What's unhealthy about eating spaghetti

Does pasta encourage cancer?

Since pasta is one of the foods rich in carbohydrates and carbohydrates are often equated with "unhealthy", some believe that frequent consumption of pasta could possibly be carcinogenic.

However, a 2013 study found that eating a lot of bread increases the risk of breast and colon cancer, especially in women. The consumption of pasta had hardly any influence on the cancer risk investigated.

In a study from September 2016, there were also hardly any identifiable connections between cereal-containing foods and the risk of breast cancer. An exception was brown rice, which could reduce the risk of breast cancer with at least 2 servings per week.

Another exception was white bread, which was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, while an increased consumption of whole grain products reduced the risk. In terms of pasta consumption, it even looked as if the risk of breast cancer fell with increasing pasta consumption.

In 2017, a study showed that the higher the glycemic index of the respective diet, the higher the risk of bladder cancer, the more white flour products were eaten, especially white bread and the fewer vegetables were eaten. With regular consumption of whole-grain products with vegetables, however, the risk of bladder cancer did not increase.

Does pasta make you fat?

Since this question is asked so often, we have written our own article about it. You can find it here: Eating pasta and still losing weight

How can you make pasta in a healthy way?

  1. Choose wholemeal pasta, if you prefer, gluten-free pasta, e.g. B. Whole grain rice noodles, millet noodles or buckwheat noodles.
  2. Alternate with noodles made from legumes (lentil noodles, pea noodles, chickpea noodles) and - if necessary - with konjac noodles.
  3. Eat small portions of pasta and, best of all, a salad or soup.
  4. Do not serve pasta with high-fat sauces, but with lots of vegetables and protein-rich side dishes such as tofu or meatballs made from legumes.
  5. It is best to make your pasta sauce yourself, as purchased ready-made sauces are often too high in calories.
  6. If you fancy a high-calorie sauce, then at least leave out the cheese, which is often also sprinkled over the dish.
  7. If you want to eat pasta with oil (e.g. garlic with oil or pesto), limit yourself to 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil or pesto per person.
  8. Always cook pasta al dente!

What could you eat instead of pasta?

As shown above, pasta can be easily integrated into a healthy diet. Still, nothing speaks against a little variety. Alternatives to pasta are for example:

  1. Vegetables (zucchini, pumpkin, carrots) that can be cut into noodle shape with the spiral cutter and served raw, blanched or steamed like noodles with sauces or vegetables.
  2. Quinoa, buckwheat or millet
  3. Brown rice or wild rice
  4. Spelled rice
  5. Bulgur or couscous
  6. Potatoes
  7. Chestnuts

Is pasta healthy or unhealthy?

The unsurprising conclusion is that high-quality pasta can - if it is prepared correctly, if it is not eaten in large quantities and served with a lot of vegetables - be a valuable component of a healthy diet.

You can find delicious and healthy pasta recipes from our ZDG cooking studio in our recipe section or on our YouTube channel.


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  • Huang M et al. A systematic review on the relations between pasta consumption and cardio-metabolic risk factors, Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2017 Nov; 27 (11): 939-948. doi: 10.1016 / j.numecd.2017.07.005. Epub 2017 Jul 18
  • http://www.praxis-thaller.de/fileadmin/inhalte/dokumente/Glykaemischer_Index.pdf
  • Scott Harris, Is pasta good or bad for you? July 24, 2018, Medical News Today
  • Augustin LS et al., Associations of dietary carbohydrates, glycaemic index and glycaemic load with risk of bladder cancer: a case-control study, Br J Nutr. 2017 Nov; 118 (9): 722-729. doi: 10.1017 / S0007114517002574. Epub 2017 Oct 9
  • Augustin LS et al., Associations of bread and pasta with the risk of cancer of the breast and colorectum, Ann Oncol. 2013 Dec; 24 (12): 3094-9. doi: 10.1093 / annonc / mdt383. Epub 2013 Oct 22
  • Farvid MS et al., Lifetime grain consumption and breast cancer risk, Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2016 Sep; 159 (2): 335-45. doi: 10.1007 / s10549-016-3910-0. Epub 2016 Aug 10
  • Chiavaroli L et al., Effect of pasta in the context of low-glycaemic index dietary patterns on body weight and markers of adiposity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in adults, BMJ Open. 2018; 8 (3): e019438
  • Harland JI, Garton LE, Whole-grain intake as a marker of healthy body weight and adiposity, Public Health Nutr. 2008 Jun; 11 (6): 554-63. Epub 2007 Nov 16
  • Karin de Punder et al., The Dietary Intake of Wheat and other Cereal Grains and Their Role in Inflammation, Nutrients. 2013 Mar; 5 (3): 771-787
  • Cioffi I et al., Whole-grain pasta reduces appetite and meal-induced thermogenesis acutely: a pilot study, Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, March 2016

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This information is passed to the best of my knowledge and belief. They are intended exclusively for those interested and for further training and are in no way to be understood as diagnostic or therapeutic instructions. We do not assume any liability for damages of any kind, which arise directly or indirectly from the use of the information. If you suspect illness, please consult your doctor or alternative practitioner

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