New York, NY (October 7, 2015) – Each October, we celebrate one of Americans’ most beloved foods – pasta! Pasta lovers can rest assured that when pasta is on the table, you’ve not only made a delicious choice, but a healthy one too. The Mediterranean Diet, which has been applauded by scientists for centuries, is linked to a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease and is recognized as the “gold standard” for lifelong health. As a cost-effective delivery system for vegetables, fruits, fish, legumes and lean meats, pasta plays an integral role in this diet favored by nutritionists around the world.
In honor of “National Pasta Month” and the surging popularity of the Mediterranean Diet, Pasta Fits, the consumer education platform of the National Pasta Association, looked at the 2015 health and nutrition trends surrounding this household staple. According to Pasta Fits, Americans are searching for healthier dinnertime solutions that include the components of the Mediterranean style of eating. In fact, over 15% of website visitors to Pastafits.org searched for recipes that featured lean poultry such as chicken, or ground turkey like Grilled Chicken Rotini with Broccoli Scampi or Spaghetti Bolognese with Ground Turkey and Roasted Eggplant. Other popular recipes included vegetable-filled pasta dishes, healthy “makeover” meals and seafood-based dishes, which all complement the Mediterranean Diet.
“It doesn’t surprise me to see more and more Americans looking for healthier meal solutions and shifting to the Mediterranean way of eating,” said Diane Welland, Registered Dietitian. “Scientists have been recommending this diet for decades, and new research further supports its benefits. For people looking to adopt this way of eating, I recommend stocking up on pasta and whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, fish, olive oil, nuts and legumes, and remember portion size is key.”
For consumers looking to enjoy delicious and healthy pasta meals, Welland also suggests:
- Spice it Up. Pasta is versatile and can work with almost any profile. Looking for something new and different? Try a dish with Mexican spices or add a new protein!
- Use Pasta as a Foundation. Pasta can be the perfect way to get those picky eaters to get healthful fruits and veggies into the diet. Paired with pasta and a lean protein, they’ll have no idea they are eating something so great for their body.
- Enjoy the Variety. There is a pasta shape that is perfect for every recipe! Be adventurous and try something new. You’ll be surprised what a new texture or shape might do for a recipe. Check out the Pasta Fits dictionary to see some of the many options.
To celebrate National Pasta Month and one of the key components of the Mediterranean dish, Pasta Fits has launched a video full of interesting, fun facts about pasta! To watch the video, visit www.pastafits.org. Pasta Fits has also issued brand new mouth-watering recipes for this month.