Why White Pasta is Bad For You
Why White Pasta is Bad for You
It’s a maybe not so well known fact that has been repeatedly born out by numerous scientific studies into the negative health effects of a variety of food items in the modern Western diets, that eating white pasta is bad for you! It’s probably something that you don’t want to hear, especially if white pasta forms a big part of your regular diet. But the stark truth is that if you are eating a lot of pasta, then chances are you are overweight and may not realise the reason why.
It might not have occurred to you that this innocent looking pile of starchy yellowish doughy shapes sitting on your plate under a healthy looking tomato based sauce might contain hidden dangers to your health as well as to any weight loss programs you might be engaged upon. This hub page will therefore look at some of the reasons why you should avoid white pasta and even exclude it from your diet altogether.
Why You Should Exclude White Pasta From Your Diet
One of the main
reasons why you should avoid
white pasta in your diet is because this popular staple is made largely
from refined white flour. Refined white flour in itself contains almost no dietary
goodness in itself and its consumption can have negative effects on health, as
we shall see. By the way, before I go any further, I'm only talking about the pasta itself here and not any sauce that you might add to it. Popular pasta sauces are usually tomato based and contain such herbs as oregano and basil and lend themselves to the Mediterranean diet type of thing. But I digress. Back to the bad stuff...
Eating white pasta can be likened to eating cardboard, because although it tastes a little better, cardboard probably contains more goodness! The lack of nutrients in white pasta may not make it such a bad thing to eat on its own, but it’s the bad constituents of white pasta that make it such a bad deal when it comes to your general health and weight.
First of all, in a similar fashion to white bread, white pasta contains a large amount of high GI (glycemic index) carbohydrates. That means that the carbohydrates contained in pasta made from refined white flour will release sugars into the bloodstream quickly. This causes a steep rise in blood sugar and a similarly steep reactive rise in the body’s sugar regulating hormone, insulin in order to counter its effects. This is something that diabetics must avoid and is something that in itself can trigger type II diabetes to manifest in a person who eats a lot of white pasta a lot of the time.
The effect on the body’s metabolism is to slow it down, while inhibiting efficient digestion. The result is more fat storage, with those fat cells generally being deposited around the belly. This, as you have probably already figured out is a leading cause of weight gain in people who eat a lot of refined flour products, not least of those being white pasta.
Other Negative Health Aspects of Consuming White Pasta
Eating a lot of white pasta will also raise your blood’s levels of the bad LDL cholesterol. This in turn can lead to heart disease, narrowing of, or blockages in the arteries, which can lead to thrombosis (blood clots) and high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a known cause of strokes as well as a plethora of other health problems that need a medical encyclopaedia to do justice to!
Thrombosis can lead to heart attacks if blood clots are allowed to form in the arteries and veins that subsequently become mobile in the bloodstream and find their way into the heart muscles.
As you can see, there are plenty of very good reasons for excluding this type of pasta from your diet, or at least cutting it down to an infrequent treat. But it’s not all bad news, as there are alternatives to this staple foodstuff of many households.
Alternatives to White Pasta
You can replace your unhealthy, refined white flour product with brown pasta. Brown pasta is made from wholegrain (otherwise known as wholewheat, or wholemeal) flour. This is the same stuff that is used to make wholemeal (brown) bread and it is far better for you in terms of general health and your waistline too. That’s because the wholegrain flour that is used to make it contains far lower levels of high GI carbohydrates and higher levels of low GI carbs, which work in the opposite way to high GI carbs.
In this sense, the low GI carbohydrates contained in wholemeal pasta cause a slow release of sugars into the bloodstream. This avoids the need to release insulin into the bloodstream, meaning you can burn off the sugars at a more leisurely rate. This improves metabolism and stimulates the digestive system, meaning more of what you eat is digested fully leading to less fat being stored. Good news for those trying to lose weight and good news for diabetics or those worried about the potential onset of type II diabetes.
Wholemeal flour products such as brown pasta also contain high levels of dietary fibre, which is essential for the complete digestion of food and waste elimination, meaning it is good for your colon’s health too.
Wholemeal four products also contain much lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol and higher levels of good HDL cholesterol, meaning it helps to keep your arteries clear, reducing the potential for blood clots and heart disease as well as keeping blood pressure at normal levels reducing the chances of strokes and other related illnesses.
Lastly, brown pasta tastes similar to the white variety except is doesn’t tend to have that cloying, pasty texture associated with white pasta. When you make the switch to brown pasta, you soon grow accustomed to it and will find yourself preferring it for its better taste, health benefits and overall goodness as part of a healthy diet.
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