A new article published on the Huffington Post corrects the misconceptions surrounding pasta and reminds us why pasta is part of a healthy diet. Pasta, when prepared the right way, provides your body with the proper fuel it needs to get you through the day. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind for the next time you’re preparing pasta.
- Be Choosy with Sauces:
To keep pasta healthy and light it’s important to choose the right sauce. As the article points out, heavy sauces like alfredo can add large amounts of fat and salt as well as a significant amount of calories to a pasta dish. For a healthier alternative, look for lighter sauces with a low sodium content and no added sugar – maybe even make one from scratch. We love whipping up a pasta dish with a ton of vegetables and topping it with a simple pesto or light oil-based sauce. Remember, a good quality sauce can really transform your dish, but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy!
- Portion Size is Key
Watching portion size and not overeating is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy diet – keep this in mind when serving pasta too! Typical portion size for a main course of pasta in Italy would only be considered an appetizer or side dish when it comes to American standards. Did you know a one cup serving of pasta contains less than 200 calories? An appropriate portion of pasta served with lean proteins and vegetables will satisfy your appetite without leaving you overstuffed!
- Gluten-Free Doesn’t Make it Healthier
Many Americans follow a gluten-free diet only because it is believed to be healthy – they are confused! A small percentage of Americans living with Celiac Disease (about 1%) or a gluten intolerance need to follow a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, but for others, following a gluten-free diet is not necessary. There are plenty of gluten-free foods that contain just as much carbohydrates, fat and sugar as their full gluten counterparts.
All and all, there is no reason to exclude pasta from your diet. As a general rule, as long as you watch portion size, choose lighter sauces and combine pasta with a lean meat or vegetables pasta can be part of a healthy, balanced diet! Want to learn more about the nutrition profile of pasta? Visit our Nutrition Page. You can also read Celia Kaye’s full article in the Huffington Post.
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