Can You Eat Raw Pasta? [Pregnant Or Not]

The different pasta shapes make for interesting playthings that often end in the mouth. But, it can be scary when children eat raw pasta.

What if they choke on it? What if their digestive system cannot handle it? You worry about what it could do to them.

Sometimes, it is you that do it when the food takes too long. Or maybe, like me, you had weird cravings for raw pasta in your second trimester.

It might even be that you know someone who does. Whatever the case may be, you have begun to wonder, can I eat raw pasta?

Generally speaking, you can eat raw pasta in small quantities. However, it is not a healthy snack and can be harmful. Raw pasta takes a long time to digest, and you won’t get many nutrients from it. It can also cause food poisoning.

If the raw pasta is fresh or contains egg, can you still take it then? What alternatives can you take to eating raw pasta when pregnant?

We have answered all your questions surrounding eating raw pasta in this article.

Can You Eat Raw Pasta?

Pasta is a common food in many kitchens and makes an excellent meal when cooked.

You might also be tempted to take a few bites of the crunchy raw pasta. Before you start digging in, you need to understand what you are eating.

Pasta is made from unleavened wheat flour dough. Eggs are sometimes added to the mix to give it some volume.

This composition makes for a carbohydrate-rich meal. You can also have pasta in different sizes and shapes.

However, the most common shape is the long, slim shape used in Italian dishes, usually made from durum wheat.

While durum pasta is the most common type, pasta can also be made from rice, barley, maize, and other carbohydrate sources.

Whether your pasta is made from rice or the common durum wheat, the question remains can you eat it raw.

Yes, you can, but that doesn’t mean you should. The possible side effects of eating raw pasta don’t make it worth the hassle.

Side Effects of Eating Raw Pasta

The cooking process eliminates harmful bacteria like salmonella from the flour in raw pasta. So, you can guess what happens when you don’t cook it and eat this pasta raw.

The bacteria remains and can cause anything from a mild to severe case of food poisoning.

You might experience vomiting, nausea, and an unsettled stomach as a result of the food poisoning.  

Even if you don’t get food poisoning, you put unnecessary stress on your digestive tract by eating raw pasta.

Raw pasta is starch mixed with water. Without cooking which breaks down the starch, your digestive tract has difficulty absorbing it.

That’s why some people get constipated or have diarrhea eating raw pasta.

If you think the starch content will result in some weight gain, you will be wrong on that count too.

While pasta is high in carbohydrates, raw pasta also contains phytates and lectins, which are anti-nutrients.

These anti-nutrients can break your enzymatic pathways, damage your intestinal linings, and cause systemic inflammations.

Phytates can make the absorption of iron and calcium hard. In continuous large quantities, you can get sick from the deficiency of these nutrients.

Raw pasta can also affect your teeth. The grinding on the raw hard pasta can damage your enamel.

The rough texture could also pierce your mouth and other parts of your digestive tract as you eat.

While you might not get sick from occasionally eating a small quantity of raw pasta, there is no point in risking your health since there are healthier alternatives.

Grab an apple or any other fruit while waiting for the pasta to cook.

Do You Get Worms from Eating Raw Pasta?

One side effect associated with eating raw pasta is getting worms in your stomach. You might be wondering how true that is since we didn’t mention it.

No, you don’t get worms from eating raw pasta. Worms are living organisms, and these parasites cannot feed off the pasta.

Unless the raw pasta already somehow had worms in it, you can’t get worms in your stomach from eating pasta.

It is more likely to find worms like tapeworms and roundworms from food like red meat. So, worms are not one of the side effects of eating raw pasta.

Can You Eat Fresh Pasta Raw?

If you have been thinking about raw pasta along the lines of packaged dry pasta, you might be wondering whether fresh pasta would have the same effect.

Or maybe you don’t even understand what we mean by fresh pasta. Well, it doesn’t mean newly bought dry pasta.

How is Fresh Pasta Different?

Fresh pasta has a similar composition as dry pasta, but they are different. Fresh pasta comprises eggs, flour, and water, while dry pasta contains flour, water, and salt.

As you might guess, dry pasta goes through a drying process that fresh pasta does not undergo.  

Raw Pasta

You get a rougher texture and sturdier results from dry pasta. Fresh pasta is more tender and velvety when cooked.

It gives you a more flavorful taste in cooking and works well with light sauces. However, dried pasta works best with tomato-based sauces.  

While fresh takes less time to cook, you will have more luck with keeping your dry pasta on the shelf for a long time. You have to eat fresh pasta within days of purchase.

Fresh pasta has to be kept refrigerated, or it will go bad. So, you will find this pasta to buy in the store’s refrigerated section. It is also a bit more expensive than dry pasta.

What Happens When You Eat Fresh Pasta Raw?

Now, you know how it is different from dried pasta. So back to the original question. Can you eat fresh pasta raw? No, you should not eat fresh pasta raw!

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention warns against eating any form of raw dough.

Where dried pasta has undergone drying, fresh pasta still contains moisture that makes it more susceptible to bacteria.

