Health Benefits of Pasta

The mass is a fat – free food with low sodium content which can fit perfectly into a management plan or weight loss. A cup of cooked noodles contains just 200 calories, plus valuable vitamins and minerals.

How many times, when you start a diet, do you automatically leave out the noodle dishes? This is a big mistake, as the widespread belief that pasta is fattening is just a symptom of not knowing exactly its properties and nutrients, which are many, by the way. Therefore, pasta not only can, but should be part of a healthy diet.

The fact is, pasta is a staple ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. One of the most popular, effective and no-trick eating plans of this millennium, so the Mediterranean Diet wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for pasta.

Do you need more conviction to surrender to the world of delicious pasta? Well, noodles are also good for the brain. A recent study found that a Mediterranean-style diet has a protective effect against age-related cognitive decline in men and women aged 65 and over. So, stop feeling guilty and enjoy a wonderful meal with the pasta you crave.


Noodles are one of the most popular forms of pasta and are used in dishes around the world. Most pasta is made from durum wheat, so it is rich in complex carbohydrates and includes all the nutrients found in refined white flour.

On the other hand, regular noodles are relatively neutral in terms of diet, but wholegrain pasta can be a good source of fiber. The amount of spaghetti, and what you probably put on top, is what will make for a healthy or unhealthy meal.

Pasta is not fattening because it is not fat, like sauces or condiments with which you can accompany it. The intake of 100 grams of durum wheat noodles contributes 350 calories, mainly carbohydrates, which represent almost 15% of the needs of a person who engages in physical activity. Therefore, pasta is more than a good option when choosing a low-fat diet.

It also contains protein, minerals, water and a small amount of fat. Among its minerals, the most important for a balanced diet are: calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. It’s even a source of vitamins.

Its high percentage of gluten makes pasta a very satisfying and satisfying dish, which is an appealing issue when dieting. It is also highly recommended when it comes to weight control as it contains cellulose, and this contributes to good intestinal transit.


A cup with 140 grams of dough contains:

Caloric value: 221 kcal Fat: 1.3 grams Saturated fats: 0.2 grams Monounsaturated fats: 0.2 grams Polyunsaturated fats: 0.4 grams Carbohydrates: 43.2 gramsSugars: 0.8 grams Protein: 8.1 grams Dietary Fiber: 2.5 grams Cholesterol: 0.0 milligrams Sodium: < 0.1 grams Water: 87.0 grams


Pasta is the perfect base for a healthy, nutritious and satisfying meal. Because? For starters, pasta is an ideal partner for many other foods, including high-fiber vegetables and beans, heart-friendly fish, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce, and protein-rich cheeses, poultry, and lean meats. Pasta also helps:

  • Gaining energy – Carbohydrates, like pasta, provide glucose, the crucial fuel for the brain and muscles. And because pasta is an impressive source of complex carbohydrates (unlike the refined and processed variety), it releases energy at a slow, sustained level.
  • Low in sodium and cholesterol – Those who suffer from high levels of cholesterol have a perfect ally in pasta, being very low in sodium and cholesterol-free. Per cup, fortified varietal paste provides good sources of several essential nutrients, including iron and B-complex vitamins.
  • Protects women of childbearing age  Folic acid-enriched mass is essential for women of childbearing age. One serving of dry noodles provides the equivalent of 100 micrograms of folic acid, or 25% of the recommended daily intake.
  • Provides a Balanced Diet – Pasta is part of a well-balanced diet, with current guidelines suggesting that 35% of our daily calorie intake should come from complex carbohydrates such as pasta. So combine pasta with lean proteins and vegetables for a complete meal that will put you on the path to achieving those dietary goals.


There are, in cooking, several types of pasta with the function of better combining flavors and types of sauces. In this way, the different shapes of the pasta serve to make the dish more flavorful and balanced.

Therefore, the masses are grouped into three groups:

  • Dry pasta – which are subdivided into two groups. Short doughs and long doughs. They represent the industrialized ones, without a very defined flavor, but that welcome the seasonings well. They can be accompanied by sauces made from olive oil, tomato, garlic, seafood, among others. Thus, in the subdivision, short pasta is better with rustic sauces by absorbing holes and curves, while long pasta is better with oil and capturing seasonings.
  • Fresh pasta – they are made with eggs and go well with light sauces and vegetables or butter. However, not all egg pasta is fresh, some can be classified as dry.
  • Stuffed pastas – are wonderful when baked in the oven and browned, and there are several types such as ravioli, rondelli, capeleti, torteline, among others.

Intake of whole grains has been linked to a lower risk of obesity and associated health risks. However, both types of pasta are available in various shapes and sizes. Some of the most popular varieties include:

Pasta, spaghetti, fettuccine, ravioli, lasagna, noodles, tortellini, flat spaghetti, bow tie and many others.



  • 3 cups (tea) of wheat flour (about 400 g)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons of salt
  • Wheat flour to sprinkle on the countertop

Way of doing:

In a bowl, mix the flour and salt and make a hole in the center.

In a smaller bowl, break one egg at a time and transfer it to the center of the bowl with flour, if one is spoiled you don’t lose the entire recipe. With a fork, just stir the eggs to mix the yolks with the whites. Little by little, mix the eggs and flour in a circular motion from the center to the edge of the bowl, clockwise.

When the flour absorbs the eggs, mix and knead with your hands until an acorn forms. Bring the dough to the countertop and knead well until smooth and fluffy, this takes about 15 minutes. Wrap the dough with film and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Put some flour on the workbench to sprinkle. Unpack, move to the bench and, with a knife (or spatula), divide the dough into 4 parts to make it easier to open. Sprinkle the countertop more and, with the rolling pin, make an opening in one of the parts of the dough forming a rectangle of about 40 cm x 20 cm – the dough needs to be thin, approximately 2 mm thick.

To make noodles: sprinkle flour over the dough and fold it lengthwise 4 times – it is important to fold from one of the smaller ends of the rectangle, so the noodle strands are longer; slice the dough about 0.5 cm; loosen the strands and transfer to the floured baking sheet. Do it again with the rest of the dough.

Once the water is boiling, add 2 tablespoons of salt and add the noodles. Make the mixture with a fork just to loosen the strands and cook for about 7 min until al dente. Once cooked, place the pasta in a colander and allow the water to drain well. Transfer the pasta to a platter and serve with the sauce of your choice.

Below is the calorie count of some classic pasta recipes:

  • Pesto pasta (with creamy basil sauce) – 618 kcal;
  • Aglio and olio paste (with oil and garlic) – 653 kcal;
  • Pasta with tomato sauce – 210 kcal;
  • Pasta and mushrooms in cream sauce – 255 kcal;
  • Chicken noodles – 293 kcal.


Pasta is made from wheat, which contains the protein gluten. In turn, gluten is one of the main food allergens for adults and children. So while some people may be gluten sensitive and should just limit their intake, others have a condition called celiac disease and need to avoid gluten altogether.

Symptoms of celiac disease include abdominal bloating, gas, diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. Some people with celiac disease also get rashes or headaches when eating wheat.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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