Is Pasta Evil?

pasta shapes


I recently got an email from Barilla that included some summery pasta recipes created by their nutritionist Andrea Holwegner. I’ve been avoiding pasta lately and it seems like everyone I know is as well. I haven’t been avoiding it for any factual reasons though, just this sort of rumour cloud that if I eat a single noodle I’ll become obese. I decided to interview Holwegner and get some straight facts from a nutritionist about pasta. Admittedly, she’s in the employ of a pasta maker, but Barilla is the number one store bought pasta in Italy and pasta has been around for a long long time, so let’s give her a chance and see what she has to say.


spaghetti party

All the information seems to say that pasta and carbs make one fat, does that mean I can’t eat pasta ever again?

While several popular fad diets suggest eliminating grains, wheat or carbohydrate from your diet, scientific evidence experts including Health Canada and Dietitians of Canada do not support this.  Excess calories can create weight gain – not healthful portions of pasta.  In fact pasta fits in a healthy diet and is part of the Mediterranean diet, considered one of the healthiest diets in the world.  When consumed in the recommended amounts and combined with healthy accompaniments, pasta can provide the foundation for a heart-healthy, balanced diet.




Why is everyone going gluten free these days – is it a way to be more healthy?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. While there are certain individuals who need to follow a gluten free diet, there is no need to go gluten free for the vast majority of people. The Canadian Celiac Association suggests that 1 in 133 people in Canada have celiac disease and a gluten free diet is the only current treatment for those individuals. It is estimated that two to six percent of the population have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity and removing gluten from their diet can improve digestive symptoms.


Should I be concerned with feeding gluten to my family?

Removing gluten from one’s diet without cause may do more harm than good since wheat, rye and barley are nutritious sources of fibre, iron and B-vitamins.

In fact, eating whole grains as part of healthy eating, such as from whole wheat, can assist in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Barilla pasta is nutritious and pasta is a foundation of one the world’s healthiest diets, the “Mediterranean Diet”.




What are the nutritional differences in white pasta vs. whole wheat pasta?

There are many types of pasta available on the market to offer consumers choice.  Barilla pasta is made from 100% hard durum wheat resulting in high-quality semolina.  Barilla Whole Grain Pasta is made from 51% Whole Grain and is higher in fibre and some vitamins and minerals.  Barilla PLUS, though not whole wheat, is new premium multigrain pasta which contains more protein, omega-3 fats and fibre than traditional white semolina pasta. Both are great options for families looking for even more nutrients from their pasta meals but have the taste and texture that is delicious.

 If you agree with Holwegner and feel like letting pasta back into your life, check the site next week when we’ll run some of the summery recipes from Barilla. 


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