- Diet & Weight Loss
Pasta for Weight Loss
Pasta is an example of misconception of foods responsible for gaining weight. It is categorized as bad carbohydrates based on its content, well, it is rated as low to moderate glycemic index food ranging from 30 to 60. This range is recommended for weight loss, as a source of energy.
Good news..huh? but why a starchy food has such a low glycemic index? This is the subject of this hub together with the possibility of using pasta while dieting.
Physical Make Up and Carbohydrate Type in Food and Its GI
Glycemic Index(GI) is a measure that determines how fast glucose is delivered into the blood (consequently how much insulin is secreted), or simply how much a food raises blood insulin?
Glycemic index depends on food content of carbohydrates, and the ease of their conversion into glucose. The amount and the form of starch in a food determine how fast it is converted into glucose. Amylopectin - starch that is present in potatoes- is much easier to breakdown and digest compared to Amylose - in sweet potatoes- and as a result potatoes have a high glycemic index.
Also the physical form starch is present in interferes with GI, finely ground, soft, puffed and flaky products will deliver plain starch for an easy digestion producing high GI, while grainy, dense, and chewy products like fiber containing foods will be less easily submitted to digestion, thus having low GI.
Pasta Glycemic Index
Pasta made with semolina is made from cracked wheat, the protein of which physically entraps un-gelatinized granules of tightly packed starch molecules, in a sponge like network of protein molecules in the pasta dough. This slows down digestion of starch.
Almost all kinds of pasta have a slower GI than most varieties of rice (even brown rice). Most wheat pasta has GIs in the 40s to low 60s, with a few dipping into the 30s.
Can We Eat Pasta While Dieting
Controlled eating of pasta is good for high energy diet, and you can even improve the situation by considering the following points:
- Serve pasta slightly firm as the Italians do ( al dente)
- Don't overcook pasta and don't serve it soft and swollen
- Add a little fat like olive oil, organic butter, or nut butter, since fats alow down digestion of starch
- Serve pasta with protein to slow down starch digestion
- Serve a side salad, or add vinegar to your dressing, they will lower GI of pasta
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