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Plateful of pasta

Pasta is one of the best sources of carbohydrates.


PASTA IS the heart and soul of Italian cuisine, and Italians tend to get very upset when people claim their culinary pride and joy is of Chinese origin. However, many historians believe that long and flat noodles made in China as far back as three thousand years ago were the forerunners of Italian pasta, and that Marco Polo may have brought pasta to Italy from his 13th Century travels throughout China. But there is also some evidence that suggests that Italians were eating stringy flour paste long before Marco Polo. Thomas Jefferson introduced pasta into the United States after returning from his late 18th Century stay in Europe as a minister to France.

Pasta is generally made from semolina

Pasta comes in nearly 600 shapes and sizes, and probably just as many flavours. Spaghetti, fettuccine or linguine are long stringy forms; elbow, rotini, penne and ziti are shorter forms, and lasagne is pasta in flat and wide strips.

Nutrition: Six to eleven servings of carbohydrate-rich cereals and cereal products should form the bulk of daily calorie intake, and pasta is a healthful form of carbohydrate. One serving (half cup) of cooked and enriched pasta contains nearly 100 Calorie, with nearly four-fifths of the calories coming from healthful complex carbohydrate that delivers glucose to the blood stream at a slow and steady rate. It is also low in sodium and cholesterol, and is rich in folic acid and vital micronutrients like selenium and zinc.

The protein in pasta is deficient in some essential amino acids that the body cannot manufacture by itself and must have in the diet. However, eating pasta with dairy products, beans, tofu or meat makes up for these absent amino acids.

RAJIV. M

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