Connect with us

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

From Italy, new evidence that perhaps pasta isn’t so harmful after all

Published

on

It once seemed like quintessentially American food, even if, like so many of our more delicious foods, it was imported. But pasta, cheap and tasty, has been going through tough times in the United States lately. Along with other carbohydrates fueling the obesity epidemic, demonized by the Atkins and Paleo diets and actually being declared a threat to a growing number of gluten-allergic Americans, pasta appears to be in danger of finding its place on American dining tables to lose.

Dried pasta sales (the packaged pasta available in the store) in North America have declined 6 percent since 2009. It has had an even worse fate overseas. Sales in Germany are down by 12 percent – and especially where you least expect it, 25 percent, in Italy.

But in Italy, perhaps less surprisingly, there is new evidence that pasta may not be that harmful after all. In fact, the new study, published in the journal Nutritional and Diabetes, suggests that eating pasta in controlled amounts is linked to a healthy lifestyle.

The Neuromed Institute of Pozzilli found that eating pasta in moderation was linked to lower body mass index, waist and hip measurements, and waist-to-hip ratios. The study recommended getting 10 percent of your daily calories from pasta.

“The calories that pasta add are not ‘bad’ calories,” said Licia Iacoviello, director of the Laboratory for Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology at Neuromed, in an interview. “Pasta should be considered ‘good carbohydrates’ when consumed in moderation.”

Neuromed researchers came to this conclusion after conducting two surveys of a total of more than 23,000 subjects, one group in the Molise region of southern Italy and the other across Italy. The researchers gathered information about the subjects’ body measurements and dietary patterns. The researchers said it was the first study to examine the role of pasta in controlling weight in a traditional Mediterranean diet.

“Our results show a negative association of pasta consumption with general and central obesity in two methodologically and geographically different, large Mediterranean populations,” the researchers write. “Pasta as a grain product has been consumed in the Mediterranean region since ancient times and is considered one of the [Mediterranean diet’s] traditional components placed at the base of the pyramid. Our comparative analysis of data from two different Mediterranean populations confirms that pasta consumption is negatively associated with both obesity status indices and the prevalence of overweight and obesity.

Now there are many unanswered questions as to how much this would apply to Americans, especially when pasta is part of an otherwise unhealthy diet. The diet of the Mediterranean people, which is rich in olive oil, fish, and fruits and vegetables, has positive effects on health. Likewise, researchers found that eating pasta was linked to consuming more tomatoes, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, olive oil, flavored cheese, and rice. However, they also found that in recent years Italians had decreased their overall reliance on typical Mediterranean foods and more succumbed to the American traditions of red meat and simple sugars.

“Pasta is a perfectly reasonable food,” said Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University who studied Mediterranean nutrition in the mid-1990s. “It depends on how much you eat and what you eat it with – a lot of pasta will be a weight problem.”

Of course, that doesn’t justify every pasta decision. Olive Garden’s Fettuccine Alfredo, which contains 1,480 total calories and provides almost three times your daily saturated fat requirement, is a no-go. And it’s important to know that the serving size of Americans pasta may be larger than the recommended serving.

That’s a cup for most people on a 2,000-calorie diet, said Iacoviello. A cup of pasta has around 200 calories, although physically active people could eat a little more.

“This study is meant to try to defend pasta,” said Nestle. “That’s what this is about, but it shouldn’t have to be defended and it’s a shame that it is.”

However, some noodles are certainly much less healthy than others. When the noodles are made from refined or white flour – which are dried noodles that are processed to last longer on the shelf – they are lacking important nutrients that you would find in a healthier counterpart, whole wheat pasta. Whole wheat noodles contain flour made from all three parts of the wheat grain – bran, germ and endosperm – and thus contain iron, phosphorus, protein and magnesium.

Fiber is one of the biggest nutrients we lose when we switch from whole grains to refined items. The dietary guidelines for Americans recommend that adult women consume 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should consume 38 grams. A 200-calorie serving of Barilla Whole Grain Penne provides over six grams; his nifty cousin has two.

