Eating Pasta May Be Associated with a Healthier Eating Pattern

By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN

Although I don’t eat it often, I do love a good bowl of pasta. In fact, I’m going to meet my sister for dinner tonight at an Italian restaurant, and I have a feeling we’ll both end up ordering pasta—with some veggies, of course! And pictured here is one of my favorite pasta meals (pumpkin ravioli) that I ate on a recent trip to Italy.

New research sheds light on pasta eaters’ nutrient intake. A study presented at The Obesity Society’s annual conference used data from the National Health and Examination Nutrition Survey to look at the diet of 400 adults. They found that pasta eaters took in about the same amount of daily calories as non-pasta eaters—and that eating pasta was associated with greater overall consumption of fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as less saturated fat and added sugar. Many pastas are fortified with vitamins and minerals, and pasta also can be used to deliver veggies, as well as lean proteins and beans.

Looking for a healthier pasta dish? Try one of these, which feature added veggies and/or lean proteins and contain lighter sauces or dressings:     

Chickpea and Fennel Pasta Salad: 4 SmartPoints® value
Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta: 6 SmartPoints value
Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Bolognese Sauce: 8 SmartPoints value
Pasta with Creamy Spinach Pesto: 7 SmartPoints value
Pot-Luck Pasta Salad: 4 SmartPoints value

What’s your favorite healthy way to eat pasta? Tell me on Connect @Amy_Gorin. 

Amy Gorin is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, NJ. She also works as a nutrition consultant and media coach. Amy is the former Senior Editor of Weight Watchers Magazine and WeightWatchers.com and has written hundreds of articles on nutrition and health. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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