If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine or just a pasta lover, you should be aware of the health benefits of whole wheat pasta. As you may already know, white pasta is not a health food because it’s processed. This means the pasta contains none of its natural fiber and contains only simple sugars. Whole wheat pasta is a healthier alternative because it contains complex carbohydrates and is a good source of fiber.
Pasta is high in carbohydrates and very high on the glycemic index. Whole wheat pasta is healthier because it contains unprocessed whole wheat flour, which means its natural bran, germ, fiber, vitamins and minerals remain intact. White pasta does not contain any of these healthy nutrients, making whole wheat pasta the better option when it comes to promoting health and wellness.
Background on Whole Wheat Pasta
Whole wheat pasta tastes slightly different from white pasta. For starters, whole wheat pasta is brown and its texture is a bit thicker than white pasta. White pasta has a more smooth mouth feel and is chewier than whole wheat pasta. To put it simply, fans of white pasta might need time to get used to whole wheat pasta. If you haven’t had whole wheat pasta in a while, you should give it another try. In recent years, food manufacturers have come a long way in improving the taste and texture of whole wheat pasta.
Whole Wheat Pasta’s Benefits
Whole wheat pasta is high in fiber, which means you will probably eat less of it. The fiber in whole wheat pasta resides in its germ and bran, and you won’t find either ingredient in white pasta. Fiber helps control your appetite by making your stomach feel more satisfied. This means you probably won’t feel hungry or reach for a second serving, as you might with white pasta. In addition, the fiber will help keep your digestive system regular by promoting normal bowel movements. Whole wheat pasta also contains proteins and vitamins like iron and folic acid.
Nutrients in Whole Grains
Whole wheat pasta is a great source of whole grains. Whole grains are a good source of complex carbohydrates, selenium, potassium and magnesium. But, aside from these vitamins and minerals, studies suggest whole grains have a whole slew of additional health benefits. The USDA found that those who consume whole grains reduce their risk of heart disease, reduce their likelihood of constipation and are better able to manage their weight. In addition, the dietary fiber in whole grains reduces blood cholesterol.
The B vitamins in whole grains help speed up the body’s metabolism by releasing the energies found in fat, protein and carbohydrates. The magnesium in whole grains helps build healthy, strong bones and promotes muscle function. The selenium in whole grains protects the body’s cells and immune system. Due to the health benefits of whole grains, the USDA recommends at least half of the grains you consume be whole grains. The amount of whole grains you should eat daily depends on your age. Women and men aged 31 to 50 should eat at least 3 oz of whole grains daily.