The nutritional benefits of whole grain pasta make it an attractive alternative to regular pasta, despite taking longer to cook and chew. Whole grain pasta yields the same nutritional benefits of most whole grain products, such as brown rice. It is higher in fiber and contains natural B vitamins and folate, making it a healthy part of a balanced diet. The American Heart Association affirms these benefits, recommending that half of all the grains you eat be whole.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines "whole grains" as cereal grains including corn, rice, oats and wheat that must be intact, ground, cracked or flaked. All parts of the grain are incorporated in whole grain flour, the primary ingredient of whole grain pasta, including the hull, the bran, germ and endosperm of the durum wheat kernel. The bran and germ contain the unsaturated fats, fiber, protein, and B vitamins that
support health. The endosperm contains the starchy carbohydrates that give you energyRegular pasta is made with semolina flour, a type of refined flour. Refined flour is made by first removing the hull, germ, and bran of the grain kernel, leaving only the endosperm. Processors refine grains this way to extend their shelf life and give flour a finer texture.
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Whole grain pasta is typically higher in fiber than regular pasta, although the amount may vary by manufacturer. The higher fiber content of whole grain pasta is because it is made with whole grain flour which includes the germ and bran. Two ounces of uncooked whole-wheat pasta contain 5 g fiber, whereas the equivalent amount of regular pasta contains 2 g fiber. Fiber helps to remove cholesterol from your digestive system and slows stomach emptying so you feel fuller longer after a meal. Fiber is also what helps you conquer constipation.
Whole grain pasta and regular pasta have similar amounts of protein. Two ounces of uncooked whole-wheat pasta contain 8 g protein, and 2 oz. of uncooked regular pasta contain 7 g protein. Protein is important for cell repair and turnover, and normal growth and development.
Vitamins and Minerals
American-made regular pasta is fortified with B vitamins and folic acid. Fortifying grains means "adding back" the nutrients that were taken away when the germ and wheat bran were removed. Whole grain flours do not need to be fortified and are less expensive this way. Both whole grain and regular pastas experience nutrient loss due to cooking. Some nutrients such as riboflavin may be more delicate than others, with losses of up to 36 percent. In addition, both whole grain and iron-fortified regular pasta can contain up to 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron, however the difference in iron content before and after cooking indicate that up to 25 percent of the iron may be lost during cooking.
Whole grain pasta can take double the amount of cooking time for regular pasta. Regular pasta typically takes four to six minutes to cook, with whole grain pasta taking 10 to 12 minutes to cook. It takes longer for water to break through the complex protein-fiber networks in whole grain pasta and be reabsorbed. Whole grain pasta also has a chewier texture, making it arduous for people with poor dentition. Overcooking whole grain pasta will soften the texture, although it leads to further nutrient loss
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/316054-whole-grain-pasta-vs-regular-pasta/#ixzz0nO5fNDE6
Samples of enriched pasta were stored under controlled lighting conditions and the loss of riboflavin was determined. After an initial rapid degradation, the riboflavin level continued to decrease slowly. After 12 wk, more than 80% the riboflavin had degraded. When pasta samples- with varied levels of riboflavin enrichment were exposed to light for 2 days, riboflavin losses ranged from 57.8–64.3%. Riboflavin leaching from pasta during cooking was also shown to be concentration independent with 34.5–37.6% of the riboflavin solubilized in the cooking water. Riboflavin in pasta which had been exposed to light for 2 days prior to cooking had a similar percentage of the undegraded riboflavin leached into the cooking water
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