Italian actress Sophia Loren once said of her svelte silhouette "Everything you see I owe to spaghetti."
I'm a real spaghetti aficionado. Spaghettis are my comfort food - No joke. Al dente, of course. Al dente because it tastes better, but also because it's healthier.
When you translate al dente from Italian, it literally means "to the tooth" - firmer in texture when chewed. Pasta cooked al dente has a lower Glycemic Index than pasta normally cooked or overcooked. FYI - Glycemic Index (GI) is a way to measure the health value of a food and foods with lower GI keep your blood sugars under control. So far, so good.
On the other hand, overcooked pasta is a nutritional ow NO! Why is that? Because when you overcook your pasta, you have fully gelatinized the starches, making it slippery to swallow, hence rapidly absorbed. As a result, it forms a mass of carbohydrate food difficult for the stomach to digest.
Happiness is that pasta (a high carbohydrate food) properly cooked becomes in itself a lower GI food and thus can be part of a healthy diet. Just make sure you don't over or under cook it!
A pasta-based meal can be a complete meal and a healthy choice of food depending on the ingredients you use. For exemple, spaghetti with tomato sauce (reduction of fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil leaves) cooked al dente is an excellent exemple of a healthy choice because in addition to the right cooking time, the reduced tomato sauce along with mediterranean herbs is a rich source of antioxydants.
People tend to think that a low-carb diet leads to a greater fat loss than low-fat diets. It's not because you eliminate carbs that you lose the weight, you lose the weight when you eliminate carbs mainly because you narrowed down your food options (you have less options for a healthy meal). Usually, carb-based meals are served with fattening ingredients such as sour cream, cheeses and other saturated fats. It is the calories that matter in term of weight loss, not carbs. So pasta can be a nutritious & healthy choice if you properly use and wisely choose your ingredients. Enjoy your spaghettis now!