Diet: 5 main reasons pasta should be a part of your healthy plan – ‘not to be feared’

Pasta has long been a favourite dish of many around the world but as a carbohydrate, it is often thought to be bad for weight loss. However, some may be surprised to learn that pasta, when eaten in moderation, can actually help people looking to shed the pounds. According to nutritionist Claire Turnbull, the rumours surrounding pasta and weight loss are not entirely fair.

She advised it can be “part of a balanced diet” and “isn’t something to be feared or to feel bad about.”

But Claire warned that being mindful of your portion size is also important.

Pasta is found in plans such as the Mediterranean Diet, and studies have found that it can aid a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet, or the diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association.

Carbs are crucial in any diet, acting as a source of energy providing you with a slow-release throughout the day.

It is long been incorporated into sports diets because of it keeps a person energised for longer, unlike sugars, which typically deliver a quick spike before a sharp drop-off.

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Still not convinced? Take a look at five key points that may change your mind about pasta.

1. Whole-grain options

Like bread, pasta also has various options, with the whole-grain varieties found to improve health benefits.

Unlike white pasta, whole-grain includes all the nutrients associated with wheat germ.

It is high in fibre and contains more nutrients than white pasta, so if an individual isn’t wanting to cut the carb out completely, switching to whole-grain can a great option to help weight loss.

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2. Full of fibre

People might not know it, but pasta is a good source of fibre because it is derived from flour and wheat.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, just one cup of cooked white pasta provides 2.5 grams of fibre, which is around 10 percent of your daily recommended intake.

Fibre is vital element for digestion and according to the NHS, fibre can reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes.

3. Low in salt

Consuming too much salt can many health complications, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

But pasta, being the incredibly simple food it is, is actually extremely low in salt.

Just a mixture of eggs and flour, the only way for pasta to become a salty mayhem is through adding sauce.

4. Low in fat

Pasta’s basic formula means that it’s really low in fat, if consumed without sauce.

But take plain pasta with a sprinkle of olive oil and parmesan, it becomes an easy option for a low-effort, low-fat pasta dish.

Tomato sauces can also keep meals pretty low-fat, provided the ingredients are adjusted accordingly.

5. Mineral content

Surprisingly, pasta harbours some more hidden health benefits in the form of key vitamins and minerals.

According to the BBC, pasta includes significant levels of “calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, as well as B vitamins”.

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