Whole-grain pasta is a simple food -- it contains only three basic ingredients when made at home. Commercially produced whole-grain pastas may contain ingredients meant to preserve the pasta and add flavor, but making it at home allows you to control exactly what goes into it. It may take a little longer to prepare, but you can monitor the calories and nutrition in your pasta carefully and according to your diet specifications.
Whole Grain Flour
A standard pasta recipe for whole grain pasta contains 2 cups of whole wheat flour. This amount of flour contains 813.6 calories, 174.2g of carbohydrates, 32.8g of protein and 4.4g of fat. As one recipe yields approximately four servings, this breaks out to 203 calories, 43.5g of carbohydrates, and 1.1g of fat per person for the flour in whole-grain pasta. This amount may vary as you can also substitute other whole-grain flours for regular whole-wheat flour, including kamut and spelt flours. Most of the calories in flour come from carbohydrates, a macronutrient your body breaks down into glucose to use for energy.
Two eggs combine with the whole-wheat flour when making whole grain pasta at home. Two eggs add 143 calories to the recipe, as well as 9.51g of fat and 0.72g of carbohydrates. Most of the calories, however, come from protein -- two eggs contain 12.56g of this macronutrient, or 22.4 to 27.3 percent of the 46 to 56g recommended for daily consumption by the Institute of Medicine.
Olive oil is a healthy fat source, containing monounsaturated fat, a fat variety that may decrease your risk of heart disease, according to MayoClinic.com. Whole-grain pasta does not require much of this oil, only as needed to moisten dough. If you follow a low-fat diet and avoid fat wherever possible, you may substitute water for olive oil, but the whole grain pasta will lack some flavor from the oil. A 1 tsp. serving of olive oil contains 40 calories, 4.5g of fat and no carbohydrates or protein.
Some whole-wheat pasta recipes call for salt, and you may also add in other flavorings, including black pepper, herbs and spices. If you monitor your diet for sodium -- the American Heart Association recommends limiting your intake to 1,500mg per day -- add salt sparingly; each 1/2 tsp. of salt adds 1,163mg of sodium to the recipe.
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