Some of us will have eaten raw pasta and noodles at some point. However, making a habit of eating raw pasta or noodles is not the healthiest decision to make.
Whilst it rarely causes any serious illnesses, continually consuming undercooked pasta can cause long-term damage to your body.
These issues include dietary deficiencies, inflammation, and intestinal damage. It is therefore highly recommended that you cook your pasta properly.
What Are The Risks Of Eating Raw Pasta?
Regularly consuming raw pasta poses significant dietary issues. This is because raw pasta contains a high amount of anti-nutrients.
The main two anti-nutrients are phytates and lectins. Both of these anti-nutrients can cause carnage in your intestinal lining and disrupt the enzymes throughout your body causing unwanted inflammation.
Additionally, phytate can also cause calcium and iron deficiency as it binds to them and makes these key nutrients harder to absorb.
Therefore, consuming raw pasta on a regular basis will eventually lead to a mineral deficiency. If your pasta has also been stored incorrectly, it can also carry a variety of bacteria that lead to diseases.
Any noodles that contain eggs have the potential to carry salmonella. If you are consuming your noodles raw, you should be aware that there is the potential for you to be consuming bacteria.
Although the drying process will usually have killed any salmonella prior to you consuming the pasta, there is a higher risk of you consuming it if you eat your noodles raw.
Any pasta that has been cross-contaminated by being placed on a dirty surface will also make you unwell.
Like meat, raw pasta will pick up bacteria from any surface that it is placed on. It is the cooking process that typically kills any germs. Raw pasta is also incredibly hard to digest due to its starch content.
The vast majority of raw pasta will pass through your system without being digested properly and this will cause constipation and stomach aches including cramps and flatulence.
How To Avoid Undercooking Your Pasta?
The best way to ensure that your pasta is cooked thoroughly is to check it regularly when cooking.
Your pasta should be placed into boiling or boiled water and cooked until it is no longer rigid. This will ensure that any bacteria is killed also.
Certain varieties of pasta including Al Dente pasta are safe to consume as the noodles will have been heated thoroughly in order to kill the bacteria inside.
Pasta usually lasts for a year after its expiration date as long as it is contained properly.
You should ensure that your pasta is contained in airtight surroundings, away from any moisture that can cause bacteria and mold from developing.
Can Raw Pasta Be Fattening?
Raw pasta contains a lot of starch which is usually viewed as fattening.
Cooking starch-based products makes them far easier to digest. In this sense, overcooking your pasta can also be dangerous in the long term as it can cause a spike in your blood sugar due to the starch contents.
Conversely, raw pasta is incredibly hard for your digestive system to break down and as such, you absorb fewer calories.
Despite the fact that consuming raw pasta is less fattening than consuming overcooked pasta, the risk of illness is definitely increased by eating it raw.
Is Eating Fresh Pasta Better Than Consuming Dried Pasta?
You may believe that consuming fresh pasta raw is a better alternative to consuming dried pasta raw but they both pose the risk of illness.
Fresh pasta is typically made using eggs, flour, and water and you, therefore, run the risk of food poisoning when eating raw.
Eating raw dried pasta also increases your chance of developing bacteria-laden illnesses, as discussed, and it is therefore not beneficial to eat either form when raw.
Above all, you should ensure that you are storing both types of pasta correctly, preventing any moisture from building up inside the container to deter any mold growth.
The vast majority of dried pasta will be able to avoid this if it is kept dry at room temperature.
The best cooking temperature for dried pasta is otherwise known as ‘al dente’ which means nearly undercooked.
This ensures that your pasta remains firm and retains the strength it needs alongside heavily-laden sauce.
To conclude, it is not advisable to eat pasta raw irrespective of whether it is fresh or dried.
This is because cooking reduces the likelihood of developing illnesses that derive from the bacteria inside and outside of the pasta itself.
Boiling kills any harmful bacteria whilst also ensuring that the starch within the pasta is digestible in its form.
Anyone who consumes raw pasta on a regular basis runs the risk of damaging their intestines as raw pasta is incredibly hard for the body to digest effectively.
This can lead to a plethora of stomach issues that would have otherwise been avoidable.
Whilst raw pasta contains far fewer calories than cooked pasta, the long-term damages of consumption far outweigh this.
If you are looking to maintain a healthy diet without compromising your favorite pasta dishes, then you should consider using gluten-free pasta or a healthier alternative.
This will ensure that you are maintaining the healthiest lifestyle possible without resorting to eating raw pasta or noodles.
The flavor of raw pasta is also highly undesirable and as such, you should make sure that you are checking on your pasta throughout the cooking process as vigilance will ensure that you are not consuming pasta that is either undercooked or overcooked.
Your body and your dinner guests will thank you immeasurably!
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