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Is Really Pasta Really Bad?

Discussion in 'Fat Loss/Cutting' started by Brian Golden, May 22, 2008.

  1. Brian Golden

    Brian Golden Well-Known Member

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    Is Pasta Really That Bad?

    In general I hear people say pasta is evil (minus a few friends of mine who swear on it). I have been eating it once a day.

    A lot of the people in here seem to say it is a cheat meal for them (which is great), but I was wondering if it is really that bad? More specifically, if the particular type of pastas I currently have are considered high GI.

    Four types

    1st is barilla linguine (I think it's good)
    Ingredients: semolina, durium flour

    2nd is publix spaghetti (I think it's bad as I noticed it says enriched on the package)
    Ingredients: durum semolina

    3rd is Almas Linguine (the real good stuff I have not opened yet)
    Ingredients: Duruma whole-wheat semolina
    contains: wheat

    4th is Bakers and Chefs Spaghetti
    Ingredients: semolina
    contains wheat ingredients

    I read in Men's Health (and began) cooking my pasta for less time (had been 10 minutes, is now 8 minutes). Apparently I read in a post here that the longer you cook pasta for, the higher the GI becomes (maybe because the increase in heat exposure denatures the proteins further than lower heat and less time?).

    So it seems like cooking is as important as the type of pasta you buy? (I usually mix 0.5 tbsp of olive oil into the water before it boils and turn the heat down to 7 once it comes to a boil)
     
    #1 Brian Golden, May 22, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  2. 100%

    100% Active Member

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    I always go for the wholeweat stuff like you say in your 3rd and 4th choice, the way i see it is there is a lot worse choices out there for carbs like white rice so looking at it that way its not that bad.

    Didnt know about the cooking thing tho.
     
  3. Bluestreak

    Bluestreak Well-Known Member

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    Coming from a born-and-bred NY Italian, pasta was the devil-incarnate for me. It was a staple in my pre-transformation diet, and it racked up an extra 65-lbs. on my short 66" frame.

    Today, I eat it... perhaps once per week, in a small portion, usually less than 50-grams. Once in a great while, I cheat and go all-out with a nice plate of it like the old days, but that's rare. It's perfectly fine in small doses if your fat loss goal is reasonable - I'd say, you could keep pasta in your diet easily and get down to - and maintain - around 15% body fat.

    To get lower than that, you'll need to seriously limit pasta consumption. That's just my experience, though. You may find different. Experiment. That's what the whole game is about... learning what works for you and your body.

    -R
     
  4. Brian Golden

    Brian Golden Well-Known Member

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    Definitely agree about experimentation. I was thinking of just spending $20 on a digital scale at walmart and making sure the pasta is 2oz everytime. Perhaps a lot of the bad rep pasta has is because of all the pasta sauce and overestimation of servings. What I think is 2oz could be 3oz or vice versa.

    What if I were to consistently eat no more than 2oz of spaghetti without sauce. I flavor it with garlic powder, onion powder, or both.
     
  5. Bluestreak

    Bluestreak Well-Known Member

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    Most pasta sauces aren't that bad, as long as you're not glopping it on. They can be high in sugars, so read labels! If pasta sauce were the culprit, I'd be in real trouble - I use tomato sauces in many of my healthy recipes.

    A digital scale is a great idea. 2-ozs of most regular pastas is a whopping 42-grams of pure carbs per serving - and that's not much pasta at all, when you portion it out.

    It has a bad rep because it's deserved - at least where dieting is concerned. It's calorie-dense and it causes insulin to spike like crazy. Calorie-dense + insulin spike can equate to fat gain if your total calories aren't in check, or your calorie output doesn't exceed intake.

    I will, on occasion, add pasta to my post-workout meal. But it's got to be either leg day (a very tough workout for me) or I've had a stellar workout and I feel like rewarding myself with a little pasta. And even when I do include it in a PWO meal, I'll only limit it to about 2-oz. and I don't do anything but boil it in water with some salt - I eat it basically plain. No sauce, no butter, no nothing.

    Like I said... toss it into your diet, and track what you're eating (macronutrient-wise) carefully. You might even make note of when you eat pasta. This gives you a good record of what you were eating when you were successful, or conversely, what you ate that failed you - assuming you're meeting your exercise needs to reach your goals.

    -R
     
  6. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    Semolina IS wheat. Or rather, a part of wheat.

    Based on that wikipedia article, it sounds like those pastas that have durum flour as an ingredient might have a somewhat higher GI, because of the more processing it's undergone. I'm not sure what the Duruma whole-wheat semolina means. :confused: I would have thought that a whole wheat pasta should by definition contain more than the semolina. :confused:

    It's true that the larger and thicker the pasta, the lower the GI, and also, the less you cook it, the lower the GI.

