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Nutrition experts have long known that energizing complex carbohydrate foods are a much smarter source of lasting energy than simple sugars. Pasta, with its unique starch structure and low impact on blood sugar, is one such food.

A healthy staple food in its own right, pasta is the ultimate canvas for any healthy diet, no matter what your nutrition goals are. It can be paired with heart healthy olive oil and fish, fiber filled vegetables and pulses, protein packed lean meats and cheeses, or any number of delicious combinations, topped off by spices and herbs.

Research tells us that good health is determined by the whole diet, rather than single foods and nutrients. However, because pasta is an ideal partner for seasonal vegetables, herbs, and olive oil, healthy pasta meals are a winning strategy for those trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle.  Pasta is also a cornerstone of the scientifically proven Mediterranean diet, and in many other time-honored cuisines.

While pasta is most well known for it’s appealing taste, numerous scientists recognize pasta’s contribution as a healthy staple food.  Unlike most other carbohydrates, pasta is low on the Glycemic Index, meaning the body digests it more slowly, for a more steady, sustained energy source. Dr. David Jenkins, one of the original developers of the Glycemic Index, explains that “slowing absorption of carbohydrates from the gut,” by choosing low glycemic foods, like pasta, may even help prevent diabetes.

As more nutrition and health experts adopt a “whole foods” approach to healthy eating, it is clear that healthy pasta meals are a winning choice. Pasta is a wholesome food with a simple recipe that has remained unchanged for generations: just durum wheat semolina flour and water.

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For centuries, families have relied on pasta to transform a jumble of available vegetables, chesses, and herbs into tantalizing meals that could fill them up for hours. With diet related diseases on the rise, it is more important than ever to continue the tradition of generations past, and incorporate more whole, healthy foods into our meals.

Decades of research show that the best health solutions incorporate nourishing foods in enjoyable combinations and exercise regularly. Pasta, with its beneficial starch structure, simple ingredients, and culinary versatility, is the perfect foundation upon which to build a healthier, happier eating pattern and a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. David Katz, President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, explains how healthy lifestyles, not diets, are the key to better health: “Dieting, as we have traditionally done it, is fatal to a better hope for the future of our children. It is fatal to the promise of lifestyle as universal medicine; to the eradication of chronic disease eight times in 10; to the addition of years to life and life to years. It is fatal to the better medical destiny we might bequeath our children if weight control and health were approached with a blend of science and sense, rather than fatalism and folly.”

—Sara Baer-Sinnott, President, Oldways

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