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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

More Subluxated Health News.....Pasta Good for You or Not?

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Sub=less
Lux=life
subluxated health news contain inaccuracies. Let me help you make sense of it.
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On a box of elbow macaroni I read information about it being a good carb. Pasta is considered to have a moderate effect on blood glucose levels and it is low on the glycemic index. Pasta is not "readily" converted into sugar, it states on the label. Low glycemic foods are digested slowly so they satisfy hunger.

(One basic fact of biochemistry is any unused glucose(a form of sugar) in the body is stored as fat. The body in its wisdom can convert protein, fat, and carbohydrates to glucose and any of it can be stored if the body does not use it up fairly quickly. That is why we need to eat just what the body needs. Any excess is just that, excess, and it is very nicely saved for later as body fat. Body fat is not the same as dietary fat.)

It all sounds fairly accurate, however, let me dissect some of these sentences:

Pasta is not converted to sugar...it does get converted into glucose, which is a sugar used for energy. Any energy not used in a certain amount of time is stored as body fat. In the body's great wisdom it can convert protein, dietary fat, and carbohydrates to glucose for energy and store any of it that is excess...excess body fat.

My box of elbow macaroni has only 8% of fiber per serving. There are 41 grams of total carbohydrates in 1/2 cup of macaroni. There are 12 grams of carbohydrates in 1/2 cup of Pepsi. We are driven to over eat carbohydrates because the brain doesn't know when to shut off the appetite like it does with protein and fat.

Sometimes a low glycemic food is not a good choice to eat. If you included other high fiber foods with the macaroni it will help. If a small serving of macaroni is eaten, that is good too, since the calories can add up if more than 1/2 cup is eaten.

For a better look at carbohydrates, the glycemic load demonstrates the actual carb content, not how fast it is absorbed in the body. This is why watermelon is high on the glycemic index and has a low glycemic load.

David Mendosa's website has a great chart that shows the GI and GL of foods:
http://www.mendosa.com/common_foods.htm
...and pasta has a high glycemic load.

So, the label on my box of macaroni is not lying, but if I really want to look balance my diet, pasta should be eaten moderately, such as once a week and with a lot of high fiber vegetables with it.

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