Along with normalizing bowel movements, high fiber foods can help you lose weight. Foods high in fiber tend to have fewer calories for the same amount of food. That’s key to maintaining a healthy BMI and diet, said Linda Van Horn, a nutrition professor at Northwestern University’s medical school.

“You feel full after you’ve consumed this type of food,” said Van Horn. “That’s why every high-fiber whole grain provides that feeling of satiety that will help you reduce your overall caloric intake.”

A well-known survey of the eating habits of nearly 45,000 Americans published earlier this year shows an inverse relationship between whole grain consumption and BMI. Whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, all-cause mortality, and stroke.

This serving of Barilla whole wheat pasta also covers almost a quarter of your daily requirements for iron and magnesium, 28 percent of your required phosphorus and eight grams of protein – all for two grams of sugar, 1.7 grams of fat and no sodium. Barilla’s website does not list any of these minerals for its white flour variety.

Neuromed’s pasta study didn’t differentiate between different types of grain, Iacviello said. However, Van Horn said that Italian pastas tended to have more whole grains than American types.

Grains are crucial in the Mediterranean diet as a source of fiber, protein and nutrients – but only as part of it. Typically, fruits and vegetables are the basis of the diet with nine servings per day. However, pasta can provide the satiety that vegetables can’t.

“Eating pasta, which is a mainstay of Italian food, is not a ‘high calorie food that makes you fat’ but a way of balancing your caloric intake and reducing your feeling of satiety,” said Van Horn. “You keep or lose your weight by eating this type of food.”

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Expert’s nutrition tips for runners

Published

on

Running is a very popular sport, thanks to its simplicity and many health and fitness benefits. It’s versatile and inexpensive, requires very little equipment, and it’s an excellent way to strengthen your cardiovascular health.

Nutrition plays an important part in optimum running performance. pexels

With the competitive nature of the sport, runners continuously challenge themselves and each other to improve. In addition to training, proper fuel for the body is vital for peak sports performance.

Noted medical and nutrition specialist Dr. Korakod Panich provided the five best nutrients for optimal running performance.

Nutrition is important for runners because it plays a vital role in overall health and can also support performance. A balanced diet for healthy runners should include these five key nutrients:

1. Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates—which can be found in food such as fruits, dairy products, and starches such as rice, bread, and pasta—are the most important source of energy for the body.

For runners, a small meal, taken an hour before running, consisting of carbohydrates and a bit of protein can provide the energy needed to run effectively. A smoothie made with milk and fruit, or some yogurt topped with berries, provides the nutrients needed and is easily digested before a workout.

Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates before exercising can help you maximize your workout.

2. Protein
Protein—found in meat, milk, eggs, and soy—helps repair and rebuild tissues and muscles that could be affected during physical activities. With the proper amount of protein and adequate sleep, muscles repair, rebuild, and become stronger.

Soy is a good protein source as it is one of the few complete plant-based proteins containing all of the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Runners should consume a combination of carbs and protein 30 to 45 minutes after exercising.

Carb to protein ratio should be 2-3:1, with 20 grams of high-quality protein after a workout and between 40 and 60 grams of carbohydrate. A sandwich on whole-grain bread with a piece of fruit or a high-protein recovery shake would fill the bill.

3.Fat
Fat serves as an essential energy source. It is often used as fuel, particularly during moderate-intensity exercise that lasts for an extended period, such as a moderate jog lasting at least 30 minutes or so. The body will utilize more fat than carbohydrate for fuel in an attempt to conserve carbohydrate that is stored in the liver and muscles.

Choose beneficial fats—such as those found in olive oil, avocado, and nuts—and avoid saturated fats¬¬that can raise the risk of heart disease. This means staying away from fatty red meats, and ultra-processed foods, such as fast food or bakery items.

4. Vitamins and minerals
There are different kinds of vitamins and minerals that help maintain the balance in body system functions; fruits and vegetables are the best sources to obtain them. During exercise, the body excretes waste in the form of sweat, which also removes important minerals from the body. If you opt to exercise for more than one hour, energy and mineral drinks are highly recommended to replace lost fluids and minerals.

