Weight differences between cooked and dry pasta?

 Oh, the complexities of trying to convince oneself to lose weight while your mind is pitted against the effort 24/7!

One question that has come to my mind, just recently, was how to measure the calories in cooked pasta; be it either the spaghetti or shell varieties. Both my diet planner software and the nutritional panel on the a package of medium pasta shells agreed that ¾ of a cup of dry pasta (~56 grams) would equal to about 210 calories. However, there is a big difference in weight between the cooked and dry weights! After I weighed out 56 grams of medium shell pasta and then cooked it,  I found the weights to be  171 grams cooked to 56 grams dry or a ratio of 3:1! That’s something that’s good to know if you like to make pasta ahead of time as I do quite often.

That such a small amount (~70 medium shells) of pasta contains so many calories was daunting! This stuff is caloric dynamite! Add in a quarter cup of pasta sauce (71 calories), and you’re suddenly up to about 281 calories. And, if you add in a slice of toast (no butter) at 70 calories plus a 1 cup glass of orange juice (113 calories) and a mixed salad (using 1 tbsp of oil and vinegar as a dressing and equaling 166 calories), you’d suddenly discover that what had looked like a modest lunch, actually comes in at slightly over 600 calories! Wow! Don’t worry fellow dieters, I’ll cut way back come dinner time.

FACT or FICTION: One of the big no-no’s, in the past, has been the admonition not to eat foods that are high in starch (pasta, breads, potatoes et al.) when trying to lose weight. And, while that statement is generally true, pasta can still be enjoyed if eaten in moderation. The trick is try and ensure that the pasta is overwhelmed by other healthier foods.
You can also offset other unpleasant side effects, such as spiking ones blood sugar, by making sure not to overcook it. Pasta that is al dente and which was cooked or is associated with some form of oil will breakdown much more slowly in the digestive system and thus have a lower overall glycemic impact.

About forsythkid

I am just a simple man with a head full of sand who is currently residing in a small town called Forsyth Missouri. I enjoy hiking, camping and all things related to gardening. I rec’d my degree from SIU majoring in Biology many moons ago and still maintain a great interest in the study of all living things. My hobbies include meteorology, the Finnish language and inhabiting cyberspace whenever possible.
This entry was posted in eating pasta in moderation, Forsythkid, glycemic impact of pasta, How many calories in cooked versus dry pasta. Bookmark the permalink.

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