    Could be true, but I'd estimate probably closer to 10 to 12% or so. As you mentioned, it also depends how well you tolerate carbohydrates, what else you include as part of your diet, how low you're willing to go in calories, etc.
     
  7. Bluestreak

    Bluestreak Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. I stated 15% or so because I am at about 11-12% currently, and if I so much as look at a plate of pasta below my current level, fat loss will stall out. I can get away with it from 12-15%... but at this point, to really finish leaning out for summer, it's gotta go bye-bye.

    -R
     
  8. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I've eaten essentially the same diet as before I started working out for some years now. I usually have about 800 Calories of egg noodles with dinner.

    My weight has gone from 233 down to 180 while I added exercise Calories, and from 180 back up to 220 as I reduced exercise Calories. I'm going back down again (214 today) as I have just started adding exercise Calories again (attempting to increase my HDL). I think this shows that it's not the pasta, it's whether you decide to burn the Calories or not.
     
  9. guava

    guava Elite Member
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  10. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    Smaller [thinner to] pastas are quick cooking. Thicker are longer cooking. Cooking time can range from 2 minutes for fresh small pasta to over 12 minutes for the dry stuff you get out of a bag at the grocery store.

    I can't imagine a general cooking time :confused:

    Pasta is not evil. Most days I eat over 120 grams dry weight. I'm still in the high 140s/low 150s.
     
  11. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    BTW those times are at sea level. I need to add 50% !
     
  12. Azure

    Azure Active Member

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    Lance Armstrong ate pasta like a mad man prior to getting cancer.

    A lot of hockey players eat it too for energy.

    I try to avoid it unless I actually play hockey. Too many calories for me otherwise.
     
  13. featherz

    featherz Well-Known Member

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    I eat fibergourmet now and then - 20 gms of fiber per serving and only 120 cals for the whole wheat version. And tastes decent. Only catch is not available around here so I have to order it online.
     
  14. KC

    KC Active Member

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    I love spaghetti Squash as a pasta substitute. If I just want to fill a pasta craving with the basic sauce this is the way to go. (WAY WAY less calories) However If your making a fancy italian meal stick with the real stuff.
     
  15. Akira-Kai

    Akira-Kai Well-Known Member

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    My wife cooks all my evening meals and therefore this is the only meal I don't have complete control over. She loves cooking lots of different things and would have been very upset :mad: if I had told her that I wanted to make my own! ANYWAY she often cooks pasta for me and I've still gone down from 17%BF to 10%BF in just under 2 months! All I've done is eaten smaller portions than I used to and asked her to try to use brown wholemeal pasta whenever possible.

    Despite this she still serves up white rice!?! :doh:What can you do!

    I think this demonstrates that it's perhaps not "just" pasta but having and maintaining the correct balance of diet, weights and cardio for your weight and size.
     
  16. Guillerr

    Guillerr Active Member

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    I ate whole wheat spaghetti made from red pickles the other day, with a little tomato sauce (I'll make my own from tomato later).. Was delicious

    I think it's a great meal ! If you do not aim for a very restricted carb diet, I think it's a must.

    15g of protein, 0g of fat, 30g of carbs.

    If you want more protein you can balance it out with other meals, or add some chicken to the sauce.
     
  17. Gordo

    Gordo Well-Known Member

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    Evil? no. Calorie dense. yes. Easy to overdo it? sure. However, If you are moderately eating it or can account for it then it's no biggie. GI, while a useful concept, is out the window once items are combined in a meal. I wouldn't get overly hung up on the GI of your pasta unless that was truly the only thing you ate after fasting for 8 hours.
     
    #17 Gordo, Jul 7, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  18. CuTe PoIsOn

    CuTe PoIsOn Active Member

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    Im half Italian and I eat the stuff on average 4-5times a week in some form or another whether its spaghetti, pasta salad, etc etc, I dont even bother buying the wholegrain stuff because the difference is very slight and, as long as you eat in moderation or according to the servings in your diet, you shouldnt have any problems.
     
  19. Brian Golden

    Brian Golden Well-Known Member

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    You poor bastard.
     
  20. Hockey4

    Hockey4 Active Member

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    I used to eat pasta 10+ times a week. When I was bulking, I ate more pasta than most can imagine. I absolutely loved the stuff and would pack at least half a pound down per sitting.

    Weening myself off pasta has been one of the worst things ever. I'm down to eating a quarter pound twice a week, and I've switched to Barilla+, which is surprisingly good. It has more protein, and is made from ground lentils, chickpeas, some wheat stuff, flax seeds, etc.

    Though, every once in a great while I break down and have some ravioli :nod:
     

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