Many people mistakenly blame pasta for gaining weight, but that is not entirely true. Well, what if I could tell you that there are ways to eat healthy pasta? What if I could tell you that there are ways to decrease your total carbs intake? Well luckily for you, there are!
Typically, your body uses carbohydrates as its primary energy source to power your kidneys, heart, brain, muscles, and nervous system, but too many carbs can increase the likelihood of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and excessive cholesterol. This is why it is important to watch out for what you put in your body and take care of the portions you consume.
Take a look at our countdown of the Top 7 ways To Eat Healthy Pasta:
- Load your pasta with vegetables: Whether it is by making a pasta salad or by adding some onions, bell peppers, or fresh broccoli onto the plate, it’s important to fill your plate with vegetables. Essentially, you’re switching up the ratio around so that in the end you’re consuming a vegetable meal with some pasta instead of a pasta dish with some vegetables. The more vegetables you consume, the more fibers you consume. Vegetables help with normal bowel movements and lower cholesterol levels leading to an overall healthier lifestyle,
- Switch to a leaner alternative when it comes to protein intake: There’s no denying how tasty Bolognese sauce is. However, the ground beef used in the sauce is an explosion of calories. Using chicken, or ground turkey is a much healthier and lower in-fat substitute to ground beef. The ideal portion size for protein on a plate or dish is 1/4 cup. This is especially crucial if you’re attempting to lose weight. When you lose fat, protein can help you keep more of your lean muscle mass while also increasing the daily metabolism of your calories.
- Use Amber Durum wheat pasta instead of normal white pasta: In addition to promoting good digestive health, Amber Durum wheat pasta (such as Golden Mills pasta) can lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes, lowers blood sugar, decreases the possibility of heart disease, and even some variations of cancers. Though, the new taste might take a little bit of time to get used to.
- Consider making homemade pasta sauce: If the sauce you’re using comes from a jar, then check the fat and sodium intake and make sure they are on the lower side but we would recommend just making your own sauce instead. Making your own pasta sauce will give you control over your own sodium and fat intake, as well as buying your own organic ingredients as some pasta sauce brands tend to use processed ingredients that aren’t good for you. For example, if you’re looking for red tomato sauce, by simply blending fresh herbs together like basil and oregano with low-sodium chopped tomatoes and mixing pasta with some olive oil, chopped garlic, with a little lemon juice you’ll get a tasty and healthy sauce for your pasta.
- Don’t overcook the pasta: Some may prefer overcooked pasta due to its soft and chewy nature, but this actually defeats the purpose of the pasta itself! Overcooking pasta makes the dough thicker which leads to blockage of the digestive system, so it is not easy for your body to fully digest it. The main reason is the starch component when overcooked, absorbs too much water and as a result, most of the helpful nutrients found (such as folate) are ultimately discharged into the cooking water, destroying everything that the pasta was originally enriched with. That’s why al dente is the best way to go about cooking your pasta. Cooking pasta to perfection “al dente” (but still somewhat firm) helps you to gain the full perks of pasta’s already great capability to boost fullness, delay hunger pains, and provide fuel for active muscles long after meals.
- Replace the heavy cream with plain Greek yogurt: Although a heavy cream-based pasta sauce is delicious, it is not the healthiest option for regular pasta consumption. Fortunately, there are a ton of creamy substitutes that deliver similar outcomes. You may remove the cream by tossing pasta with high-quality ricotta and regular Greek yogurt to create a quick, creamy sauce while at the same time going for a healthier replacement. Greek yogurt lacks the high-fat level of heavy cream, yet it has a similar creamy texture and is strong in protein.
- Moderately add cheese: We all know that people are often wary of adding cheese because of how it can lead to high cholesterol and blood pressure on their pasta but adding it in moderation is still okay to do. There’s a healthy method to add cheese to your pasta, so you’re able to experience the sprinkle of flavor without restriction or feeling that guilt on your conscience. Whether it’s putting Mozzarella or Parmesan, we recommend healthier replacements for these cheeses in order to reduce your intake of calories and saturated fats. First off, consider switching from whole milk mozzarella to skimmed milk mozzarella (to remove all the milkfat). Secondly, if you are using Parmesan cheese, there’s an easy fix for that. Try switching from regular Parmesan cheese to fat-free Parmesan cheese. Also, one little tip regarding cheeses, it’s best to avoid cheddar cheese as a whole especially if you’re looking to cut down on calories as there aren’t many healthy cheddar cheese variations available to choose from.
To conclude, with the rise of health-conscious trends and staying fit and healthy, these 7 helpful tips & tricks are sure to transform some pasta cooking habits into healthier ones. However, to reach your desired body type or preferred lifestyle, it’s always good to know that these tips may improve your pasta meal but it’s imperative to realize that pairing up these tips & tricks with a healthy diet, drinking loads of water and a solid workout will give you better results to achieve your healthy lifestyle. Stay tuned for the next edition of our more and be sure to watch out for our next blogs for more interesting tips & tricks.