You may have heard that pasta eaters have better diet quality than those who don’t eat pasta, but did you know that pasta eaters are less likely to consume added sugar and saturated fat, as well as eat more of the important nutrients most of us lack in our diet, compared with those who don’t eat pasta? Did you also know that there is no added sugar in pasta? In fact, there is just a touch, less than a gram per serving, of naturally-occurring sugar inherent in pasta.
While the body doesn’t need added sugar to survive, it does need carbohydrates. Whereas too much added sugar can lead to a whole host of problems that can have negative effects on your health such as obesity, fatty liver, diabetes or cancer, whole and enriched grain carbohydrates can actually fuel your body, providing the calories it needs to help fight off illness, keep your mind thinking clearly and power through the day. Complex carbs like pasta especially provide a slow release of energy to the brain and muscles so you feel energized all day, unlike simple sugars which provide a quick burst of energy that fades rapidly. USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend carbs contribute up to 65% of a person’s daily calories for a healthy, well-balanced diet. Topping that pasta with protein-packed lean meats, legumes or nuts, as well as fiber-rich fruit or vegetables, creates a wholesome meal that will keep you feeling your best throughout the day — without added sugar.