To set the record straight, pasta is not fattening, in fact it contains very little fat. The issue is that if you overeat carbs (ie you give your body more than it needs) then your body will turn the extra carbohydrates into fat for storage.
The main issues I see with pasta are that it’s usually eaten as a refined grain (regular semolina pasta) and that the portion is too large. However, pasta can be enjoyed in a healthy way when you keep an eye on your portion and if you choose whole grains. White pasta is fine sometimes, but try to choose whole grain the majority of the time. The fiber in the whole wheat pasta will help keep you more full, stabilize your blood sugar levels, and provide more vitamins and minerals.
Having trouble switching to whole grain? Here are a couple brands I recommend.
- Barilla Plus – you can find this kind at your average supermarket. While it isn’t 100% whole wheat, it’s a good compromise especially for those who love white pasta.
- Whole Foods 365 Whole Wheat Pasta – this pasta gets rave reviews time after time. And it’s less expensive than the other brands sold at Whole Foods!
Nutrition Tidbit: 1 cup of cooked pasta (white or whole wheat) contains approximately 200 calories. It does vary based on shape. If you want to be very accurate then weigh out the pasta before cooking. 2 oz of dry (uncooked) pasta is 1 serving.
Do you like Whole Wheat Pasta, or have you had trouble switching?