Let’s discuss a little string theory (don’t worry, we’re referring to noodles).
You’ve heard carbohydrates are the enemy, you’ve heard carbs will slow you down, and you definitely feel guilty each time you order pasta instead of a salad. You’ve also heard runners tout the benefits of a big bowl of pasta before their marathon, and that carbs are an essential macronutrient your body needs– what to do?!
Well, we can tell you that carbohydrates are not the enemy. And carbohydrates are a great source of energy, which is why many runners choose to fuel up on pasta before a long run.
The key here is all in the quality of the carbohydrates. As always, remember that not all processed foods are created equal. We recommend getting your carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits that have been minimally processed, so that you also get the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. Those vitamins and minerals are generally missing from highly processed foods (like spaghetti).
So a big bowl of refined grain pasta, topped with creamy alfredo sauce is probably going to bust your diet. But what if you replaced that spaghetti with zucchini noodles? We did last night and let us tell you, they ARE worth the hype. The uncooked texture is about the same as your favorite wheat noodle cooked al dente. The neutrality of the flavor is similar, and the time it takes to prep? Oh about two minutes with one of those handy hand-held gadgets you see everywhere! But our favorite part is the amount of nutritive calories we earned! A cup of cooked spaghetti is generally about 220 calories, but a cup of zucchini noodles? 36 calories. So go ahead and spend that extra 184 calories on some delicious sauce, because when your body is getting the nutrients it needs, your mind can enjoy the tastes it loves, too!
The Walk Georgia Team
PS – Here’s a link to our favorite tutorial on what to do with zucchini!