Shout out to whoever left the massive zucchini in the kitchen at Ridgewood office Monday! I used it to make the most amazing zucchini ravioli recipe and it got me thinking about all of the pasta alternatives out there.
While the bulk of my Zucchini Ravioli recipe is still ricotta cheese, it saves you hundreds of calories subbing out the typical flour based noodle while still satisfying the craving.
Generic white pasta or spaghetti is a simple carbohydrate.
This means that your body breaks it down very quickly causing a spike in energy + blood sugar, insulin is released to equalize the blood sugar followed by an energy crash, then hunger again shortly after. This is also why we can eat two whole plates of pasta before feeling full and then feel like we need a nap not long after.
When we eat excess carbohydrates they are stored as fat in the form of glycogen, and show up in our blood as triglycerides.
Examples of other simple carbohydrates include white rice, white bread, potatoes, cereals, candies, sodas and juices.
You should aim to get the majority of your carbohydrate intake from complex carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates are higher in fiber causing them to digest slowly, keep you full longer promoting weight control and gut health (well save that topic for another date).
Examples of complex carbs include fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, oats.
The net carbohydrate content is the amount of carbohydrates actually absorbed by the body that impact the blood sugar. Carbohydrates from fiber are not absorbed and therefore can be subtracted out. This can be calculated by looking at the food label
Net Carbs = Total Carbohydrates - Fiber
Moral of the story ? Carbohydrates aren’t the enemy by any means, our brains and bodies physically can not run without them, BUT you should aim to obtain carbohydrates from complex sources.
Here are some pasta hacks so you can satisfy your pasta craving without the health consequences.