Pasta has received a whole lot of flak for being a high-carb item, but there’s no denying the fact that it is delicious and filling. Replacing pasta made from refined flour with whole wheat and other whole grain varieties, is another step towards making it that much healthier. But did you know that altering its cooking time can up its nutritional value?

Eating pasta that is al dente, or slightly undercooked (which is how the Italians like it) means that the digestive enzymes in the gut take longer to break down the starch into sugars, releasing them more slowly into the bloodstream. This keeps you feeling full for longer, making it easier to control weight. Overcooking pasta increases its gylcemic index (GI), which taxes organs such as the pancreas, and could lead to diabetes and obesity in the long run.

To cook pasta al dente, drain it around 2-3 minutes before the cooking time mentioned on the packet. Eating too much pasta is not good though, so remember to practice portion control and consume no more than one cup per day. To add bulk, combine it with plenty of veggies and herbs.

Read More:
Healthy Twists To Your Favorite Pasta Recipes
Fix That Dish: Make Healthier Spaghetti & Meatballs

Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.