PASTA : White or wholemeal? Benefits and differences
It’s not fattening, it’s good for your body and mind: here’s the manifesto signed by the world’s leading specialists
Pasta is not fattening, on the contrary, it is beneficial to health and is essential for the diet of athletes.
Specialists and scientific committees have dismantled one of the urban legends according to which pasta makes you fat and is an enemy of the scales.
This is a real hoax that, among other aspects, does not take into account the high environmental sustainability of one of the dishes that symbolises the Mediterranean diet.
In fact, science has laid down in black and white the healthy properties of pasta and carbohydrates in general, which are essential for preventing chronic diseases and obesity. The manifesto in favour of pasta is contained in the Scientific Consensus Statement “Healthy Pasta Meal”, signed by twenty scientists from nine countries around the world during the World Pasta Day & Congress in 2015 and still relevant today.
A list of twelve points that dismantles the fake news on the subject, confirming that pasta is not fattening thanks to a very low glycemic index.
The twelve points – Here is the document signed by the world’s leading specialists from, among other countries, Italy, the United States, France, Portugal and Brazil.
- Scientific research increasingly supports the importance of a complete diet, rather than the consumption of individual foods.
- Pasta is a key component of many traditional dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet, whose validity is scientifically proven. Most dietary patterns based on plant-based foods help prevent and slow down the development of serious chronic diseases, bringing greater health benefits than current Western patterns.
- Many clinical studies confirm that it is excess calories, not carbohydrates, that cause obesity. Diets that promise weight loss may demonise a wide range of healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates. However, all three of these macronutrients are necessary, in the right balance, to achieve a personal healthy diet that anyone can follow throughout their lives. In addition, diets that are very low in carbohydrates may not be healthy, especially in the long term.
- Pasta gives a greater sense of satiety for longer. If the portion size is correct and the seasoning is not too caloric, a plate of pasta can have a moderate calorie content.
- In an age when diabetes and obesity take the lion’s share of the world’s attention, pasta dishes and other low-glycemic foods help control blood glucose levels and weight, especially in overweight people. The glycemic index is a factor in the healthiness of carbohydrate-rich foods. The way pasta is made has beneficial effects, as the production process reduces the glycaemic response. Wholemeal pasta, with a higher fibre content, is also a good option.
- Pasta is a healthy and affordable choice, available in almost every society. Promoting the affordability and accessibility of pasta dishes can help overcome the prejudice that healthy foods are too expensive.
- Healthy pasta dishes are a tasty way to eat more vegetables, pulses and other healthy foods that are often overlooked. Pasta is also a tool for introducing other foods from the Mediterranean diet (i.e. other cultural traditions), especially in the case of children and adolescents.
- Pasta dishes feature in culinary traditions around the world, as they are like an artist’s canvas: they are versatile and easily adapted to local and national seasonal ingredients.
- Most people can eat pasta and do not have to choose a gluten-free product unless they have a correctly diagnosed gluten-related disorder. For those who are intolerant or allergic to gluten or suffer from coeliac disease, there are gluten-free alternatives.
- Pasta is a simple plant-based food with a low environmental impact.
- Consumption of pasta is recommended for those who are physically active and particularly enjoy sport. Pasta, like other cereals, provides carbohydrates and is also a source of protein. For better physical performance, pasta can be eaten unseasoned or with little seasoning before a workout or with other foods after sporting activity. High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are not recommended for active people.
- Doctors, nutritionists and other health professionals should educate consumers to favour varied and balanced pasta dishes for good health.
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Whole-wheat pasta has now become an integral part of many people’s diets.
It is good and healthy, thanks to its high fibre and nutrient content.
But what are its characteristics and real benefits?
Let’s discover them together
Wholemeal pasta: how it is made
Durum wheat wholemeal semolina pasta is obtained through a mixture of durum wheat wholemeal semolina and water. The adjective “wholemeal” indicates that the semolina used is not subject to the refining process that is carried out to obtain white flour (type 0 and 00). In wholemeal flour, the grains are milled as nature intended, together with their outer coating.
All the components of the grain (bran, endosperm and germ), which contain important nutrients for the body, are therefore preserved.
Nutritional values of wholemeal pasta
100 g of wholemeal pasta provides 324 Kcal, broken down as follows:
* 66.2 g of carbohydrates
* 13.4 g of protein
* 2.5 g of lipids
* 11.5 g of dietary fibre
A portion of 80 grams of wholemeal pasta provides:
* 24% of the fibre that should be taken per day according to the recommended daily allowance (RDA)
* 39% of the iron
* 38% of phosphorus
* 22% of zinc
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