6 reasons why pasta is good for your health

Pasta may have its roots in Italy but it is a much loved dish even in South Africa.

Several restaurants offer it these days and you can find many authentic Italian joints serving some of the finest pastas.

If made properly, it is a filling and nourishing meal. It is also quite easy to make.

The good thing is, you can experiment by adding several ingredients and flavours to make it nutritious and scrumptious.

Don’t believe us? Read some of its health benefits.

1. It isn’t fattening: Like any other meal, you can make it healthy or calorie-heavy depending on the ingredients you use. Choose red sauce instead of white, add lots of veggies and little white meat, keep the cheese to a minimum and the fresher the ingredients, the better. Opt for whole wheat pasta and make sure you don’t over or under cook it. You can have a salad on the side to complete your meal.

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2. One pot meal: One can add meat, both fresh and processed, a wide range of vegetables and herbs, lentils, nuts and cheese to pasta. It means that a bowl of pasta is rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals making it a wholesome meal.

3. High in fibre: Pasta can be made a high-fibre dish by making a few additions. To make a high-fibre pasta dish, choose from a huge range of multigrain and whole wheat variety available in the market. Add chopped, mixed vegetables or their purees. You can also try your hand at stuffed pasta or cannelloni filling it with spinach and adding meat of your choice. The more veggies you add, the healthier it becomes.

4. Gluten-free: Yes! You can still eat pasta when on a gluten-free diet. While the commonly available durum pasta is not free of gluten, there are several brands that make pasta out of brown rice, soya and corn. They taste just as good as the regular fare. You can buy these from a supermarket or opt to eat at a restaurant which offers a gluten-free menu.

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5. Good for diabetics: Whole grain pasta cooked in olive oil with vegetables or lean meat is a very healthy meal by itself. It is full of antioxidant vitamins, heart healthy fats and bodybuilding protein. This makes it ideal for people who suffer from conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

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