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Pasta and it’s Varieties

Pasta is a type of food that is made from dough that is not leavened. It is often made into sheets and then cooked or boiled. Pasta has derived its name from the pasty texture of ground durum wheat dough. It is then pressed or formed into various shapes and sizes and then either dried or kept fresh.

 

There are over 600 different shapes and sizes of pasta used all over the world for various delicious purposes, but a few commonly used pasta varieties are – Penne, Macaroni, Farfalle, Spaghetti, Fusilli, Lasagna, Fettuccini, Ravioli, etc. They also differ from each other in the form of the flour with which they’re made up of i.e. whole grain pasta or refined one.

 

Whole-grain pasta contains a good amount of fibre, manganese, and selenium while the latter is higher in calories, carbohydrates, vitamin B, and iron but lower in fibre and most other micronutrients.

 

Pasta usually goes well with sauces like Marinara, Pesto, Alfredo, Arabiata, Bolognese, Smoked Tomato. It is important to note that these sauces add up to the calories of pasta.

 

It is often misunderstood that pasta calories are a bad form of carbs which is not true. In a balanced diet, half the amount of calories should come from carbs.

How Many Calories Does Pasta Have?

Nutritional Value of Plain Cooked Pasta

Pasta Calories Cooked 100g

Calories in 100 gm pasta

158

Fat

0.9 g

Carbs

30.9 g

Fibre

1.8 g

Protein

5.8 g

The exact amount of calories in pasta depends on the variety of pasta you choose, but a typical cup of plain cooked pasta adds up to approximately 160 and 200 calories.

Calories in Common Food Items with Pasta

Pasta can be a good source for daily nutrition not just because of the health benefits it has but also for the fact that various vitamins and protein-rich leafy green vegetables, olive oil, etc. can be added to it and also enhance the flavours of the dish.

 

Also, when combined with protein and vegetables, pasta leads to a more fulfilling and rich balanced diet.

Type of Food Item with Pasta

Calories (approx.)

Regular Pasta Salad

358

Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Cheese

430

Spaghetti (Aglio Olio)

320

Pasta with white sauce (325g)

400 to 500

Macaroni/Pasta Salad

360

Health Benefits of Eating Pasta

Apart from pasta dishes being the most convenient, easy-to-cook for everyone (including children), it has various health benefits. The below are some of them.

  • Full of Good Calories

As much as 85% of the calories in pasta is contributed by carbohydrates. The remaining calories are mostly protein. One cup of cooked pasta contains protein higher than one whole egg. When combined with other vegetables, and cooked in olive oil, pasta can become a rich source of nutrition in one’s daily diet.

  • Promotes Fullness

Pasta is a great source of complex carbohydrates. These complex carbs take longer than usual to break down, thereby making the process of energy release slow and distribute the same throughout the day. These, when combined with healthy macronutrients like cheese, meat, olive oil, fish, and vegetables, have a healthier effect.

  • Folic Acid

Women who can get pregnant should get 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid, and a serving of dry pasta provides approximately 100 micrograms of folic acid, contributing to an approx of 25% of the recommended daily requirement.

  • Appetite Control

As pasta is rich in complex carbohydrates, the process of breaking down and digestion is slow. This, as a result, keeps you full for a longer time, thereby reducing your food cravings. This way, you can keep your appetite under control and make use of pasta for your weight management.

  • Release of Serotonin

A high-quality, nutritious carb-rich pasta dish helps your body to release sufficient serotonin (the feel-good hormone of our body) which contributes to regulating your mood, satiates your taste buds, and prevents you from feeling undernourished.

  • Prevention from Diseases

Consuming a bowl of whole-grain pasta daily can help you stay away from many chronic diseases like heart disease, Type-2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, and stroke.

How Much Pasta Should You Consume Every Day?

The following table showcases the ideal portion of pasta for daily consumption.

Particulars

Quantity

Dry Pasta

A portion of 80-120 grams

Fresh Pasta

A portion of 120-150 grams

Unlike various myths about pasta, it can safely be included in a healthy and balanced diet regularly. Having said that, choosing whole-grain pasta over a refined one would add to achieving your maximum health benefits. Making a conscious effort towards choosing nutritious toppings is equally important. For example, using a homemade tomato sauce will provide more health benefits than a store-bought canned one. Also switching to freshly grown vegetables rather than preserved ones helps too.

Conclusion

Pasta has many health benefits, but they can also have a higher calorie count. This can affect your body composition and cause you to gain weight. It can cause a spike in the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Body Mass Index (BMI). This is the reason why eating pasta in moderation is important, otherwise, it can affect a person's overall health. The modern diet demands modern ways to safeguard ourselves financially against potential health problems. Therefore, you must always have an effective health insurance plan. Go ahead and explore the best health insurance plans available at Bajaj MARKETS.

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FAQs on Calories in Pasta

  • ✔️Will Pasta make me put on weight?

    Pasta is not fattening. A 1-cup serving has about 200 calories and only 1 gram of fat. It can be easily substituted with low-fat or fat-free options. When choosing the right pasta pair, look for low-calorie options that are high in nutrients. These include spinach, fish, lean meat, or cheese. Pasta can also be paired with low-fat dairy products such as milk.

  • ✔️Does pasta itself have rich nutritional value?

    Pasta is a vital part of a healthy diet. It provides the body with complex carbohydrates, which are the primary fuel for energy. Unlike simple sugars, pasta provides a long-term boost of energy. It's also full of nutrients that help keep the body nourished.

  • ✔️In a small serving of 50 grams of pasta, will calories be sufficient to last for a day?

    A normal portion of pasta for a fully grown adult is 80 to 120 grams. 50 grams is a very small portion and would not suffice as a full meal for the whole day.

  • ✔️Can a person allergic to gluten consume pasta?

    Although pasta contains gluten, there are gluten-free versions of pasta available in the market. A person allergic to gluten can always consume gluten-free pasta to derive the most of its health benefits.

  • ✔️How can I make my pasta healthier?

    Pasta is a food item that can be tweaked into a healthier form. You can pump your pasta up with nutrient-rich food items such as avocado, mushroom, spinach, fish, meat, cheese, olive oil, broccoli, etc. Alternatively, you can also opt for protein-rich pasta recipes to meet your daily protein intake target.