Two important components of making a healthy pasta dish are 1) use healthy ingredients and 2) watch portion size. Healthy ingredients include whole grain pastas, reduced fat cheeses, lean meats, and vegetables. If you want a cream sauce, modify your recipe to keep the white sauce lower in fat. A good sauce to use is one that is olive oil based, but keep in mind that 1 teaspoon of any kind of oil is equal to one serving so be cautious with the quantity of oil used in a recipe. If you have diabetes and are watching your carbohydrate intake, 1/3 cup of cooked pasta is equal to one carb choice, or 15 grams of carbohydrate.
A Answers (3)
A Mediterranean diet isn't a license to gorge on pasta 24/7. Mounds of fettuccine are bad enough for the waistline, but there's nothing heart-healthy about Alfredo sauce. With only three ingredients (cream, butter, and cheese), the dish can contain 50 grams of saturated fat, which raises LDL (bad) cholesterol. To put that in perspective, an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby comes in at 40 grams.
Love your pasta? Choose whole-grain noodles and keep the serving size to 1 cup. Add fresh chopped herbs, vegetables sautéed in olive oil, and lean protein, such as beans or chicken.
Keri Gans, Nutrition & Dietetics, answeredJust keep to the simple “formula” of pasta, protein, and veggies: Open a jar of tomato sauce, microwave a bag of veggies, throw in half a can of beans, top with a bit of Parmesan, and you have a quick, inexpensive, and healthy meal.
Here are some more pasta tips:
1. Watch your portion of pasta—just a quarter of the plate.
2. Build your pasta meal with veggies and lean protein, not more pasta.
3. When you order pasta in a restaurant, request a half order.
4. Switch to whole-wheat pasta—its fiber will help fill you up.
5. When you have pasta, pass on the bread.
Find out more about this book:The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You