5.Water
The human body is made up of 70 percent water, which is why staying hydrated is crucial. Water helps deliver nutrients to the cells and plays a significant role in eliminating waste. Runners need to maintain body water balance before, during, and after workouts because water provides nourishment that the body needs for almost every single function. It also helps limit changes in body temperature.

Make sure not to lose more than two percent of your body weight in fluids during exercise, as it can reduce your strength and affect performance. If you exercise regularly, check your weight before and after a workout to keep track of water loss and be sure to replace those losses. For every pound of weight lost during exercise, replace with 2-3 cups of fluid (or 1 liter of fluid for every kilogram lost during exercise).

Nutrition and running style

Aside from understanding the importance of nutrients, it is also essential for new runners to learn the proper way to run. Running not just makes our bodies stronger; it also helps burn calories and fat, depending on the goal.

If you have little time and would like to burn calories and fat, you can do interval training, which alternates short work intervals (80-90 percent of maximum heart rate for 30-60 seconds) with rest periods (50 percent of maximum heart rate for 1-2 minutes). This helps improve circulation and enable the heart to pump blood and make it healthier while strengthening the muscles.

If your main aim is to burn fat, and you have some time, you can run slowly to raise your heart rate to 40-60 percent of your maximum, for at least 45-60 minutes.

Korakod Panich is a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board.

Continue Reading

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Weekly Spotlight: Make the Perfect Spring Vegan Pasta Salad!

Published

on

Pasta salad is a wonderful spring meal, plus it’s a wonderful plant-based meal that can easily be veganized! It’s a meal that you can add any veggie that you want to, making it super versatile for this time of year. When spring produces like arugula, garlic and some herbs are hitting their peak season, you might have extra veggies on hand or are looking for a way to clear out some veggies from your fridge. Pasta salad is also easy to whip up, and you can either do a simple dressing or a more involved creamy dressing to top it.

Depending on your time and how you want to enjoy your pasta salad, this guide splits pasta salad recipes depending on their sauce base. The simple oil and garlic type dressings are lighter in flavor, allowing whatever you hand (veggies or herbs) to stand out in your final pasta salad. However, if you’re looking for a creamier and more hands-on homemade dressing, we’ve got you covered too! These are topped with a dressing that uses a base of tahini, tofu, or even hemp seeds to create a delicious creamy dressing. The last group focuses on taking a traditional pasta salad adding a twist, like a clever flavor or mixing up the base grain!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster app — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Weekly Meal Plan Archives!

Are you ready to have a week full of delicious, high-protein, whole-food vegan food that leaves you nourished and content? Let’s get started!

This week, we’re bringing delicious pasta salad recipes that are fully vegan and plant-based!

Pasta Salads that Use a Mayo, Sour Cream, or Simple Oil Dressing:

Vegan Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

Source: Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

These quick pasta salads are great to throw together for the week! Their light dressing makes it excellent to eat on its own to get a variety of simple flavors and enjoy the fresher crunch of the veggies in these dishes.

Pasta Salads that Use a Tofu, Tahini, Homemade, or Cashew Based Dressing

Vegan Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

Source: Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

These creamy pasta salads are excellent to enjoy on their own, or if you’re looking to add even more veggies, you could enjoy these over a base of greens for an extra crunch of texture! There are so many ways to make a creamy pasta salad with vegan ingredients; you could use cashews, tofu, tahini, or even hemp hearts to get a creamy sauce.

Pasta Salads that Are a Twist on a Classic Dish:

Vegan Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Source: Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Cacio e Pepe as a pasta salad? Using orzo instead of pasta? There are so many ways to change up the flavors and inspiration you use for your pasta salads. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a new way of eating pasta salad, this is your list right here!

Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content.Click here to Support Us

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, good health other more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster app which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental other health benefits of a plant based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

Continue Reading

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Food Therapist Debunks Myths About Veganism

Published

on

Veganism is a lifestyle that is based on the ideology that humans should not exploit animals or the environment for their needs. Vegans refrain from utilizing any kind of animal products for food, clothing, or work, among other things, and they do not differentiate between any species as they consider all animals equal. Simply put, veganism is the practice of avoiding the use of any animal products—particularly in our diet—including meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Myths about veganism

Additionally, there are countless myths, misconceptions, and assumptions about being vegan from all corners. We got Nidhi Nahata—Founder, Justbe Resto Cafe, Bangalore, and food therapist—to debunk a few common floating speculations.

