Is Eating Raw Pasta Bad For You?
If you have intentionally or accidentally ingested a bit of raw pasta, you’re most likely not at any serious risk of falling ill.
But this doesn’t mean you should have any more of it.
Eating raw pasta isn’t good for you, and there are too many health risks and hardly any health benefits accompanying eating raw pasta.
The drying process reduces this risk because it should kill the bacteria in the eggs and flour.
Dry pasta doesn’t have much moisture, which bacteria need to survive.
However, if the pasta was stored poorly, it could have also been exposed to more bacteria, making it a health risk.
Another reason you shouldn’t eat raw pasta is that it contains phytates and lectins, which fall under a group of substances known as anti-nutrients.
These substances disrupt the functions of enzymes in your body system, damage the intestinal lining, and cause inflammation.
Anti-nutrients can even bind themselves to good nutrients, such as iron and calcium, making these nutrients unavailable for your body to use.
Raw pasta is also very difficult to digest.
Eating raw pasta, especially in large quantities, can leave you with some serious stomach cramps.
What Happens If I Eat Undercooked Pasta?
The complex starches in raw pasta are supposed to be broken down by the cooking heat.
But when pasta is undercooked, some of these starches remain complex and difficult to digest.
But that doesn’t mean your body won’t try to digest them anyway.
Your digestive system trying to process these starches will make you very uncomfortable.
You may even experience abdominal pain or cramps.
Uncooked pasta also contains relatively high amounts of substances known as anti-nutrients.
These substances are bad news for the health of your digestive system.
They can damage the lining of your intestine and even cause inflammation.
While they are in your system, anti-nutrients such as the phytates and lectins present in undercooked pasta bind to minerals such as calcium and iron.
When bound to phytates, these minerals, which your body needs, become unavailable for your system to absorb.
When pasta is well-cooked, its phytates and lectins are broken down, so their overall amount is reduced.
Also, with undercooked pasta, you run the risk of getting food poisoning.
The ingredients used to make pastas are flour and eggs.
The raw eggs could contain salmonella, and the flour, which is also raw, may contain bacteria such as E. coli.
These bacteria could cause food poisoning.
However, the risk of this happening is low because the drying process of pasta should kill the bacteria in the raw ingredients.
The likelihood of you falling ill after eating undercooked pasta is higher if the pasta wasn’t properly stored before being cooked.
Eating undercooked pasta can also give you diarrhea, especially if you eat a lot of it, so maybe leave that pasta in for a few more minutes!
Why Am I Craving Raw Pasta?
One reason your body could be craving carbohydrates could be that you haven’t eaten in a while.
Or maybe you have been eating just low-carb meals.
Another reason could be that you are stressed.
One way your body responds to stress – whether physical, emotional, or mental – is by craving carbohydrates.
Tryptophan is another nutrient that your body may be craving.
Tryptophan is an amino acid, a raw material for making proteins.
But not only is this substance used for crafting proteins, but it is also a very important raw material for serotonin.
Serotonin is a “feel good” hormone that your body produces that helps improve your mood.
When serotonin levels are low, your body needs tryptophan to make some more, and pasta is a great source of serotonin.
Another factor that is probably responsible for your raw pasta cravings is that you may just be hungry.
However, not everything your body craves is good for your health.
If you are craving raw or undercooked pasta, it helps to identify the cause of the craving.
Eating raw pasta is bad for your health.
It can damage your intestinal lining, cause stomach cramps, and disrupt the function of some of your body’s enzymes.
Raw pasta can even cause food poisoning.
There are cases of people falling sick after eating raw pasta, so you may want to find another way to solve your craving.
One option is to eat dried, cooked pasta, which allows you to get the pasta’s crunchiness without any negative effects.
Can You Eat Raw Spaghetti Noodles?
Flour is made from grains that are grown in open fields and exposed to bacteria that can make their way into the pasta.
Even though most of these bacteria will be killed in the process of drying the pasta, it is safer not to risk it.
Raw pasta could also contain bacteria from the environment, especially if it weren’t stored properly.
Apart from the risk of food poisoning, raw pasta is very difficult to digest.
The heat from cooking pasta breaks down its complex starches into simpler starches that are easier for your body to handle.
Uncooked pasta can cause mild to severe abdominal pain and may even lead to diarrhea, usually depending on how much raw pasta you eat.
Another side effect of eating raw pasta is that pasta contains phytates and lectins.
Phytates and lectins bind to other beneficial nutrients in the body, such as calcium and iron.
When bound to phytates and lectins, these minerals, which the body needs to maintain good health, become unabsorbable and can’t be used.
As a result, you risk falling ill due to nutrient deficiencies.
These substances also harm the digestive system and even hinder the action of some of your body’s enzymes.
Eating raw pasta does more harm than it’s worth, so be sure to cook your pasta well!
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.