Can I Have Pasta on a Low-Carb Diet?

Now that low-carb is a mainstream diet, is there still room for pasta in one’s life?

Let’s look at the nutrition data for 2 types of spaghetti, regular and whole wheat. A serving is 2 ounces (about one cup, cooked) and for both products amounts to 200 calories. This is before any sauce is added, of course. In what may be surprising to many people, this serving of pasta also has 7 grams of protein!

Let’s move on to the carbohydrates. Both pastas have about 42 grams of carbs. The whole wheat pasta has 6 grams of fiber (over 20% of the daily requirement), compared to 2 grams for the regular pasta.

Is 42 grams of carbs too much?

The answer depends on how you define low-carb diet. According to the Dietary Guidelines published by the federal government, carbs should make up 45-65 percent of our diet. That works out to 225-325 grams per day. Anything below 200 grams of carbs per day can be considered low-carb, but most people on a low carb diet aim for a range of 50-150 carbs per day.

Technically, you can eat your pasta and still have up to 100 carbs left over for your sauce (10-20 grams of carbs) and additional fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Always choose whole grain pasta, as you’ll be getting a hefty dose of fiber that will keep you satisfied longer.

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