This is an Italian term meaning “to the tooth.” It is used to express the ideal consistency for cooking pasta. Perhaps the best way to describe pasta that is al dente is to say it is pasta that one must chew. There should be some chew left in the pasta so it has little to no impact on our blood sugar. When it is completely cooked it digests more quickly and it can spike the glycemic index and alter our metabolism.
The most compelling reason to monitor the level of cooking for us is that we like the taste better than pasta that doesn’t require chewing. That said, we believe we will chew longer and gain more enjoyment.
We need to remember that such carbohydrates are included in the Mediterranean style of eating, which gets the highest marks nutritionally of most diet fads and trends for healthy lifestyle.
And lastly, Italy, where pasta is king, has been sited as the country with the most “centenarians,” that is, people over 100 years of age. It may not be attributed to the pasta but we know the average Italian household serves pasta at least once a day.