How to Eat Pasta Healthily

When you have blood sugar or other health concerns, you can feel like certain foods are off-limits. Even if you hear that a food has benefits, you might think, “but not for me.” New research shows that eating pasta may prevent some chronic diseases. But, one of the top foods people who have blood sugar concerns avoid is pasta. You don’t necessarily have to completely swear off pasta to maintain normal blood sugar. You just have to approach it differently than you have in the past.  

A study found that older women who ate pasta three times a week had lower rates of blood sugar concerns, heart disease and strokes. They noted that the people in the study were often replacing less healthy options — like fries — with pasta. When they replaced the fries with pasta, they lowered their risk for heart disease, stroke and blood sugar worries. When eating pasta instead of bread, they reduced their heart risks but not their blood sugar problems.

Many of us think that we can’t eat a portion of pasta because we don’t know what a portion is. A portion is two ounces. Many of us want to eat a plateful, and that’s not particularly healthy — without or without health concerns.

All foods fit in moderation,” said Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN. “And surrounding something like pasta with lots of produce and moderate amounts of lean protein is a healthy and enjoyable way to approach healthy eating.”  

There are many types of low-carb pasta on the market that you can find in the supermarket. People review their favorite brands online all the time. Here’s a review of nine of the top brands available. Some of them are almost dead ringers for regular pasta.

But, if you don’t want to go for one of these newer options, you can also head to whole grain pasta. They are less likely to spike your blood sugar. With more fiber, whole grain pasta is more filling and less likely to spike your blood sugar. Whole grain pasta is lower in calories than regular pasta. Unlike typical pasta, it is rich in manganese, selenium, copper and phosphorus. Also, cook your pasta al dente. Overcooked pasta has a higher GI.   

The best way to make sure your pasta meal is healthy is to use it as your base for a great meal. If you have your correctly sized portion of lower-carb pasta and top it with fresh vegetables, lean protein and heart-healthy olive oil, you can enjoy a dinner without stress. When the healthy toppings are featured as heavily as the pasta, your meal can shine! If you are eating pasta covered in a carb-heavy sauce with nothing else, your blood sugar may be in trouble. You want a meal that is rich in fiber and nutrients to leave you satisfied and in great shape!

Of course, this might not make you feel comfortable eating pasta. If it’s something you removed from your diet years ago, we do understand. But, if it is something you are missing or that keeps giving you problems, follow these tips to enjoy it in a healthy way!

Banner image: Anthony Leong via Pexels
May 27, 2021
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