In this article, we will discuss whether you can lose weight eating pasta every day or is it a myth. We will mention 6 factors that may influence this and how you can keep eating pasta without worrying about your weight!
Can you lose weight eating pasta every day?
A few researchers believe that you can lose weight even if eating pasta every day. Pasta has a very low glycemic index, which causes a minor increase in blood sugar levels. But let’s explore this topic and see what is the exact relationship between pasta and weight.
Pasta has always been an ingredient that has enjoyed the love of most diners. Thanks to its versatility and simplicity in the kitchen, this typical Italian dish has become one of the most popular options in the world. However, its image has been clouded by one of the essential elements of its composition: carbohydrates. These macronutrients have always kept lovers of healthy life away, especially at dinner time, as they are often linked to weight gain, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, among other conditions.
However, research published last year in the famous British magazine “Nutrition and Diabetes” drastically changed this belief. According to those responsible for this study, pasta consumption is not related to being overweight; on the contrary, it helps lose weight.
“Contrary to what many people think, the consumption of pasta is not associated with an increase in weight […], but rather it allows to have a normal BMI, a slimmer waist and more balance between waist and hips”, stated George Pounis, a researcher at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute and author of the paper.
Of course, this revelation does not mean that from now on we should exclusively eat macaroni or spaghetti. As the experts advise, the important thing is to know how to eat pasta within a healthy dietary pattern. For example, forget the sauces that are too heavy and processed, the grated cheese in large quantities, or the use of cream and butter to give the dish juiciness. What guidelines should we follow to enjoy pasta without getting fat?
Pasta al dente’ – the secret to weight loss?
Although it may seem like a pointless trick, the truth is that making the pasta al dente, that is, before it reaches its cooking time, gives the dish a harder and more resistant consistency. This forces the diner to spend more time chewing it, the digestive system also needs to work harder to assimilate it and, therefore, the feeling of fullness that the stomach experiences is also more intense.
In addition, this process involves more energy and a lower glycemic index, which delays the onset of hunger for a few hours.
The right portion of pasta
As with other meals, portion size is critical. It is best to prepare a pasta dish that is around 80 to 100 grams per serving, not including the other additional ingredients. This figure is usually equal to half a cup for active women. In the case of men, the ration can amount to two cups per meal. Of course, it is essential to always combine your intake with regular physical exercise.
The integral version of pasta
First of all, the pasta that is less fattening is fresh, as long as it does not include eggs and added salts. On the other hand, if you choose to buy it in the supermarket, it is best to select whole wheat or gluten-free pasta.
“Whole Grain flours, unlike traditional pasta, are made from slow-absorbing carbohydrates that are perfectly suited to a low-calorie diet,” explains Sascha Barboza, a personal fitness trainer. This option also contributes much more fiber and vitamins to the daily diet, which reduces the glycemic index again and helps us feel full.
The time you consume pasta
The time at which we consume the pasta is also a very important factor. If what you are looking for is to lose a few kilos, you should always resort to this ingredient -and those rich in carbohydrates- before seven in the afternoon. In this way, our body will have enough time to burn them.
That is why in some countries pasta is only consumed at lunchtime. On the contrary, if you eat pasta late at night, fats can accumulate in the body without remedy.
Lean protein and pasta
Pasta is always usually accompanied by additional ingredients that add flavor to the dish. And we are not only talking about the sauces, but also about the meat, fish, or vegetables that most recipes usually include. Lean beef, chicken breast, white fish, eggs, nuts, or low-fat cheese are a great option for healthy appetite suppression.
“The best thing is to opt for natural sauces made by yourself, so you will better control the salt content and choose the least processed foods possible. For example, making a sauce based on tomato, chives, onion, with a touch of pepper, sea salt, and a little stevia, is ideal to combine your pasta ”, Barboza recommends on her personal blog.
In Italy, for example, the most used dressing is olive oil with sautéed garlic and spices, with an intense flavor and lacking in calories.
The bottom line
So, can you really lose weight eating pasta every day? The answer is – it depends. As we have seen, pasta can be your friend or your enemy, depending on the time of the day you are consuming it, the way it is cooked, whether you are using integral pasta or add any sauce!
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