This blog post is sponsored by Barilla. I have been compensated for my time commitment. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.
The ketogenic diet or the “keto diet” continues to be at the top of the list for trending diets through 2020 and into 2021. It continues to be popular through marketing in the grocery store and throughout social media platforms. Keto diets prioritize protein and fat and limit carbohydrates usually less than 50 grams per day. However, we at Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios have recently seen a huge shift in patients desiring less restrictions and a more balanced approach to eating. Carbohydrates are your brain’s primary and preferred source of energy and are a priority for athletic performance especially. Very low carbohydrates will reduce glycogen stores and water in the body. Due to these physiological changes alone, weight loss is usually seen quickly. Carbohydrates provide more than just energy, they are in food that provide nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fibers and prebiotic fibers, are vessels for antioxidants and phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables that help maintain proper metabolism, digestion and overall gut health (fibers, prebiotics, probiotic foods), and have been correlated to reducing the risk of heart disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Grain dishes such as pasta dishes can be included in a well-balanced diet for those concerned about weight loss, athletic performance, as well as disease prevention. Traditional semolina pasta can be paired with veggies and lean protein for extra fiber and protein, and serve as a satiating snack or meal. Pasta dishes are a canvas for an abundance of vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins such as meat, fish, poultry, or plant-based proteins. Consumption of pasta has been inversely associated with BMI, waist and hip circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio according to a 2016 epidemiological study published in Nutrition and Diabetes. In the end, satisfaction with your diet includes having carbohydrates. Mixed grain dishes – like pasta – can benefit you and your whole family.