Bacteria like E. coli and salmonella can be found in the pasta, leading to infection when you eat it without cooking.

Other than bacteria, other contaminants might have gotten into the fresh pasta during production.

Therefore, it is best to cook your fresh pasta well before eating it. It would help you get rid of the bacteria too.

Can You Eat Raw Pasta Sauce?

Since you can’t have the pasta raw, you might reach for the pasta sauce jar. You pause and wonder if it is okay. Yes, it is okay to eat raw pasta sauce.

Pasta and Sauce

Most pasta sauces have already been cooked and are ready to go from the jar or can. However, if the sauce has instructions for heating, it is best to follow them.

Some tomato sauces are only cooked enough for preservation. It would have a slightly higher acidity.

Therefore, you have to be careful when eating raw pasta sauce. You can get food poisoning if you’re not careful with your pasta sauce.

What Happens If Your Child Eats Raw Pasta?

The make-up of a child is quite different from that of an adult. So, you want to be sure that raw pasta won’t affect your baby or toddler who loves eating them.

The consequences of eating raw pasta as a child is almost the same as an adult.

Your child can suffer get bacteria from the uncooked pasta which could lead to vomiting.

There is the possibility of choking depending on the size of the pasta. A young child’s digestive tract might also not be able to handle raw pasta.

While the dangers are not too high if your child can chew on the pasta without choking, eating raw pasta in large quantities is not a good diet for a child.

Replace with the pasta with a healthy fruit or actual food. You don’t want to risk your child getting sick from pasta.

Can You Eat Raw Pasta When Pregnant?

Pregnancy comes with weird cravings, and you might find yourself reaching for raw pasta.

While you don’t have to feel bad about having this craving, you know it is not within your best interests to fulfill them.

Your baby’s health is at risk, and you don’t want to do anything to hurt it. So, you cannot eat raw pasta when you are pregnant. It is not advisable to eat cooked pasta in large quantities when pregnant.

Raw pasta contains phytates and lechins that can be harmful to you and the baby.

It makes the absorption of zinc and magnesium which are nutrients your baby needs. It could also cause an increase in your blood sugar levels.

If you’re also gluten-sensitive, raw pasta can cause serious allergies.

The frequent cravings also means you might be eating a large amount which is never good for you or the baby. While this craving is normal, you don’t want to overindulge in it.

You can take a small amount the first time without any problems but you don’t want to continue eating it regularly.

If you feel like taking it a second time, you need to start looking for other things to replace the craving.

To overcome the craving, you can take a small quantity of premium cooked or slightly undercooked pasta.

If you want to overcome this craving for raw pasta, the first step is to figure out the trigger for this craving. Different factors might have brought it on.

You can crave raw pasta because you have not eaten well, and your body recognizes it as a good source of carbohydrates.

In this case, you only have to find yourself a good meal, and you’ll be fine.

It could also be a craving for tryptophan which produces serotonin (a substance that can improve your mood).

You might want to check your mood if you are craving raw pasta. It could just be that you’re in a bad mood.

In some cases, you might be triggered to eat raw pasta from stress. Your body craves the chewy pasta to take your mind off the main stressor.

You must avoid stress during your delicate period of pregnancy. Avoid stressful things, and the craving will go.  

Alternatives for Raw Pasta when Pregnant

If you are still craving the pasta, here are some quick alternatives that you can have at hand.

  • A small amount of instant noodles without the seasoning
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Some baked potato chips or popcorn
  • An homemade smoothie
  • A bowl of whole grain cereal topped with berries

While you might stave off the craving with a small handful of raw pasta, do not make a habit of eating raw pasta.

The side effects are not healthy for you or your baby. You can take any alternative to raw pasta.

Alternatives to Raw Pasta

One logical alternative to eating raw pasta is to cook the pasta. You can have a more healthy meal from the cooked pasta than eating it raw.

However, if you don’t want to eat pasta, there are other things you can eat. Some of them include;

  • Eggplant lasagna
  • Konjac noodles
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Spiralized carrot
  • Zucchini noodles

This list is by no means a limitation. You can eat any healthy food you want to replace raw pasta.  

Is Slightly Undercooked Pasta okay to Eat?

Slightly undercooked pasta, also known as molto al dente in the culinary world, can seem like an alternative to eating raw pasta. But, is it okay to eat? Yes, it is okay to eat pasta cooked to this consistency.

Unless you have a gluten allergy, you shouldn’t get sick from undercooked pasta. The only risk is salmonella poisoning if the pasta has raw eggs.

You can also avoid this effect by cooking your spaghetti or any other form of pasta for the recommended eight to ten minutes.

With proper timing and skill, you can achieve that al dente texture without any risk of infection. It is also easier to digest than raw pasta, so you don’t have any problems.

Final Considerations

Raw pasta is not a healthy snack for anyone to eat. While you might not get any side effects if you eat a small quantity, you don’t want to eat it constantly.

It can lead to indigestion, inflammation, and intestinal damage. Take time to cook your pasta as recommended, and you shouldn’t have any issues from eating pasta.

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