Pasta: Good or Bad?

Related To:

Pasta with Sauce in Cream Bowl

Thankfully, the low-carb diet craze is on its way out, but during the anti-starch explosion, pasta took a severe beating. But pasta is GOOD! Here’s why:

The Nutrition Facts

One cup of cooked spaghetti has approximately 220 calories, 1 gram of fat and no cholesterol. Most pastas on the market are enriched with iron, too. Whole-grain pastas contain about the same calories as regular pasta but have more protein, fiber and vitamins. As an added bonus, all that protein and fiber means that you’ll feel more satisfied by eating less.

Your choices don’t stop at whole wheat; other whole-grain pastas include brown rice, corn and soba. These varieties often come with added fiber, protein or omega-3 fats.

The reason that low-carb promoters bashed pasta is actually the main reason it’s so good for you! Pasta is a great source of carbohydrate, the body’s (and the brain's) primary source of energy.

So instead of looking at pasta as the enemy, embrace it as a vital energy source. The trick is to make pasta part of a varied diet.

Serving Suggestions

Portion control is most important. Eating huge portions of pasta smothered with cheese or a heavy cream sauce expands waistlines. Keep portions to 1 or 1-1/2 cups per person, and add vegetables and lean meats, beans or fish to balance out the meal. When you're in the mood for Italian, enjoy wheat pasta with tomato and olives or a light cream sauce.

The bottom line: As with everything, enjoy pasta in moderation; be mindful of portion sizes and experiment with all the glorious varieties.

Keep Reading

Next Up

This Is the Most Popular Pasta Recipe on Pinterest

It's got every single thing you want in a go-to pasta dish.

5-Ingredient Pasta from Kitchen Sink

When time is tight, look to these go-to pasta recipes to save the day.

Giada's 5-Ingredient Pesto Pasta — Meatless Monday

Dig into Giada's hearty quick-fix pasta that's ideal for Meatless Monday or any other day of the week.

Our Top 5 Summer Pastas

Make the LBD of your pantry match the season.

Rethink Your Pasta

Instead of the usual penne or macaroni, try stuffed pasta like ravioli, tortellini or pierogi in a pasta salad.

50 Pasta Dinners

Pick a sauce and try something new for pasta night. 

Finish Pasta in the Sauce

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford: Drain your pasta when it's just al dente, then cook it for a minute or two more in a skillet with the sauce.

Dress Up Your Pasta

Take a tip from the restaurant world and top your pasta with a dollop of ricotta instead of the usual parmesan.

Give Pasta a Whirl

Hot tips from Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford: As soon as you add pasta to boiling water, stir it vigorously for about 5 seconds to keep it from sticking.

Pasta Primavera — Meatless Monday

Celebrate the bright colors and bold flavors of spring by cooking up Food Network's light, fresh pasta dish.

Latest Stories