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Why Leftover Pasta Is Good for You

Whole wheat pasta is higher in fiber and easier on the blood sugar. But regular pasta just tastes better. Here's a simple trick that lets you have it both ways.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
4-minute read
Episode #308

 

How to Use This Research

For pasta lovers like me, this research is great news. It means that we can enjoy regular pasta (which is cheaper and tastes better!) but still get the nutritional advantages of whole grain pasta. Although it might take a bit of planning to cook the pasta the day before you want to eat it, reheating pasta is a breeze. Just put it into a colander and pour boiling water over it. Drain briefly and serve. You can amplify the beneficial effect on blood sugar by cooking the pasta al dente...until just tender...before cooling it.

See also: Is Al Dente Pasta Healthier?

 

However, this new finding is not an excuse to eat larger servings of pasta. As I've pointed out before, when it comes to blood sugar, the size of the portion matters even more than whether you're choosing refined or whole grain.  

See also: The Truth About Whole Grains

 

Whether it's whole grain or reheated (or, if you really want to go nuts, whole grain and reheated!), pasta is not the nutrient-dense part of the meal. The real nutrition comes from what you put on top: vegetables, tomato sauce, meat, seafood, etc. And of course, the salad on the side!

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Questions? Comments? Post them below or on the Nutrition Diva Facebook page, where there's always a lively discussion going on about all aspects of food and nutrition. 

Dry pasta and pasta salad images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.