Archive for the tag - pasta

I’m A Gay Man And I Eat Bread.

IMG_2101I’m a gay man, and I eat bread.

This isn’t a confession. This isn’t an admission of guilt. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I eat bread. I eat carbs. And so can you.

Years ago, I was getting dinner with some gay friends. Something went wrong with our order and the kitchen brought us a complimentary bowl of lo mein noodles. The gaggle of gay men laughed nervously, as though a Trojan horse had somehow made its way into our company.

“No one is going to eat that,” they told the confused waiter.

But they were wrong. I ate it. Because it was lo mein, and lo mein is fucking good.

And the only thing better than lo mein, is free lo mein.

Of course, this story isn’t unique. It has unfolded, in one variation or another, countless times at the tables – and in the minds – of gay men everywhere.

We all know that foods like bread, pasta and noodles contain carbohydrates. It’s a commonly held belief that carbs make you fat, and that being fat is a terrible thing. Both of these assumptions are inaccurate.

As it turns out, we need carbohydrates for proper bodily functions. The USDA recommends that 45% – 65% of our calories come from carbohydrates because:

  • Carbs are the body’s main fuel source.
  • Carbs are needed for the central nervous system, the kidneys, the brain and muscles (including your heart) to function properly.
  • Carbs are important to intestinal health and waste elimination.

When you go to the gym, it’s carbohydrates that allow you to power through your workout and that fuel your results. When you’re studying for a test, it’s carbohydrates that help you focus. Without carbs, fatigue, constipation and even ketosis can result.

In other words, carbohydrates are really, really important. Carbs don’t make you fat; they make you healthy (especially when you opt for complex carbohydrates).

Liberate yourself from the prison of carb-free life. Eat bread. Have an occasional bowl of lo mein noddles. Be healthy. Most importantly, enjoy life.

Does Pasta Make You Fat?

hunkeatingpastaThere’s a quote that I love from a famous Italian-French film star in the 1960s named Sofia Loren. Famous for her talent and good looks alike, Loren once commented on her appearance by saying:

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.

For most Americans, the word pasta is a synonym for fattening. But is there any truth to this notion – or are we missing the point all together?

The popular theory goes something like this: Pasta is really just carbohydrates. When we eat carbohydrates, they turn into sugar and get stored as fat.

The reality is a bit different. When we consume more calories than we burn, those excess calories are stored as fat. You can get fat from eating too many calories of any food, be it pasta or even spinach. Carbohydrates and protein both contain 4 calories per gram, compared to 7 calories per gram of alcohol and 9 calories per gram of fat. Relatively speaking, pasta isn’t particularly calorie dense.

We also know that pasta is a staple of the Italian diet. According to the National Pasta Association, the average Italian eats 51 pounds of pasta per year. North Americans, on the other hand, eat an average of 15 pounds annually. And yet, the obesity rate in Italy is just 10% compared to 32% in the United States. Obviously, there are other variables to consider – but one can’t but wonder if our pastaphobia is misguided.

A lot of it comes down to serving sizes. It’s worth noting that a serving of pasta is just 2 ounces. Depending on the pasta shape and configuration, that’s about 1/2 cooked cup of pasta. For Americans that are accustomed to consuming mountains of pasta, this might not seem like much. But remember that you can add pasta to a base of cooked vegetables, beans or even chicken. It’s helpful to think of pasta as an ingredient – and not the meal itself.

Americans also tend to load pasta with unhealthy, calorie-dense sauces. Instead, opt for a tomato-based sauce without added sugars. You’ll immediately and dramatically reduce your caloric intake.

And as I’ve mentioned before, carbohydrates get a bad rap of which they’re undeserving. Carbohydrates help ensure proper bodily function and improved results at the gym. Low carb diets are often associated with low energy levels, fatigue, weakness, headache and/or bowel issues. Rather than avoiding carbs altogether, one can eliminate the blood sugar spike associated with simple carbohydrates by favoring whole wheat pasta over traditional pasta.

At the end of the day, blaming pasta for our burgeoning waistlines misses the point; portion size and preparation methods are a more important consideration.

P.S. Losing weight is about more than counting calories and moving more. It’s also about transforming the relationship that you have with your body. For the last program that you’ll ever need, download The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.