Pasta, a staple of the Mediterranean diet

Pasta, a staple of the Mediterranean diet

By law, in the country, the pasta common is the product obtained from the processing of durum wheat semolina or semolina and water; in foreign countries, common pasta can also be obtained from soft wheat flour, which is allowed in the country only for the packaging of fresh pasta.

The best quality pasta, which cooks better and is tastier, is obtained from durum wheat, which contains starch and a higher percentage of gluten than soft wheat.

Il gluten it is a wheat protein which, after grinding, is found above all in semolina. During cooking, the gluten forms a kind of network that traps the starch molecules swollen by the water, leaving the appearance, texture and shape of the pasta unaltered. Soft wheat pasta does not have these characteristics and takes on a sticky appearance.

The paste craw omune contains water (12,5%), starches (75%), vegetable proteins (11%, gluten), few simple sugars, grassi (0,3%), small amounts of Vitamins, mineral salts e fibers.

Some of these contents vary according to the type of pasta used: the fresh pasta it has a higher protein (13%) and fat (2,5%) content; there wholemeal pasta, packaged with durum wheat flour and bran, it is richer in fiber, with a greater satiating effect, in mineral salts and vitamins, in particular group B; The gluten-free pasta, a type of special pasta in which 20-30% gluten is added, gives a significant protein content.

- starches of pasta are one of the best energy sources used by the body and, for this reason, having to choose, in the midday meal it is better to consume a first course based on pasta.

The integration of pasta with other condiment foods, such as oil or butter, cheese, meat, vegetables, egg, completes any deficiencies, enhancing their nutritional value. In this regard, it should be noted that the vegetable proteins some pasta, which have a lower nutritional value than those contained in animal foods, find the right complement in the proteins contained in legumes: the composition of dishes based on pasta and legumes, such as peas, beans, lentils, etc., allows to obtain unique dishes comparable, from the protein point of view, to a meat or fish dish, with the advantage of providing a lower quantity of fat.

Pasta must be cooked al dente, because it thus requires greater chewing which facilitates a first digestion in the mouth by salivary enzymes, and a more prolonged passage in the stomach, which prolongs the sense of satiety.

The belief that pasta makes you fat is a very common mistake: pasta is aexcellent source of energy (about 350 kcal per 100 g) necessary for the organism and has a good satiating effect. The important thing is not to overdo the portions and use of the condiment, on which the nutritional and caloric value of the dish depends above all.

Another aspect to take into account is that the body slowly assimilates them starches (complex sugars) of the pasta, without creating an excessive accumulation of sugar in the blood.

Therefore, the pasta, properly dosed and balanced with other foods, can also be consumed by diabetics and by those who follow a slimming diet, allowing to correctly distribute the energy intake during the day.


You can learn more about the benefits and contraindications of the Mediterranean diet


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