During the height of the low-carb craze, pasta got a really bad reputation as a fattening carb. But, thankfully we have all come to our senses and have started buying, preparing, and ordering pasta in all its beautiful and mouth-watering forms. 2017 recognizes pasta as a healthy, earth-friendly, and affordable meal choice.

One of the main components of the Mediterranean diet is pasta, and because of that, it is considered the healthy eating choice.

Well-balanced diet and filling

Made from grain, pasta is a basic food group in a healthy well-balanced diet.

When combined with vegetables, fish, and poultry it becomes a good source of energy, and when cooking with whole grain pasta, you get a good source of fiber as well.

A traditional Italian dish with a red chili kick is called orecchiette made with Italian sausage and broccoli rabe. After eating this dish see how long you go without getting hungry. Pasta fills you up and that means you are happier and less grumpy between meals.

Versatile and affordable

Your pasta dish can be served as a starter, like many Italians do, as a side dish or as a main meal. Summer heat and barbecues make pasta salad a staple with lunch and dinner picnics and garden parties.

Because it is very inexpensive pasta dishes are a great way to feed a family on a budget.

Hearty winter dishes like spaghetti and meatballs or Bolognese -- originating, of course, in Bolognia, Italy -- are perfect for feeding hungry families.

Helps with weight loss

As long as you don't eat too much, carbs from pasta will not keep you from losing weight. In fact, people who ate pasta had a lower body mass index than those who did not eat pasta, when eaten as part of a Mediterranean diet.

Also, those same people had less belly fat, and when using fresh-cut tomatoes, fresh basil and healthy garlic topped off with a touch of olive oil turn every pasta dish into a healthy meal, and delicious Mediterranian experience.

Keeps your blood sugar in check

Healthy diets that include foods with a low GI, like pasta, may actually help prevent obesity and diabetes.

The glycemic index, or GI, measures how a food high in carbohydrates raises blood glucose. Therefore, foods with high GI levels will raise the blood glucose in our bodies. Pasta has a low GI level, fat and fiber tend to lower the GI of a food. As a general rule, the more cooked or processed a food, the higher the GI; however, this is not always true.

The more processed or cooked a food item is, the higher the GI level of that food. As a general rule, but not always the case, fat and fiber will lower a food's GI.