Last week I attended a two-day professional event hosted by Barilla where we discussed all things food, nutrition, and of course pasta.
On the second day we talked about how carbohydrates, specifically starchy carbs like pasta and bread, have been demonized. People have a fear of carbohydrates because they think they will pack on the pounds if they eat them.
The truth is that pasta and other starchy carbohydrates are not the root of all nutrition evil. Eaten in the right portions and based upon activity, pasta is an excellent carbohydrate fuel source, as well as absolutely delicious.
The problem is not the pasta, but how here in the US not only have we super-sized everything, but also we have made a cultural shift away from cooking homemade meals in the kitchen towards spending more time in front of phone, tablet, computer and television screens working, watching TV, and engaging in social media. As a result many people do not know how to cook and do not have any idea about balanced nutrition that includes enjoying starchy carbs like pasta.
Like the healthy and sustainable Mediterranean Diet, balanced with the right amount of vegetables, protein, and healthy fats, pasta should be one part of the overall meal and not the main event, and can be enjoyed while still working towards one’s fitness and fat loss goals.
Personally one of my favorite post workout meals, multiple times per week, is a big salad, with 3 to 4 ounces of salmon, mixed with one serving of pasta, which is typically about 40 grams of carbohydrates, and one half tablespoon of a homemade olive oil & mustard vinaigrette.
When I do decide to eat pasta outside of that workout window I don’t eat the entire Maggiano’s family style sized bowl but instead enjoy a serving as a side dish with other elements of my plate that make it a balanced meal.
If you want to learn how to incorporate pasta and other starchy carbohydrates into your daily nutrition plan in the right portions and at the right times based upon activity, then check out Renaissance Periodization auto diet templates from healthy eating, fat loss, and muscle gain HERE.
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You can have your pasta and eat it too!