Pasta For Breakfast Is Healthy Or Not

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Pasta for breakfastOne might have to counter quite a few raised eyebrows if caught eating pasta for breakfast, not only because it is not a traditional breakfast dish, but also since the recent trend is to shun away all high carb foods, with pasta topping the list. However, a recent diet program called “Start Big” promotes carbohydrate loading 1st thing in the morning to promote weight loss. So, what is it, is pasta for breakfast a unique and healthy way to start one’s day or a complete no in all terms… here is a complete low down to help us understand…


 


Nutritional Composition

Pasta come in all forms and can be prepared using a variety of adjuncts including meats, veggies, herbs, cheese, sauces, and more. The type of pasta  used is dynamic as well. This makes deriving at an average nutritional composition of breakfast pasta a difficult task. Here is the nutrient profile of the standardized recipe of vegan and standard meatball pasta, prepared using pesto sauce and penne:

                               











 

Standard meatball pasta

Vegan pasta

Total calories

 287 kcal

275 kcal

Total fat

 14 g

5 g

Saturated Fat

 6 g

3 g

Cholesterol

 44 mg

40 mg

Total carbohydrates

 31 g

57 g

Free Sugars

 11.5 g

21 g

Dietary fiber

 3 g

8.1 g

Protein

14.5 g

 10 g

Sodium

 1336 mg

977 mg

 

An average serving of pasta can provide up to 17% Vitamin A, 7% vitamin C, 12% calcium, and 40% iron, in a 2000kcal diet.

 


Healthy PastaHealth benefits of eating Pasta for breakfast:

 


·         It is a complete food

Pasta contains the right proportions of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Regular pasta preparations contain nutrients from both animal and plant sources. This brings in a rare nutritional diversity to the dish.


·         Fiber Rich Food

Failure to have a regular morning bowel movement seems to be the new pandemic across the globe. Whole-wheat pasta is a great source of fiber, which along with the fiber from veggies added regulate bowel movements, enhance the satiety value of the food, and reduce the glycemic index of the meal. Moreover, even if you use regular pasta, it would be much better than the sugar coated breakfast cereals that usually make it to the morning bowl on usual days.


·         Pasta Acts as a Immune Booster

The herbs used to add flavor to the dish, along with tomatoes present in pesto sauce, are a rich source Vitamin C or ascorbic acid along with a medley of other immune boosting nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, and zinc. Breakfast pasta, is thus, a tasty way to prevent and at times manage cold, flu, and other such common illnesses.


·         A rich source of Iron and calcium

Meat based pastas are a good source of these minerals at any given time. However, as evident from the nutritional composition above, even veggie pasta is a good source of these minerals. The credit can be attributed to the wheat, tofu, and a medley of veggies used in the preparation.


·         Helps lose weight.

The high healthy carb content of the dish increases the satiety value of the meal in a big way. Moreover, since it is a mix of simple and complex sugars the blood sugar levels do not fluctuate much and this in the long run helps curb unhealthy mid morning snacking, thus playing a major role in weight management.


·         Helps regulate blood sugar

As mentioned earlier, the good fiber content of the dish is purported to help regulate blood sugar. Moreover, the active agents present in the herbs used in Italian cooking further boost this effect of dietary fibers.

 


Unhealthy pastaSide effects of eating Pasta:

 

Even though, pasta is a rich source of several nutrients and helps boost immunity, it is not without side effects. Most of the health benefits of this dish depend majorly on the ingredients used and the cooking process applied. Use of high fat red meat, animal shortenings, white sauce, cream, and cheese along with low fiber white flour pasta can bring in a slew of unhealthy effects that negate the benefits of this dish… here are a few of the most common side effects of breakfast pasta:

 


·         High in sodium

Breakfast is a time of great hurry in most households, which more often than not warrants the use of ready to use pasta mixes or sauces, which are inadvertently high in sodium. In fact, pasta prepared using such condiments is highly contraindicated for people suffering from hypertention, kidney disorders, CVDs, edema, and other conditions requiring sodium restriction.

 


·         High in saturated fat

Unless prepared using lean meats like turkey, pasta can load your breakfast with large amounts of unhealthy fats and direct cholesterol. Pre-made and/or canned variety are considered as the major culprits in this regard, with each contributing to as high as 75% of daily recommended doses of saturated fats. It is better to prepare your own pasta from scratch to gain complete control of the nutrients present in your morning meal.

 


·         Can cause weight gain

White flour, cream sauce, and cheese are just some of the many modes through which, pasta can make you gain weight. A medium serving of pasta can provide 200 Kcals at the least and a whooping 1000 kcals at the max. The vast range of calorie is in itself an indication of how the preparation can vary with the style of cooking applied.

 


·         A major source of gluten

Pasta invariably contains wheat, which is a major source of gluten – one of the most dreaded allergen around. As a result, pasta is better avoided by people on a gluten free diet.

 

However, one must remember that most of these side effects are a cause of excessive intake and/or improper preparation of pasta. Moderate consumption of pasta as a part of a balanced diet cannot be considered as unhealthy. Pasta, thus, is quite healthy and one can surely start their day the Italian style.

 

Image Credits: ifood

                

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