Wholemeal pasta has now entered the daily diet of many people thanks to its numerous properties (especially for those who pay attention to their figures) and benefits. Let’s investigate the topic in depth, trying to understand if wholemeal pasta is good for you and what are the possible advantages of consuming this food.
The Properties Of Wholemeal Pasta
When talking about wholemeal pasta, it must be underlined that there are substantial differences with traditional pasta: the grain, in fact, is processed differently. In this variant of pasta, the semolina also contains the external parts of the wheat grain, an element made up of:
- mineral salts ;
- vegetable fibers;
- B vitamins.
Precisely, this last component is the reason for the enormous quantity of fiber present in wholemeal pasta. Furthermore, it has almost the same number of calories and glycemic load as white pasta. The glycemic index, on the other hand, is lower (but increases satiety). If inulin is also included among the usual ingredients, wholemeal pasta also takes on prebiotic properties – as well as being excellent for people with diabetes. From a nutritional point of view, then, in 100 grams of this food, there are:
- 64.8 gr. of carbohydrates;
- 13.3 gr. of proteins;
- 7.1 gr. of fibers;
- 10.5 gr. of water;
- 3.7 gr. of soluble sugars;
- 2.2 gr. of lipids;
- 130 mg sodium;
- 330 kcal.
Wholemeal pasta is also totally free of :
- cholesterol ;
- saturated fats.
Moreover, it addresses a decent wellspring of :
- selenium ;
- dietary fiber.
All these elements lead to simplifying the real benefits of wholemeal pasta into 3 macro categories:
- benefits for the liver and cardiovascular system, thanks to iron and magnesium;
- blood sugar control, thanks to greater glycemic control;
- Improvement of intestinal traffic, thanks to the presence of fibers in traditional semolina.
The Ingredients Of Wholemeal Pasta
Wholemeal pasta is made from a mixture of water and wholemeal durum wheat semolina, which, unlike traditional pasta, is not subjected to any refining. In this way, wholemeal flour is made up of all the components of the grain:
The Benefits Of Wholemeal Pasta
Is wholemeal pasta good for you? As mentioned, compared to the traditional variant, this food has a higher quantity of durum wheat with a high protein content. So, why eat wholemeal pasta? The main reason would be its high content of mineral salts, dietary fiber, and water-soluble vitamins. Wholemeal pasta has numerous advantages :
- Contains enzymes and antioxidants: the whole grain is not processed and manages to maintain the nutritional intake of all its components. The outer shell contains zinc, copper, iron, and magnesium. The germ is, however, rich in vitamin E, vitamin B, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats. The remaining part is a source of mineral salts, starches, and proteins;
- Keeps blood sugar stable: the white paste stimulates insulin production, and glucose levels rise. Wholemeal, on the other hand, lowers blood sugar by moderating the stimulus to the transformation of carbohydrates into fats;
- Slows down the assimilation of sugars and fats: wholemeal flour contains 5 times the fiber value compared to traditional pasta, and, in this way, it is easier to achieve the feeling of satiety, and the accumulation of fat and cholesterol is prevented. Furthermore, this process improves intestinal regularity;
- It is suitable for the liver and the cardiovascular system: thanks to the magnesium and iron contained in this pasta variant, it is possible to provide benefits to the heart and the hepatobiliary system;
- Helps weight control.
The important thing is not to weigh down the dish with fatty sauces, preferring vegetables sautéed and seasoned with extra virgin olive oil.
The Cons Of Wholemeal Pasta
Wholemeal pasta can, like any other food, undergo subjective preferences, which can vary from person to person. Here are some considerations:
- Pairings with tomato sauces: there are low-quality wholemeal pasta that may not be optimal when paired with tomato sauces. However, this problem tends to decrease if wholemeal pasta is of good quality – making it versatile and adaptable to many types of condiments, including those based on vegetables, pestos, or salads;
- Bran flavor: Some people may not like the flavor of bran, mainly if they are not used to consuming whole foods. However, with time and habit, the palate can adapt and come to like the taste. Furthermore, the quality of wholemeal pasta makes the difference: good quality wholemeal semolina can be fragrant and tasty without having a robust bran flavor.
Does Wholemeal Pasta Make You Lose Weight?
If you can combine wholemeal pasta with a healthy lifestyle characterized by moderation in alcohol, smoking, and refined foods, you can reduce the chances of weight gain. Thanks to the more significant quantities of fiber present in wholemeal pasta, you feel a longer-lasting sense of satiety, and the feeling of sudden hunger is reduced. Wholemeal pasta is characterized by a slower absorption of carbohydrates, with a gradual release of energy, contributing to less accumulation of fat. Carbohydrates usually transform into glucose (the sugar present in the blood), which is absorbed by cells and converted into energy; all excess is stored as fat in the body.
Can Celiacs Eat Wholemeal Pasta?
The consumption of wholemeal pasta for celiacs depends on the type of cereal used in the preparation. Gluten intolerants should avoid this type of pasta if prepared with cereals such as :
Instead, pasta can be eaten if made with gluten-free flours, such as:
- brown rice
It is always a good idea to carefully read the product label before purchasing and check for the presence of a crossed-out ear or the words “gluten-free.” This indication certifies that the pasta was produced in an environment free of gluten contamination and, therefore, it can be consumed safely by people with celiac disease. It is essential to follow these precautions to avoid health problems and ensure a safe and adequate diet for those affected by this condition.
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