Is pasta good for you? Which pastas to eat & which to avoid
Do you love a plate full of spaghetti but wonder what it does to your waistline and your wellness? Thankfully, you’ve got options.
Pasta may be a quick and satisfying meal, but it’s not always great for your health and digestion. Our exclusive Body Ecology Living Cookbook offers delicious alternatives to this classic meal that don’t feed bad bacteria.
The low-carb craze demonized all kinds of pasta and convinced people to give up traditional (and appetizing) pasta dishes. You might still think of pasta as a “bad” food, and in terms of your digestive health and immunity, that’s not so far off. But some noodles are actually healthy.
Read on to find out which pastas to avoid and which ones may be good for you.
What’s so wrong with pasta?
If you’re wondering what pasta is made of, it mostly contains durum wheat flour, a special kind of wheat with a high protein content and strong gluten. Pasta may seem fairly nutritious, but it’s still a refined and processed food.
Italian studies have even linked an increased risk of cancer to pasta and rice consumption.1 And unbelievably, multiple studies on pasta’s purported benefits over the past decade have been funded by the world’s largest pasta manufacturer, Barilla.2
From the Body Ecology perspective, conventional pastas feed pathogenic yeast and bacteria in your intestines. They disturb the growth of good microbes and may lower your immunity. Candida, a systemic fungal infection, especially thrives on the natural complex sugars in pasta that can ferment in your gut and encourage candida overgrowth.
Pasta is not on the Body Ecology program because most pasta:
- Contains gluten.
- Is made from processed flour.
- May be difficult for many people to digest.
- Produces a sticky “sludge” in your digestive tract.
- Supports the growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeast in your gut.
Here’s a list of common pastas that may feed pathogenic bacteria and yeast:
- Couscous (a wheat pasta, not a grain)
- Durum wheat pasta (macaroni pasta)
- Semolina pasta
- Spelt and sprouted grain pasta
- Spinach and artichoke pasta (made with wheat flour)
- Wheat pasta
If you want to build your inner ecosystem with beneficial microbes, then most pastas are not for you.
Your body and your tastebuds will thank you: The Body Ecology Living Cookbook has 250+ gut-smart recipes.
Pass the healthy pasta, please: 2 tasty options
Pasta is a filling, cheap, and easy meal that also tastes great. But it’s not always the most nutritious way to nourish your body. So, what’s a pasta lover to do?
Fortunately, new choices for healthy pasta make it easy to enjoy the occasional plate of noodles without worrying about harming your digestive health.
Several new varieties of pasta are actually good for you:
1. Buckwheat soba noodles.
- Buckwheat soba noodles are a decent alternative to wheat-based pasta, but make sure the label reads 100% buckwheat and that no other flours (like wheat, corn, or rice) are used in addition to the buckwheat.
- Since buckwheat noodles are made of flour, they are best as an occasional treat and not as a staple in your diet.
- Top your buckwheat soba noodles with some extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, and a dash of Celtic sea salt, and you have a delicious, quick meal that complements a spring mix salad and your favorite ocean vegetable.
2. Konjaku noodles.
- Healthy pasta is not too good to be true: Konjaku noodles taste great, fill you up, and are gluten-free, calorie-free, and carb-free. If you want pasta more often, then Konjaku (or shirataki) noodles are our top recommended alternative to pasta.
- Topped with vegetables and a tasty Body Ecology sauce, they make a complete, satisfying, and quick meal. You won’t even miss your old pasta with cream sauce.
- These healthy pasta noodles are made from the yam flour of the Japanese konnyaku imo tuber. This special flour is a powerful prebiotic because it’s full of fiber that does not feed bad bacteria.
After some time on the Body Ecology System for Health and Healing, you might find that your body will no longer want the wheat pastas of your past.
At Body Ecology, we’re always looking for delicious alternatives to unhealthy favorites. After all, we deserve to love what we eat, and yet, we want to eat what makes us feel good for the long-term. See how your body feels as you ditch your old pasta and try konjanku or buckwheat soba noodles instead.
- 1. Dalmartello M, Bravi F, Serraino D, et al. Dietary Patterns in Italy and the Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma. Nutrients. 2020;12(1):134. Published 2020 Jan 2. doi:10.3390/nu12010134.
- 2. Victor L Fulgoni, III, Regan Bailey, Association of Pasta Consumption with Diet Quality and Nutrients of Public Health Concern in Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009–2012, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 1, Issue 10, October 2017, e001271, https://doi.org/10.3945/cdn.117.001271.