Pasta – The Power and Comfort

by Nutrition

The Power and Comfort of Pasta

You really can’t beat the power and comfort of pasta! It is a versatile food that is just perfect for:

  • Enjoying a quick, easy-to-make meal, either alone or paired with a protein or veggies
  • Providing sustained energy when consumed in advance of an athletic event
  • Pairing with a favorite cheese or incorporated into soup/stew
  • Providing comfort when feeling under-the-weather and in need of gentle nourishment

With so many new varieties of pasta–lentil, rice, corn, wheat, black bean, garbanzo, and Jerusalem artichoke–you can acquire a wide range of nutrients, flavors, and textures. This makes pasta even more versatile, especially for those who follow a vegetarian diet considering a serving of protein can be enjoyed with the carbohydrates naturally found in pasta.

The nutrient breakdown for pasta should not be overlooked:

  • Salt-free
  • Cholesterol free
  • Low fat
  • Provides fuel (carbohydrates) for sustained energy for the brain and muscles
  • Whole grain pasta contains fiber, which supports digestive and colon health
  • Has a low glycemic index, which helps keep blood sugar levels in balance
  • Helps sustain fullness

Be mindful of your add-ons as creamy sauces and dressings can add unnecessary calories, fat, and sodium. When possible, choose whole grain. For gluten-free diets (GF), the source of the grain (corn, lentil, etc.) impacts cooking times, flavor and texture. Pay attention to labels and methods of preparation. You may need to experiment with different types of GF to suit the dish being prepared.

The next time you find yourself craving a hearty meal that won’t load you on extra calories and fat, consider pasta! With so many sizes, shapes, and flavors you can’t go wrong with adding a serving of pasta to lunch or dinner!

References

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