Eating too much pasta can lead to weight gain.
While pasta has a place in a healthy diet, eating too much of any food can trigger some unwanted side effects. The best meal plan includes a wide variety of foods, eaten in moderate portions. When you do enjoy a plate of spaghetti, linguini or penne, choose whole-wheat versions for maximum nutrition. White pastas have been stripped of fiber and other important nutrients, so eat these sparingly.
Risk of Weight Gain
Eating multiple servings of pasta can cause you to consume too many calories, leading to weight gain. Pasta contains about 221 calories per cup; top it with marinara and you add 65 calories per half-cup of sauce. Creamy sauces can add significantly more calories. For example, bottled Alfredo has about 100 calories in just a 1/4 cup. The average woman burns 2,000 calories per day, while the average man burns 2,500 calories. Eat more than that, and your body will store the extra as fat.
Your body needs a balance of macronutrients, which include carbohydrates, protein and fat. If you eat only carb-heavy foods like pasta, you won't fit enough of the other macronutrients into your diet. That's why the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends eating just 6 ounces of grains such as pasta each day, along with 3 cups of dairy and 5.5 ounces of protein-rich foods, such as beans, fish, nuts and eggs. The USDA also recommends eating 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit daily.
Go for Grain Variety
if you choose pasta to fulfill all or most of your grain needs, you're missing out on the assortment of nutrients that come from other carbohydrate-rich products. The healthiest diet is one that contains a broad range of items, so also choose grains such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, rye and corn.
Although gluten -- a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains -- is fine for most of the population, some people are sensitive to this substance. If you're gluten-sensitive, any pastas, breads or other products made with wheat may cause bloating or abdominal pain, as well as a variety of other symptoms. Those with a condition called celiac disease may experience depression, rashes, migraines and seizures from gluten. About 1 in every 300 to 500 people suffers from some type of gluten intolerance. Consult your doctor if you believe you may fall into this category.