type of pasta is what you need to keep in mind, the toppings matter too. By adding cheesy and cream-based sauces, you are stocking up on calories. A drizzle of olive oil or fresh herbs and even veggies of your choice can add up to the nutritional value of your pasta meal and make it an ideal option for weight loss too.
You can have a cup or 1½ cup of pasta per day if you are having whole wheat pasta. You should avoid eating refined pasta regularly if you want to lose weight as it may add up to your fat.
You can eat pasta any time of the day except at night. Pasta contains carbs which might be difficult for your body to digest during the night.
Just like it holds true for any other food or beverage, overconsumption of pasta can cause various health problems including:
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