Specialists recommend always opting for whole grain varieties, which provide a greater number of nutrients to our body.
Pasta is one of the hallmarks of Italian gastronomy, however, several voices declare that its origin is not in the country of the boot, stating that Marco Polo brought the noodles from China. Something that several historians question due to the differences between sources that tell the stories of the adventurous merchant. In addition, at that time, the Chinese made the noodles with millet and not with wheat. It is difficult to point out a single origin of this preparation, but what is clear is that, today, Italy and pasta seem to be an indivisible pair.
The key to this food is that it is easy to prepare, goes with almost anything, and is a source of carbohydrates. “You have to eat carbohydrates every day, more than 50% is calculated, that is, more than half of the food we eat they have to be hydrates like pasta, rice, cereals in general”, says Yago Pérez, a dietician specializing in the Treatment of Diseases -allergies, intolerances, hypertension and diabetes.
There are mainly two types, dry and fresh. The latter is composed of non-whole wheat semolina and egg. Taking into account that the healthier option It is wholemeal pasta, finding it fresh is a Herculean task, it is always dry in supermarkets.
Whole wheat pasta, healthier
Although there is no need to worry, since the pharmacist Marián García, known as Boticaria García, in her book York ham does not exist. The guide to buying healthy and discovering the secrets of the supermarket explains that the fresh version has no advantages over the dry, whole-grain or non-whole-grain version. The reason is that the first is obtained using refined flours, therefore, when choosing a specific type of pasta, dry wholemeal is the best option.
The benefits that it provides with respect to normal pasta is that it has the bran and the fiber that is lost during the refining process, since wholemeal flour is used for its preparation. These components slow the breakdown of starch to glucose, maintaining a constant level of blood sugar and making this food ideal for people with diabetes, thanks to slow-absorbing carbohydrates. Unlike simple sugars, these are more complex to digest and their energy lasts longer.
Fiber and being overweight
The fiber in wholemeal pasta reduces blood cholesterol and cleanses the digestive tract, significantly improving digestion. Also, in its full version, pasta is more satiating so it can help you lose weight, as revealed by a study conducted at the Federico II University Hospital in Naples, Italy. In addition, essential minerals such as selenium, copper or magnesium, present in this food, can protect against some types of cancer, as revealed by different studies.
For example, research by scientists at the Agricultural University of Krakow, Poland, reveals that magnesium deficiency may also be associated with inflammation and increased levels of free radicals, two factors that could cause oxidative damage in the DNA.
Regarding copper, a group of scientists from Deakin University, Burwood, in Australia, has studied copper complexes that regulate the levels of this mineral in the body, as a therapy against cancer. Revealing that copper is already recognized as a limiting factor for multiple aspects of cancer progression such as growth, angiogenesis and metastasis. Another benefit of this preparation is that it has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, colorectal cancer, diabetes and obesity.
The way to cook pasta
As with many other foods, the properties of pasta can vary depending on its preparation. “Is recommend eating wholemeal pasta 2-3 times a week“, according to the nutritional recommendations of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition (SENC) in its Healthy Eating Guide. “Pasta could be eaten every day, taking into account the intake of carbohydrates, but it can also be combined with other cereals, cornbread or rice”, pointed out the nutritionist.
The ideal is to make it al dente, that is, it should not be too soft, letting it cook for less time, since well-cooked pasta increases blood glucose twice as much as more consistent pasta. Another trick to lower the glycemic index of pasta is not to consume it right away, but let it cool and eat it the next day. An idea that is now better used in summer, making pasta salads with vegetables and accompaniments that are lighter than the hot version.
According to the Harvard plate recommendations, the plate should contain 50% vegetables, 25% protein and 25% carbohydrates, like those in pasta. Therefore, according to this scale, it would be an ideal food to consume daily. As for a reasonable daily amount, 70 grams raw, uncooked, would be ideal. Always combined with other healthy foods such as spinach, salmon, prawns or spinach.