Whole grains are definitely good for you, there's no doubt about that. However, you have to consider how much of those whole grains remain intact in your meal, versus those that are heavily processed. With pasta, the answer is few to none, meaning whole grain pasta may not be as good for you as the marketing implies.
Photo by Dottie Mae.
Dr. Darya Pino writes the blog Summer Tomato, and recently she tackled the question of whole grain pasta. There's no dispute over the benefits of whole grain to your diet in general, but she correctly points out that the amount the grain has been processed plays a major role in the health benefits you get from eating it.
To that end, whole grain rice is definitely better for you than white rice or heavily processed rice, but pasta is a whole different story. Because pasta is processed and made from dough, the health benefits from so-called "whole grain" pasta may actually be very small, if anything.
In essence, if you're spending more money on whole grain pasta because you think you're getting serious health benefits, you may be wasting your money when you could focus instead on portion control and how much pasta is on your plate. If you're that concerned about healthy pasta dishes, she suggests making what you planned, while adding more vegetables to the meal.
Dr. Pino confesses she prefers handmade fresh pasta for the times she eats pasta – which isn't frequently – but for those of us who love it, she raises a good point. If you like the taste and flavour, that's one thing, but the health benefits are definitely questionable. After all, part of eating healthier food is to eat food that's less processed in general, even if it is whole grain.
Should I Buy Whole Grain Pasta? [Summer Tomato]