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General information
Bread and pasta
Rice and Potatoes
Keywords

Bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, carbohydrates, cereals, tubers

Author

ROS

Level

3

Bread, potatoes, pasta, rice
Description
From a nutritional point of view, these products are rich in complex carbohydrates providing the energy that fuels the body.

Bread is a product mainly derived from cereals. It is the product of baking a mixture of flour, water, salt, yeast and other ingredients. It has been traditionally part of the Mediterranean Diet, usually consumed for breakfast or as an accompaniment to every meal.
There are available a wide range of bread varieties, as many as cereals exist, buckwheat, spelt, wheat…
Similarly, the variety of pastas has increased enormously. Pastas made of cereals as buckwheat or even made of legumes and vegetables are easily found in supermarkets.

A lot of benefits can be listed for pasta, especially wholegrain pasta. They are considered a good source of energy needed for daily activities since they are rich in carbohydrate. They are also low- fat products and improve digestive processes.
Rice is a very nutritive and versatile cereal, from a culinary point of view, due to the endless applications and it is also a key product in the world wide known meal, paella. There are a plenty of varieties, brown rice, black rice, wild rice.
The Mediterranean diet Foundation states that at least one or two daily servings of pasta, rice, cuscus and others should be consumed. Whole grain products should be prioritised instead of refined grain products which are stripped of valuable nutrients in the refining process, as vitamins, minerals (magnesium and phosphorus) and fiber.

Potatoes are starchy tuber, a root vegetable that contain carbohydrates to fuel, 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of plant-based protein as well as some vitamins and minerals (potassium, iron, vitamins C). There are a wide range of variety of potatoes, such as russet (starchy), sweet potatoes, red potatoes (waxy), white and yellow potatoes (all- purpose). The culinary applications of the potato are endless. From fried, mashed, roasted, boiled, steamed, and baked, the versatility of this vegetable is impressive
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Benefits
A lot of benefits related to health can be listed for grains and cereals, especially, wholegrain products (pasta, bread, etc.). Whole grains contain three parts: the bran, germ, and endosperm. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer that supplies B vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.
The germ is the core of the seed where growth occurs; it is rich in healthy fats, vitamin E and B, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. The endosperm is the interior layer that holds carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of some B vitamins and minerals.
They are also rich in complex carbohydrate, mostly starch, providing the energy that fuels the body. Moreover, gluten may also be present in these products.

Since they are a good source of fiber, it leads to a reduction of risk hearts disease, the improvement of digestive processes, it also provides satiety (high rich in protein so it can be considered as an ally to weight management).
Whole meal bread milder effect on blood sugar and insulin than white bread, white rice, and other refined grains.
Representative Products
Potatoes (russet (starchy), sweet potatoes, spunta, red potatoes (waxy), white and yellow potatoes (all- purpose), Kennebec, Elodie), rice (wild rice, brown rice, sticky rice, jasmine rice) cereal (oatmeal, buckwheat, millet, whole rye, corn, spelt, bulgur, barley).

Buckwheat is a highly nutritious whole grain. It is a pseudocereal as it shares many similar properties to cereals but does not come from grass as most other cereals do. It is a good source of protein, fiber, and healthful complex carbohydrates.
Risks
There are some risk of intolerances and allergy reactions related to the consumption of:

Gluten which is a protein generally presented in some grains and cereals: several conditions relate to gluten, including celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy.
When potatoes are over baked or over fried, there is a risk of generation of acrylamide, a non-biological chemical substance which may be very harmful and proportionally to temperature and time.
Further references
- https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/know-your-food-groups
- https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/Nuts-and-seeds
- https://www.potatogoodness.com/
- Pasta Facts, Health Benefits and Nutritional Value (healthbenefitstimes.com)
- Is pasta healthy? Benefits and types (medicalnewstoday.com)

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