Who Told You That Carbs Are Bad? That’s ImPASTAble

Nutrients found in pasta can help power athletes and fuel
students in class.(Photo: Courtesy of Pixabay.com)

It wasn’t until I moved to the United States when everyone started telling me how bad eating pasta was for my health. The claim is that the carbohydrates in pasta turn to sugar which then turns to fat and leads to obesity and diabetes. Of course, it isn’t quite that simple or black and white.

According to Livestrong.com, carbohydrates aren’t as evil as they are often being portrayed. In reality, choosing the right kind of carbohydrates may help an individual lose weight by filling them up and preventing hunger for hours after the meal. Pasta contains complex carbohydrates which release energy slowly so one may eat less in the long run, according to the National Pasta Association.

“The carbohydrates in pasta also supply [the] body with glucose,” says livestrong.com. Glucose is necessary for providing fuel to the brain and muscles. The kind of pasta one chooses also matters–whole grain and brown rice provides more benefits than pasta made with white flour.

One doesn’t have to be an athlete to be in need of carbohydrates to help with basic muscle functions. It provides the body with energy and like with most other things, moderation is key. A healthy amount pasta is exactly that–healthy.

According to Mayo Clinic, carbohydrates are important “brain food.” Carbohydrates are converted to glucose in the liver and can be released into the bloodstream to maintain a normal blood sugar level which is essential to help people focus and learn.

The nutritional value of the foods one chooses is another key factor in judging whether or not a certain food is healthy. Diets lacking important nutrients can lead to health issues, sleeping problems, weight gain, and fatigue, according to Mayo clinic. Many types of pastas are actually enriched with essential vitamins and minerals, which is why eating pasta can be beneficial in getting the proper nutrition needed to stay healthy and active.

Iron is an example of a key nutrient often added to pasta and is important in ensuring proper oxygen circulation and can help prevent tiredness.

Pasta, especially in its whole wheat variety, has lots of fiber which is needed for proper digestion and to promote healthy heart and blood vessels. According to the National Pasta Association, one cup of whole wheat pasta can supply up to 25 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake.

In addition to being nutritious, pasta is also a food low in cholesterol and sodium. According to Mayo clinic, eating too many foods high in cholesterol and sodium can lead to heart disease and other medical problems.

So rather than cutting out pasta completely, maybe the smarter move would be to choose whole wheat over regular pasta and to watch the quantities we consume. Everything is bad for us if we eat too much of it, so rather than declaring pasta as evil and making it responsible for America’s obesity problem, it could be a good idea to consume it in moderation and take advantage of all the health benefits it provides.

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