Home » The characteristics of the new pastas made of legumes: gluten-free and rich in proteins

The characteristics of the new pastas made of legumes: gluten-free and rich in proteins

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The characteristics of the new pastas made of legumes: gluten-free and rich in proteins

diEliana Liotta

The «Smart tips» column talks about the alternative to traditional pasta: people like it and have many healthy benefits, including a low glycemic index

Legume pasta has now fully entered large-scale retail trade to the applause of nutritionists and the appreciation of Italians, climbing the sales charts. It does not go unnoticed for its unusual colours: the fusilli are red, the penne green. An originality that goes hand in hand with the flavour, slightly different depending on the flour used, of lentils, peas or chickpeas.

Gluten free

The product is suitable for celiacs because it is gluten-free (if it derives, as in most packages, 100% from legumes), but it is also a valid alternative for those who want to consume vegetable proteins, replacing animal sources more often.

The portion

It has been calculated that a standard portion of caserecce or legume celery is equal to 100 – 120 g, more than a serving of durum wheat pasta (80 g).
After all, it constitutes a unique dish, given that chickpeas or beans contain both proteins and starches. For example, pea pasta provides approximately 339 calories per pound, with 55 gr. of carbohydrates, 22 of proteins and 7.5 of fibre.

The seasoning

Taking the opportunity to have an all-vegetable lunch, without fats and animal proteins, the advice is to season the special pasta with a sauce
of vegetables or tomato sauce and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Low glycemic index

In a 2021 review, published in Food and signed by researchers from the University of Parma and the Catholic University of Piacenza, 78% of the total legume pastas analyzed were classified as low glycemic index. «It is by virtue of the nutritional properties», we read in the scientific work, «such as richness in proteins and poorly digestible starch».

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Amino acid deficiency

Legume pasta does not have all the essential amino acids, i.e. the building blocks of proteins, but to complete the protein profile it will be enough to consume a portion of bread or other sources of cereals throughout the day (which have the amino acids lacking in legumes).

* The review is by Lucilla Titta, coordinator of the Smartfood program at the Ieo-European Institute of Oncology.

April 17, 2024

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