Pasta Made Healthy: Tips for a Healthy Pasta Meal

iStock_000011425359XSmallPasta dishes are perhaps one of the most loved foods all over the world. Pasta is so versatile that it can go along with almost anything. More often than not, we overload our pasta recipes with full-cream sauce, high-fat cheese or butter and processed meat. The next thing we know, our fettuccine, spaghetti or macaroni dishes become calorie and carbohydrate nightmares.

Here are five different tips to enjoy your guiltless serving of healthy pasta:

Healthy Pasta Meal Tip #1 : Choose the right type of pasta.

Don’t be fooled buy those pastas on sale; they are usually made of highly processed flour stripped of fiber. Instead, go for the whole wheat varieties. Whole wheat aids digestion and helps to give you a fuller feeling from a small portion.

Healthy Pasta Meal Tip #2 : Consider the type of sauce to use.

Mix pasta with marinara or tomato sauce instead of high calorie cream-based sauces. These types of sauces are rich in Lycopene, a potent antioxidant found in cooked tomatoes, which repairs damaged cells in the body and is believed to prevent prostate cancer. Please do not flood the pasta with sauce because it does have calories. Always look at the jar for calories per serving. In Italy they color the pasta and use herbs to enhance the taste.

Healthy Pasta Meal Tip #3 : Add cooked vegetables.

Vegetables are naturally healthy – no questions on that. Adding these goodies to your pasta will add color, nutrients and minerals to your bowl. Try broccoli, spinach, eggplant, onions, olives, mushrooms, artichokes, and shredded spaghetti squash to add some splash of nutritional benefits. Linda says that you should first sauté your veggies in olive oil, garlic and herbs of your choice and then sprinkle the shells, penne, rigatoni, etc. over your pasta as if it was the condiment. It should come to a cup of pasta and two cups of veggies. In restaurants you can order your pasta with extra veggies and less pasta.

Healthy Pasta Meal Tip #4 : Use lean meat.

Heavy sausages and ground beef add up a whole lot of calories to your pasta. Use lean chicken breast or lean ground turkey instead. If you really want to get a taste of the beef flavor, add a bit to your sauce, and make sure it has a low percentage of fat.

Healthy Pasta Meal Tip #5 : Throw in some fresh herbs.

Herbs can be a substitute for salt. Add some basil, parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme to enhance the flavor and spice your pasta dish even more. These herbs can be added minutes before you serve the pasta. They cook just slightly but keep their potent flavor.

Pasta has become one of the most famous comfort foods in the world. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a bowl of cheesy macaroni or saucy spaghetti. Just remember to take extra care in preparing it. Go easy on the sauce and only choose healthy ingredients. I always tell my clients to add a salad so that they will not go back and get another serving of pasta. This way, you can enjoy the health benefits of pasta without the unneeded and unnecessary calories.

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