About Pasta > Nutritional analysis
Pasta in modern nutrition
Many years have passed until scientists try to explain, even partially, the health
benefits resulting from the eating habits of the inhabitants of Crete and other areas of
the Mediterranean, which later reflected in what we call the Mediterranean diet.
Today we know why should not eat red meat every day, how beneficial is the combination of lentils with rice and what oil means to our health, something that our grandmothers tended to Crete, not because they aspired to a better diet, but because the meat was expensive, putting a handful of rice to lentils left over from lunch, they made a hearty dinner and of course the direct access were the olive oil rather than soybean oil.
We also know that in the base of the pyramid of the Mediterranean diet and hence in our everyday thinking about a balanced diet, there are cereals and products such as bread and pasta.
The pasta constitutes a favourite dish for the majority of people, since they recommend a fast and delicious meal proposal, especially when combined with the sauce of our choice and cheese.
Apart from the candy, pasta is serving the maximum extent and nutrition as well. Pasta
consisting of carbohydrates that releases in an stepwise manner energy in the body,
something precious for us all and particularly for children, who have increased growth
rates, as we all know.
Moreover, all the scientific evidence suggests that the greater proportion of energy
retained by the diet should come from carbohydrates (50% – 55%) and particularly by those which have the advantage of being freed by gentle and gradual way (such as carbohydrates of pasta).
At the same time, whole wheat pasta gives us the added advantage of supplying the body with valuable fibers, thus contributing to the smooth functioning of the digestive system, for both young and old people.
High nutritional value for children
For children, pasta is a type of proposal of high nutritional value and for two other
reasons: first involving important vitamins of complex B (like B1 and folic acid) that the
children`s `active` body needs and second, when combined with a tomato sauce and basil and cheese of our choice, they can familiarize with the idea that a full meal is not just something that contains meat, laying the basis for the correct application of the model of the Mediterranean Diet. Alongside the vegetable sauces and sprinkle cheese over our favourite pasta, are supplying the children’s body with valuable antioxidants, calcium and trace elements.
If you want to integrate your child in a balanced diet, that could easily be followed by adults as well, you should know that there is prohibited and non-prohibited food. But there are definitely foods, of which the frequency and quantity of consumption must be adjusted at will, such as sweets. On the other hand, the pasta as cereal products, had been and still is a food – basis for feeding both young and old people.
Clinical Dietitian M.Sc. in Nutritional Medicine – University of Surrey
Division Director Gene Diet & Nutrition Research “Euroclinic Athens”