Heidi

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Mom, desperately trying to get the health thing right! I started this blog so that I can pass along all the great things that I learn everyday on damage control for our wonderful bodies. It is tough to keep up sometimes with all the things going on in our daily lives so hopefully some of the helpful hints that I provide can make your life easier and healthier. I welcome your comments and tips as well! I am a vegetarian, animal rights advocate and avid animal rescuer.
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2008-06-09

A SPOONFUL OF OLIVE OIL HELPS THE SPAGHETTI GO DOWN!

Here I go recycling again but back when I was a baby blogger and nobody read me I wrote some of my very favorite posts. This is one of my favorite tips so I wanted to share!

I once read somewhere where Sophia Loren said that she owed everything to spaghetti or something to that effect. I took it to mean that she was healthy and thin because of spaghetti but who knows. Maybe she never said it and I just thought she said it so I could eat lots of spaghetti and not feel guilty about it. Now, I never thought of spaghetti as being unhealthy actually, I always thought spaghetti was one of the healthiest things I could eat (remember that I am a health nut wannabee with good reason). I am not saying that spaghetti is unhealthy necessarily but here is how to tell if your spaghetti is good for you or not (don't worry if you like the unhealthy spaghetti like I do, I have a damage control secret to share with you).

Unealthy spaghetti- If it's made with white flour, like most pasta, and smothered in cream sauce, it's unhealthy. From the Body Ecology perspective, conventional pastas feed pathogenic yeast and bacteria in your intestines. They disturb the growth of good microflora, and can lower your immunity. Candida, a systemic fungal infection, especially thrives on the natural complex sugars in pasta that can ferment in your gut and encourage candida overgrowth. How depressing! (info. from body ecology.com)

Healthy spaghetti-If it’s whole grain al dente (firm) pasta with unsweetened tomato sauce, it's healthy (still need to watch your sugar/starch intake-so moderation is the key). Whole grain al dente pasta is much higher in fiber, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. It's slowly absorbed into the bloodstream and doesn’t cause a blood sugar spike. More here.

Let's say that you love the unhealthy pasta like me and for those days when you cannot have the wheat healthy pasta for whatever reason like you don't want to or the kids are threatening you if you make that "one" pasta again that not even the wild opossum that comes to eat cat food each night would eat -I have a damage control tip for you! I learned this from the incredible nutritionist Dr. Heidi Dulay. She said that if you had one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil BEFORE you ate your pasta it would help by putting the good fats in from the olive oil and not allowing the bad fats in from the evil unhealthy but much loved spaghetti. I gave it a try and as a side benefit the extra virgin olive oil is great for your skin.

By the way, I found a post at The Fitness Philosopher blog that really helped me get a better grip on nutrition- you might want to check it out. Foolproof Nutrition For Function and Fat Loss.

21 comments:

Da Old Man said...
I just posted a healthy pasta recipe that you may be interested in.

http://thejoyoftoast.blogspot.com
Sogeshirtsguy said...
Wow I love pasta and I like olive oil so this should be pretty easy for me. Thanks for the tip Heidi.
David Tamayo said...
I do not drink alcohol, smoke, or take illicit drugs. What I do have an addiction to is Pasta. Pasta and the myriad of delicious sauces. In connection with this, I am so thankful for olive oil. EVOO as a certain foodNetwork Oprah adoptee likes to call it. There was a time that olives were considered unhealthy. Can you imagine such blasphemy? I am glad that the truth was finally discovered. I even know people that take one to two teaspoons of EVOO every morning as part of their "supplement" program. I will just take mine with the noodles thank you. =)
ssgreylord said...
I've definitely had the whole wheat pasta and must admit that the glutton in me still prefers the unhealthy version. (I'm with Sophia Loren.) But olive oil I love, so now I shall be using that trick whether eating in or out.
Kelly O said...
Pasta - I so miss it. This makes me want to go get some of the good pasta and enjoy it with a healthy dose of homemade marinara...and fresh basil from my garden....the ideas are flowing....
The best thing about pasta is that it taste good!

It is healthy yes, but it also taste good!

I get tired of health food that taste yukie:).

A bowl of spaghetti and red sauce..hmmm.
tashabud said...
Thanks for sharing this. I love pasta, breads, and all the bad foods, so this info is good for me. I'll try it next time. Thanks also for your interest in reading my novel. Have a great day.
Liza said...
wow! good to know that, my family love spaghetti so much. thanks for sharing this. may i also add that a teaspoon of olive oil before going to bed helps you get rid of snoring ;)

re your comment: thanks heidi, you have a great blog too and i'm sharing it with you ;)

cheers!
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asithi said...
I like eating it half regular pasta and half whole wheat. That is the only way I can get myself to eat the whole wheat pasta. At least I am trying.
Nicole said...
Great tip! I'll be trying this!
jOolian said...
...yummmmeeee...
i like the bottom half, well, and the top half, and especially more fond of a marinara, crushed tomatoes, olive oil maximus and garlic, and then black (with some green) olives and mushrooms, few onions fer a kick... excellenté tip -o- news mz Heidi
...now i'm starrrvin'

my all time fave is still White Clam sauce linguine ... whatz the goods on clams, calcium ??
Excellent spaghetti advice. I also like spaghetti and will eat it the healthy way you have suggested. Thank you.
Barry said...
I love a good spaghetti!!!
Hi Heidi!

I'm an avid reader of your blog. O love pasta or spaghetti. But I guess here in our country, we cook and eat the unhealthy kind. Thanks for the tip and will find a pasta made of whole grain next time my friend and I cook our fave, spaghetti! = )
Keli said...
I would just add to the healthy, make it organic and you've arrived! Nice post!
José said...
Hi,

When I cook spaghetti (esparguete in portuguese), I always add olive oil to it (during cooking and then after).
My favourite brand is Grand Italia, but I also like Panzani.

Kind regards,

José
Tom Parker said...
Good post Heidi. I too thought for a long time that pasta was really healthy and it was OK to eat shedloads of it. I'm now slowly coming to the realisation that I need to switch to wholegrain carbohydrates (whether it be brown bread, wholegrain pasta or brown rice) if I want to eat pasta and stay healthy.

I've just got a question regarding the olive oil. Is it OK to cook the pasta with the olive oil i.e. add it to the water that the pasta is being boiled in or drizzle it on the pasta after it is cooked? Or do you have to eat the spoonful of olive oil separately from the pasta?
Christopher Warden said...
Point to remember regarding pasta (hate to be the bearer of bad news -- sorry!): Whether it's pasta made from semolina flour or from whole grains, the starch in the pasta will ultimately be metabolized into sugar.

This is important as it's related to your body's release of insulin for blood sugar regulation. Insulin tells the body to "store" nutrients -- fat included -- and, according to many studies, is a significant link to the diseases associated with metabolic syndrome (hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, obesity, decreased HDL, high triglycerides).

In short, if you're trying to lose body fat, or trying to become healthy, eating significant amounts of starch - regardless of the source - is not going to help your cause.

Beware the label "healthy" in terms of carbohydrates -- "healthy" does not necessarily equate to fat loss, nor does it even guarantee health.

All this being said, there's no denying that a good pasta tastes amazing, especially when accompanied by a high quality olive oil!
Herbs Mom said...
Hey Heidi, It is very nice to see a post on "Spaghetti", Speically your disscussions about "Unealthy spaghetti"(that is UnHealthy spaghetti right?), and "Healthy spaghetti" are great....

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