Pasta is a perfect foundation for healthy, nutritious and satisfying meals: pasta is generally eaten with nutrient-dense food partners, such as fiber-filled vegetables and beans, heart healthy fish and monounsaturated oils, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce and protein-packed cheeses, poultry and lean meats. Pasta offers:
- SUSTAINED ENERGY: Carbohydrates like pasta provide glucose, the crucial fuel for your brain and muscles. Pasta is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which provide a slow release of energy. Unlike simple sugars that offer a quick, yet fleeting boost of energy, pasta helps sustain energy.
- LOW SODIUM & CHOLESTEROL-FREE: Pasta is very low in sodium and cholesterol-free. Per cup, enriched varieties provide a good source of several essential nutrients, including iron and several B-vitamins. Whole wheat pasta can provide up to 25% of daily fiber requirements in every one cup portion.
- FOLIC ACID: Enriched pasta is fortified with folic acid – essential for women of child-bearing age. FDA regulations require enriched grain products to contain this important vitamin. A serving of dry pasta supplies the equivalent of roughly 100 micrograms of folic acid, or 25% of the recommended daily intake.
- BALANCED DIET: Pasta is part of a well-balanced diet. Current dietary guidance calls for up to 65% of daily calories to come from carbohydrates, such as pasta.
- LOW GI: Pasta has a low Glycemic Index (GI) so it does not cause blood glucose levels to rise quickly. Blood glucose is sometimes referred to as blood “sugar”.