Can I eat pasta and still lose weight?

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Carbohydrate weight loss diets have been the big news of the weight loss world in recent years, but many people find these diets faddy and hard to stick to over the long term. At The Healthy Mummy we don’t believe in banning carbs!

Carbohydrates such as pasta, bread and potatoes are an essential part of a healthy balanced diet, but for those who are trying to shed a few kilos it is important to know the difference between the different sorts of pasta and noodles on the market as some are more appropriate for a healthy eating regime than others.

Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake

1. Regular White Pasta

Whatever the shape you prefer, basic white pasta has roughly the same amount of calories, and comes in at around 357 calories per 100 grams of pasta. This in itself does not make pasta a hugely calorific food.

However, the two main problems with regular pasta are that the sauces served with it are often laden with cream, oil or butter, and the energy hit from this sort of carbohydrate is not long lasting, meaning after eating you may be hungry shortly after finishing the meal.

The key to healthy weight loss is finding the sorts of foods which can be eaten in plentiful quantities and which will keep you feeling satisfied between meals, meaning that regular white pasta is perhaps not the ideal choice.

2. Wholemeal Pasta

The main drawback to wholemeal pasta is that it is often harder to source and tends not to be available in as many shapes as regular pasta. If cooking for a family, children may be more reluctant to eat wholemeal pasta as it has a slightly different taste.

There are however several benefits of using wholemeal or whole wheat pasta for people trying to get healthier, despite the drawbacks. Firstly, it is slightly lower in calories at around 326 per 100g. Secondly and more importantly, wholemeal pasta is a complex carbohydrate, meaning it takes longer to digest. This in turn makes you feel fuller for longer, and less likely to snack between meals.

3. Egg Noodles

As they are made in a very similar way to pasta, egg noodles are similar in calorie content at 346 calories per 100g. They also have the same disadvantages of providing a quick energy boost, but one which is not long lasting.

4. Soba Noodles  Rhian - tomato soba noodles

Soba noodles are a staple of Japanese cooking and are made from buckwheat and are high fibre, low GI and packed full of nutrients – to learn more about them and see one of our favourite recipes click here

If calorie counting, more soba noodles can be eaten than pasta or other types of noodles, and serving the noodles with low fat stir fried vegetables, chicken or prawns makes them an ideal food for energy and weight loss.

5. Rice noodles

Rice noodles have around 350 calories per 100g and therefore are not as good a choice as soba noodles, as they are both higher in calories and less filling. In moderation though they can be a good part of a healthy balanced diet, especially when served with lean meat or vegetables.

6. Fried Noodles

Although delicious, the sorts of fried noodles found in Chinese dishes such as chow mein should be avoided. The noodles are no different from the standard egg noodles, but the preparation method of stir frying them in oil adds huge amounts of both fat and calories. 100g of fried noodles can be as much as 665 calories.

And of course when losing weight you must exercise portion control with pasta and this means having 1/4 of your plate with pasta and 1/4 of protein and 1/4 of veggies.


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