For years now, dietitians have been outspoken against pasta and its high carbohydrates. Many see eating pasta as a sure way to gain weight. But Italian pasta manufacturer Barilla wants to change the attitudes of American pasta consumers. CEO Guido Barilla says lasagna, spaghetti, and penne are healthy for you despite the negative perception of pasta.
Sitting down to a daily plate of pasta, Guido Barilla contends that pasta is the foundation of the highly popular Mediterranean diet. The diet does include pasta in its recommendations and recipes, but the Mediterranean diet’s other items capture the spotlight. The diet incorporates pasta as a side dish, not as a main course. The recommended serving size is 1/2 to 1 cup of pasta.
At one of Barilla’s three New York City restaurants, Barilla told CNNMoney, “People do not know the facts.” Americans eat pasta differently than Italian’s do. The American diner eats in excess of one cup of pasta generously drowns it in red or white sauce and pours too much salt on it. Naysayers to pasta as a healthy food choice contend a pasta dinner is full of carbohydrates, salt, and sugar.
While pasta has an elevated carbohydrate count, Barilla contends its a matter of portion control. While critics emphasize pasta sauce is loaded with sugar, Barilla says Americans have a more demanding palette for tasty sauces. As Italians enjoy a basic plate of pasta and sauce, Americans crave more oregano, basil, garlic and sugar to enhance the flavor.
With concern raised about eight grams of sugar in a single pasta serving, Barilla finds it ironic that Americans don’t hesitate to sit down to a bowl of sugar-ladenTrix or Fruit Loops cereal. These and other cereal products have ten or more grams of sugar per serving.
Though Guido Barilla dismissed the sugar content in Barilla’s sauces and recipes as unhealthy, he disclosed that company food scientists are investigating ways to lower sugar, salt and fat content in Barilla products.
Though he faces competition from the successful Atkins and Paleo diet platforms, Guido Barilla’s is determined to tell the world that pasta is healthy for you.
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