Pasta is a refined product made from grains, which contribute to a balanced diet. Although grains provide essential nutrients, such as magnesium, potassium and selenium, the refinement process reduces many of these essential nutrients, according to the May 2011 issue of the "Journal of Nutrition." The high amount of carbohydrates in pasta may affect your blood-sugar levels and cause your health to suffer. There are glutens in pasta, which some people cannot digest. Consult your physician about following a balanced diet for good health.
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Pasta products contain refined flour, which has had the bran and germ removed from the wheat. Although pasta provides complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, whole-grain products are better sources of these nutrients. According to the "Journal of Nutrition," whole grains still have their bran and germ intact, providing essential fibers that aid in digestion and help you feel full longer. Brown rice, barley, quinoa or pasta made from whole wheat are preferable to pasta made from refined white flour.
Pasta is high in carbohydrates, or carbs, which release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin is called the “hunger hormone,” which triggers the urge to eat and causes food energy to be stored as fat, according to Dr. Richard Heller and Dr. Rachel Heller, co-authors of “The Carbohydrate Addicts Diet.” Eating too much pasta may cause strong cravings for carb-loaded foods. When consumed in high quantities, carbs can cause weight gain and create a roller-coaster effect on your insulin levels, note the Hellers.
Gluten is a protein found in rye, wheat and barley. People with gluten intolerance, sometimes called celiac disease, avoid any foods made with wheat, including pasta. You can find gluten-free pasta made from rice, corn and other grains. Similar in taste and texture to wheat pasta, gluten-free pasta is also high in carbohydrates and best consumed in moderate portions, according to the Hellers.
A diet containing protein, fruits and vegetables along with carb-rich food, keeps blood sugar stable and prevents the release of too much insulin. This is preferable to protein-centered diets that severely restrict carbs and lack necessary fibers, vitamins and minerals contained in plant-based foods, according to the American Heart Association. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
- The Carbohydrate Addicts’ Diet; Dr. Rachael Heller and Dr. Richard Heller
- Journal of Nutrition: Putting the Whole-Grain Puzzle Together: Health Benefits Associated with Whole Grains—Summary of American Society for Nutrition 2010 Satellite Symposium
- American Heart Association: Carbohydrate Addiction