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Mar 16, 2012 12:05 AM

Spaghetti - glycaemic index

Was reading the report on rice and diabetes II - and noticed a referral to spaghetti having a significantly low GI - was rather anti-intuitive as spaghetti is 100% non-whole grain wheat - just as white bread is - which has a very high GI

Anybody that can explain?

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  1. I can't explain but I do know that spaghetti cooked al dente has a lower GI than overcooked spaghetti. Not just spaghetti, obviously, but presumably all durum-wheat pasta.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mbfant

      This is true for tomato sauces (not sure about pastas).
      Long slowly cooked ragus wreak havoc on the GI, while quick marinaras are more tolerable.
      My advice in short is, don't concentrate those sugars any more than you have to. Also, be very mindful of the fact that different BRANDS of pasta will cause higher or lower readings. Find what brands work best for you and remain loyal to them.

      1. re: Cheese Boy

        I don't know about GI but I do know about pasta, and I would guess that the high-end pastas would have the more favorable GI because the very hot drying process of the huge industrial methods sort of precooks the pasta, while the smaller producers use a slower process at low temperature.

        1. re: Cheese Boy

          The GI index here is almost surely related only to the pure 'pasta' ingredient - 'spaghetti' to mean inclusion of the myriad of sauces etc. wouldn't really make any sense.

          1. re: jounipesonen

            Of course. It would be ridiculous to include the condiment.

            1. re: mbfant

              Cheeseboy did - in a later post- speak of the veg-added dry pasta (spinach, tomato, etc) - and that it does change the GI - I was only thinking of the idea of a 'spaghetti dish' - and was thus blind-sided in some of my earlier comments

        2. re: mbfant

          Take it to extremes and it is logical.: Which takes longer to digest, a handful of uncooked dry pasta, or ( if you could actually hold them in your hand - then keep them in your stomach!) a handful of Spaghetti O's.

        3. You show me a health related study that says something and I'll show you one that says exactly the other.


          1 Reply
          1. This may be the best GI database

            The index depends not just on the raw ingredients, but on the overall digestibility, and can vary with preparation.

            4 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              Yes, and also be mindful (and possibly wary) of any accompanying ingredients listed.

              1. re: Cheese Boy

                There should be no additional ingredients in spaghetti as far as any I've ever heard of.

                1. re: jounipesonen

                  My cupboard is filled with a motley of vegetable pastas. Porcini pasta, zucchini pasta, carrot, spinach, tomato ... just to name a few. Disappointingly, ALL of them result in different readings even when prepared in the exact same manner. One such brand ... http://ronzonigardendelight.newworldp...

                  1. re: Cheese Boy

                    ok - you had been referring earlier to the actual sauces and started to think you were referring to 'spaghetti' as the final dish WITH sauces. I then got thrown off-track by forgetting that there are the combo spaghettis with 'stuff' cooked into them (btw - haven't seen much use own or desire for them except to spend more money - or make St. Patrick's Day dishes eg :-) )


            2. most people now are paying more attention to the glycemic load, which takes into account, for example, that you do indeed eat spaghetti with sauce, oil and meat or veggies. it would be a rare event for anybody to eat unadorned spaghetti.

              personally, my health and weight have improved dramatically by paying attention to the carb counts of foods and eliminating grains and sugars altogether.

              1. If you're dealing with type 2 diabetes, I would throw out the GI index and simply try to eliminate carbs from your diet as much as possible. Get rid of all sugars, grains, root vegetables and fruits and you can pretty much eat anything you want after that. Regardless of how high or low a GI/GL of a food is, at the end of the day sugar is sugar and it's going to cause an insulin reaction for you. The best solution is to do away with carbs. After a while your body will thank you with a heightened insulin sensitivity. And you'll get to say goodbye to diabetes.