T Nation

Oatmeal vs egg white pasta

OK, got a question for John Berardi and Chris
Shugart - since you guys are such big oatmeal
advocates. You both seem to be somewhat down
on white (semolina) pasta as a carb source
and recommend oatmeal instead. I specifically
remember JB saying that he sees people getting
“smooth” from pasta, and that eating oatmeal
keeps him lean.

Here is my question: Why is this? Because if you compare the II and GI of oatmeal and white pasta, they have approx the same II, but oatmeal actually has a GI that is significantly higher than white pasta. So if pasta is making people smooth, and oatmeal is keeping them lean, then one of two things has to be going on. Either people are just eating more carb cals from pasta, or there is more to the story than just GI and II. In other words, there must be some other factor other than GI and II effecting their physiques - assuming all other things being equal - including the total carb cals being the same.

So what do you guys think about this? (The reason I ask is that I would prefer to eat pasta, but I haven't determined if it causes me to gain more fat or not.)

Uh, I don’t know where that “egg” in the
title came from. It was just supposed to be
“oatmeal vs white pasta” in the title. Please
disregard the “egg” portion of the title.

just posting my personal experience with this: i DO get smooth if i eat pasta, but i can continue to cut up while keeping oatmeal in my diet.

I’ve always put pasta in the same category as white bread i.e. in the “bad” category (at least for we carb sensitive types). Like you said, oatmeal seems to be fine, but pasta doesn’t work for me when leaning up. I’ve always thought this has something to do with the fact that pasta is so finely processed as compared to old fashioned oatmeal.

Processing and GI aside, most people screw up with pasta because of the toppings and side dishes. I remember during the low fat craze of the late 80s and early 90s, these fat women would always talk about how “healthy” pasta was, then they’d eat it with heavy meat sauce and breadsticks! Silly wabbits.

From what I have read, white pasta can be low GI if a couple of things are adhered to. Cook only until it is al dente, and choose pastas that are made by extrusion. Apparently, the high pressures during extrusion, such as for spaghetti or angel hair, compacts the wheat to make it lower in GI. Also, pastas with added protein such as eggs or soy protein will be much lower GI. This is different from adding protein to a meal to bring the GI down because in this case the protein is actually physically bound to the semolina on a very small particulate level so the absorption of the carbs is hampered. I have personally found that you must be more careful of the sauces than the pasta itself. Even marinara can have added corn syrup and maltodextrin sweetners. Of course carbonara and alfredo sauces are murder for their high fat content, which by the way is mostly saturated. So, I’d say, if you choose wisely, pasta can be a part of a cutting cycle.

Thanks for the info. No, I’m not talking about
eating a huge plate of pasta with lots of
cream sauce topping. :slight_smile: I’m talking about
plain, white/semolina pasta, with no toppings,
and carefully weighed. Anyone else care to
comment?

Pasta has a tendency to cause water retention due to its absorbant nature (fricking qaudruples in size when you cook it) consequently this could be combatted simply by consuming enough water to flush your system clean. I eat pasta quite readily especially as a good post-sqaut workout meal with some sort of lean meat due to the quick uptake of what I would consider a qaulity carbohydrate. Perhaps I am not a carb-sensitive person though…

In one of JB’s original articles he did recommend white pasta as a good carb source for the Massive Eating regimen. I don’t remember him specifically ever downing pasta, but I do recall him giving props to oats–which are so dayum tasty! Personally, I do just fine with pasta, white/brown rice and oats all the same pretty much. Of course, I carefully measure out portions to the level at which I desire, which could be a problem for some. Free, I realize you take the weighing/measuring into account when you ask this question, though. I would imagine it has to do with processing though, somewhat anyway. There are whole-wheat pastas out there too, but I’m not sure of any differences. As a side note, I often look/feel leaner after rice or pasta meals than meals with oats, cals and carbs consistent.

How does rice pasta figure into this?
I havent seen anything about its GI,
but I know it’s nice for people that are gluten
sensitive.

whats the consensus on whole-wheat pasta