Pasta...Is it good or bad for you?

"Don't eat pasta, it's not good for you! It will make you gain weight"

Blah blah blah, I'm sure you've heard this all before! But have you ever stopped to think why pasta gets such a bad rap? Is it the heavy sauces and portion sizes or is it the actual pasta itself?

It's no secret that I absolutely LOVE pasta (literally could bathe in it)! So I thought I'd explore the myths and facts around whether pasta is actually good or bad for you.

The Nutritious Facts:

  • When it comes to pasta, there are plenty of low-GI options that are packed with fibre and will keep you fuller for longer, including whole-grain, brown rice, spelt, corn, quinoa, rice and soba - to name a few.
  • Pasta is a great source of carbohydrates, which is one of your primary sources of energy. While carbs have been given a bad name lately, the truth is that you NEED carbs to function. They're SO important that I even wrote a whole blog post on them, which you can read here.
  • In our BARE guide, we have included pasta (of course) and it has been dietician approved, so thats a huge win! 

So why does pasta get such a bad rap?

    The reason why people say pasta is 'bad for you' is typically because of the heavy creamy sauces or excessive cheesy toppings that come with it, not pasta itself. As said above, pasta is a great source of carbohydrates - which we need! There are also new pastas like chickpea or red lentil pasta that provide a little extra protein - win win!

    It's also super important to note on portion sizes. Overeating in general (of anything!) can naturally lead to weight gain, so it's no surprise that overeating on big bowls of pasta with heavy sauces will do the same. Again, not the PASTA, but the portion. 

    How can you make pasta healthy?

    Try to keep portions sizes to 1 cup or 1 1/2 cups per person and get creative by adding an abundance of healthy ingredients.

    Add vegetables, lean meats, beans, fish, or a classic tomato sauce and make sure you don't forget your herbs. Herbs are the perfect replacement for heavy sauces because they add a burst of flavour to your meal.

    Some of my favourite herbs for pasta, include basil, parsley, chilli and thyme but there are so many amazing ones to choose from so be sure to get creative! Even a squeeze of lemon or some lemon zest can give a pasta a whole new flavour. 

    And if you're still looking for some healthy pasta inspiration then I have an abundance of delicious and easy pasta recipes for you to try, including...

    1. Lentil Bolognese

    This vegan lentil bolognese sauce is the best! It's seriously delicious but also incredibly healthy and easy to make.

    You'll be loving every single bite! Plus, it's an amazing batch cooking recipe that can be enjoyed by the whole family, including kids, or be served up as leftovers for work lunches.

    It's a win win.


    Lentil bolognese


    2. Spaghetti Alla Panna 

    This was my favourite pasta that my mum would make me when I was little!

    It's so easy to make, super delicious and 100% kid friendly recipe!

    I've got a special trick that makes my homemade Alla Panna sauce taste super creamy without a lot of heavy cream, making it the perfect light and tasty alternative. 

    This Alla Panna Pasta Bake is a guaranteed winning dinner idea!


    Alla Panna


    3. Haloumi Pasta Salad

    Ahhhh I love a good pasta salad! And this Haloumi Pasta Salad is one of the best pasta salad recipes you will ever try.

    The combination of haloumi and olives makes it super delicious! Plus, it's really easy to make and can be eaten cold or warm. 

    This is perfect dinner recipe but is also a great leftover and work lunch recipe.


    Haloumi Pasta Salad


    4. Salmon and Asparagus Pasta 

    We are ALL in need of a 15 minute meal, right? Well this salmon pasta is so quick and easy to make.

    It's also packed with flavour and the combination of the pasta and salmon makes it incredibly filling and satisfying. 

    Your tummy and tastebuds will be left super satisfied.


    Salmon & Asparagus Pasta


    5. Simple Napoletana Sauce

    This Napoletana sauce is so fresh, simple and easy! 

    It's the perfect pasta sauce in itself but also acts as a great base to add veggies, lean meats and herbs to. 

    I love serving this up on top of spaghetti and meatballs for a easy and satisfying dish.


    napoletana sauce

    I often have girls tell me about their hesitations to eat pasta but the truth of the matter is, pasta is NOT your enemy! It's your best friend...or maybe just my best friend haha!

    Pasta should be embraced as a versatile energy sauce and a staple in a balanced diet. It’s time to let pasta shine like the glorious carby goodness it is. I mean how can you say no to a big hearty, warm bowl of pasta?! It's all about balance and understanding how to enjoy pasta in the best way for you.

    Try recipe or two this week and be sure to let me know your thoughts I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing your feedback! Be sure to also share your creations with me on Instagram so I can like, comment and share!

    Use the tag @leahitsines and hashtag #leahitsines to reach out.

    PS. Don't forget about the BARE guide! If you need guidance on healthy eating, portion sizes, cooking basics and a load of dietitian approved recipes - grab the BARE guide now and eat ALL of your favourite things with no stress! 

    Happy cooking,

    Leah xx