As people become aware of the benefits involved in choosing the right foods, their choices become more and more health oriented. Choosing whole wheat pasta over white pasta is one example of this. Some people might consider this a fussy, nitty gritty attitude towards food, when food is just supposed to be food as long as long its edible, fresh and tasty. What often gets neglected in this standpoint is quality, health consequences and resulting side effects in the long run. Eating healthy practically translates to living healthy and this is why adopting a healthier standard of eating is very important. So, is choosing whole wheat worth it?
Whole Wheat Pasta Nutrition
Lets first determine the benefits of whole wheat in comparison to regular or white wheat:
Whole wheat grains contain a greater content of fiber compared to that of refined grains. This content is present in a naturally determined quantity. However, when the whole wheat grains undergo the refining process most of their fiber content is eliminated, making them least healthy.
Fiber has tons of benefits such as enabling smooth digestion, preventing constipation, assisting the control of blood sugar, reducing the risk for heart disease, and aiding in weight loss by promoting sensations of fullness.
Anything made with whole wheat grains such as whole wheat pasta naturally inherits the nutritious value. Thus, whole grain pasta possesses an abundant amount of vitamins such as B-1, B-3, and B-5. It also serves as a relatively good source of nutrients such as iron, calcium, and protein. Since whole wheat is used for several health purposes, including weight loss, it is beneficial to switch to it permanently. You can consume whole grain pasta in small portions without compromising on nutrients since even a small amount is loaded with many.
One of the main differences that separates whole grain and white pasta and casts them into healthy and unhealthy categories is the artificially processed factor. Whole wheat pasta is consisted of three parts: the bran which forms the outer layer, the germ which is the heart of the grain, and the endosperm which represents the starchy content. When pasta grains are processed to form white pasta, the outer two layers are bleached or removed and only the inner part is kept. This results in a loss of many vital nutrients, causing the white pasta to be a less healthier option. However, some nutrients are administered into the grains to compensate this loss to some degree, but they still don’t match the property of being naturally contained.
Unfortunately, processing whole pasta grains mostly just helps in flour conservation by extending its shelf life rather than offering some substantial benefits. However, this does enhance the taste of pasta by making it more flavorsome.
Glycemic Index of Pasta
A commonly associated myth with pasta is that it has a high glycemic index. This is far from the truth as whole grains actually have a very low glycemic index. The Glycemic Index measures how quickly carbohydrate foods convert into glucose and by this rating method, whole grains demonstrate a very low GI. An extensive work of research also reveals that whole wheat grains reduce the risk of developing diabetes and excessive inﬂammation.
What’s surprising is that even white pasta doesn’t fall from the spectrum of healthy whole grain foods. This is because the starchy content of pasta slows down its digestion and causes it to be absorbed rather slowly when compared to white wheat flour. This is why white pasta is commonly paired with salads and soups. It provides a vital combination when mixed with other healthy foods. This is perhaps one of the many things that makes pasta a unique choice for improved consumption.
How Are Fresh and Dry Pasta Made
Fresh pasta is crafted using a combination of two or three ingredients. All fresh pastas trace back to almost the same ingredients which are typically consist of all purpose flour, eggs and water (optional). Once the dough is prepared, it is kneaded and run through rollers to flatten it and made as thin as desired. It is then cut into either long noodles or given the shape of tortellini and ravioli.
Fresh pasta is aesthetically styled with a variety of sauces that actually compliment its texture. Fettuccine Alfredo made with fresh pasta beats regular pasta, which is known as dry-pasta.
Dry pasta, although, would appear similar to the pasta aforementioned once ready to serve – it is actually made with ground semolina flour and water. Once it is formed into a paste, it is given shape and left to dry at low temperatures for a couple of days. This is done to eliminate the moisture in order to extend its shelf life. Dry pasta is served with meaty sauces; its firm texture makes it enjoyable to eat with beans and veggies.
Types of Pasta
Pasta has many types and shapes, including the following:
There is also a different variety of noodles, which is created using grains such as rice or barley. All in all, to get the most out of your pasta, you should opt for whole grain. The whole wheat pasta nutrition prevents you from developing an increased risk for heart disease, high blood sugar and insulin resistance – which are all conditions associated with consuming refined carbs.