Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A Recipe for Love – Pasta – you know you love it!

We all have a love/hate relationship with pasta. We love to eat it, but hate it because we believe it is the cause of weight gain and a chubby belly. It gives us energy, fills us up and makes us feel warm and relaxed; but when it comes to dieting pasta is the first thing we dump. Is that fair to dump poor pasta after having such a loving affair?

Pasta is a carbohydrate. Our brain needs carbohydrates to fuel it. Current dietary guidelines call for 65% of our daily diet to be made up of complex carbohydrates.

It’s not the carbohydrates that cause weight gain, but the amount of food we eat and the sedentary lifestyles we live. We are all too quick to blame certain foods like pasta for our downfall; but isn’t that the way it is with love? As soon as love gets heavy we blame the love and not the gluttony.

Pasta is usually served with a good supply of vegetables, beans or lean meats and a light sauce with cheese. With the right portion we can get a complete meal supplying all the essential nutrients we need to stay healthy. The secret….eat your pasta meal with a light salad and finish with a light dessert. Enjoy one glass of wine with the meal. Adding an extra glass of wine, bread and an additional portion of the pasta dish is what adds the calories and thus the pounds.

Pasta is very low in sodium and is cholesterol free. Per cup enriched pasta provides a good source of essential nutrients such as iron and several B vitamins. Whole wheat pasta can add about 25% of your daily fiber requirements. Enriched pasta is fortified with folic acid. FDA regulations require enriched grain products to contain this essential vitamin.

Foods that supply glucose and B vitamins to the brain are responsible for improving our memory, focus and alertness. And what do we need to fall in love? First we need memory to keep us thinking about all those stolen moments of romantic rendezvous. Then we need to be focused on the object of our desire. Without focus desire wanes and boredom ensues. And third we need to be alert to the loving gestures, glances and touches that makes us fall in love. Pasta works so hard to keep us falling in love.

 Remember One -Hundred and One Damnation and the love scene when the two Dalmatians are slurping the same strand of spaghetti and their lips meet? May-be it’s the Italian ambience and the good rustic wine, mixed with a warm pasta meal that brings all the romance into play, but without the pasta would an Italian meal be a meal? Would romance be romance without love?

Everyone whether vegetarian, vegan or carnivore can enjoy a meal with pasta as the base. Something about it makes us feel warm, loved and content. Something about pasta continually draws us back to it even after taking leave. Don’t hate the pasta. Don’t blame it for those extra pounds. Give it a break and try it with vegetables, a salad and a glass of wine. Eat slowly and savors it’s soft and creamy texture and who knows you might just fall in love all over again!

Doctor Lynn

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