1. Milk has a lot of calcium

Credit: iStock

There is an existing misconception that only cow milk contains calcium. So, what is the optimal source of calcium? Like plenty of other nutrients, calcium is readily available in a variety of plant-based foods that are better absorbed by the body than dairy. Think broccoli, cabbage, kale, almonds, chia, beans, pulses, leafy vegetables, and more. Therefore, even if you are not vegan, having a wide range of calcium sources in your diet can be a healthier option.

2. Animal protein is more important than plant protein

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Incidentally, the animals that are consumed for so-called protein are fed on a plant based diet, which basically means that we are consuming the same and/or processed protein through dead tissues or extracted produce from an animal. For those on the lookout for plant-based protein sources, there are plenty of options like soya, lentils, pulses, broccoli, seaweed, peas, spinach, beans, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, peanuts, cashews, almonds , pistachios, walnuts, oats, and seitan tofu.

3. Vegans have B12 deficiency

Vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians—all could have deficiency because of vitamin B12, which is a bacteria found in nature. The sources of vitamin B12 are commonly questioned in reference to being vegan, since the most common source is assumed to be animals and animal products. But the reality is that vegans can achieve the intake needed through reliable sources, such as supplements or fortified foods.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Vitamin B12 is produced by certain microorganisms and is processed while consuming cobalt from a plant base. However, our modern day agriculture prevents these nutrients to be transferred into our bodies through either sources-–animals or plants. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians need to normally be given cobalt or B12 supplements to attain suitable levels regardless of their dietary preference.

4. Vegan lifestyle is very expensive

food item
Credit: iStock

The limited accessibility to vegan food and alternatives is one of the biggest restrictive misconnects prevalent in our society. The reality is that, similar to any diet, plant-based eating is only expensive if there are a lot of quick-to-eat processed foods, readymade meal preps, and products from vegan-specific brands. There are plenty of vegan foods and ingredients that are affordable in India, especially if the diet is centered around cheaper foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils, beans, and several others. Good planning can make vegan diet more affordable than the ones that include animal products.

5. Pregnant women need milk and dairy

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

“You cannot be vegan when pregnant” is a common misconception for soon-to-be vegan parents. The basic fact is that pregnancy is a challenge for the body, no matter what diet you are on and usually requires additional nutrients. It is advised to be closer to iron and vitamin B12, which can be attained on a vegan diet as well. The tradition of milk being one of the most integral components of our diet has been prevalent for decades. We need to be mindful and bring logical reasoning in choosing food for soon-to-be parents as well as children.

6. Soy increases the chances of breast cancer

  7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

There is no convincing evidence that eating soy-based food increases the risk of breast cancer in humans. This misunderstanding, however, might arise from earlier studies conducted on rodents. Scientists of this study showed that when these animals received large amounts of soy-compounds called flavones, they showed likelihood to develop breast cancer.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

A study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology, in February 2020, searched associations between soy intake and breast cancer risk by following 52,795 cancer-free women in the US for an average of 7.9 years. In the results, they found no substantial association between soy intake and breast cancer, but they did identify a link between dairy (milk) and breast cancer.

Soy as an ingredient is loaded with fiber and is a good source of protein, omega 3, and antioxidants. Research also suggests that soy has a good amount of protein which is well absorbed by the body, and the best way to consume it is in bean form, tofu, tempeh, and other such forms.

7. Veganism is a cult

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Being compassionate and conscious can never be a cult. Veganism is a lifestyle that utilizes an ideology to bring people closer to their instincts. This means bringing us closer to eating what nature has designed and grown for us, rather than exploiting animals and other sentient beings.

Lead Image Credit: Alia Bhatt and Yami Gautam Dhar, Instagram

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.