Calling All Pasta Lovers: The Noodle Is Nutritious!

March 6, 2023

Nutrition month is just days away, and it’s time we ditch the undeserved reputation behind the noodle and unlock its true potential. Turns out, pasta is a dependable addition to your meal planning and diet, as it provides significant nutritional value. It is a noticeably convenient option and allows for versatility in the kitchen. It is high in fibre and contains less than 200 calories per serving. This makes pasta a no-brainer staple of your lifestyle. Plus, with inflation now at record highs in grocery stores across the country, it is still possible to enjoy healthy foods with the cost of groceries rising—a.k.a., pasta. We chatted with Hannah Magee, registered dietician, to learn more about the noble noodle. —Noa Nichol

Hi Hannah! Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a licensed registered dietitian eager to share evidence-based nutrition information and clear up the confusion about health and nutrition online. Alongside my nutrition communications work, I help clients foster positive relationships with food and discover habits that make them feel their absolute best. March is Nutrition Month, and this year I’ve teamed up with Italpasta to help people ditch the undeserved reputation behind our beloved noodles and unlock the nutritional potential of pasta. That’s right, pasta is nothing to be feared—in fact, it’s actually good for you!

We all know noodles, but, nutritionally, what are they made of?

Pasta is made from durum wheat, and in Canada it’s enriched with vitamins and minerals like iron, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin. While it’s inspired by Italy, Italpasta is proudly Canadian owned and operated. Their pasta is made with love and care from the highest quality, 100 per cent Canadian wheat.

In recent years pasta has received a bit of a bad rep. What makes it a dependable addition to our meal planning and diet?

Not only is pasta affordable and delicious, it’s a nutritious way to feed your family. It’s enriched with vitamins and minerals, a source of fibre and complex carbohydrates, and there are endless ways to prepare it so the entire family can enjoy.

As an expert, what are five pasta facts you’d like everyone to know?

In Canada, pasta is enriched with important vitamins and minerals including iron, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin, which are all important for good health. One serving of pasta contains 25 per cent of your recommended daily intake of folic acid. This nutrient is especially important for women who are pregnant or of child-bearing age. Pasta is a source of complex carbohydrates. We all need a certain amount of carbohydrates throughout the day, and complex carbohydrates are a good choice because they help you feel fuller for longer. Pasta is a source of fiber, and this is something most Canadians don’t eat enough of. Fiber is important for digestion, blood sugar management, and keeping you full. One cup of pasta contains 2.5g fibre! If you’re on a health or weight loss journey, you don’t have to give up pasta. It’s really all about portion size and what you pair it with. Aim to add a source of protein like beans, chicken, or fish, then fill up half your plate with veggies, and you’ve got a balanced pasta meal right there.

Inflation seems to be at record highs in grocery stores across the country; budget wise, why does spaghetti make sense?

Choosing pasta absolutely makes sense if you’re on a budget. It’s affordable (you can get a large 900g package of Italpasta noodles for about $3), and totally versatile. It can be used in an endless variety of dishes and paired with other affordable ingredients like canned or frozen vegetables and protein sources for balanced and budget-friendly meals.

What’s your favourite way to nosh on noodles these days?

It’s hard for me to choose just one! Because it’s still cold out, I’m all about comforting yet nourishing pasta dishes. Like a cozy lasagna soup with lasagna noodles, lean ground beef and lots of added veggies. Or an easy vegetarian pasta with noodles, white beans, veggies, olive oil and parmesan cheese.


  1. Catherine Lee

    April 4th, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    My go-to is always plain penne noodles, with a little butter and olive oil, fresh grated parm,
    any veggies I have in my fridge, along with a grilled shrimp skewer.

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