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How to Make Healthy Pasta

Pasta can provide a healthy meal rich in fiber and vitamins. Follow these steps to make healthier choices for your next pasta dinner.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Choose whole grain pasta Buy whole grain or blend pasta. Pastas made from a mixture of whole grain and white flour have a taste and texture similar to traditional pasta but provide much better nutrition.
  • TIP: Try several different whole grain and blend pastas to see which taste best and provide sufficient fiber and vitamins.
  • Step 2: Choose a healthy sauce Avoid pasta sauces heavy with cream, cheese, or fatty meats. Choose a light, flavorful tomato sauce instead, or add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs.
  • TIP: Check the nutrition facts on bottled pasta sauce to determine the fat content. Even some meatless tomato sauces contain a lot of fat from oil.
  • Step 3: Add veggies Add vitamins and fiber to your sauce with healthy vegetables. Try roasted eggplant, peppers, or zucchini, or mix in ripe olives and mushrooms.
  • Step 4: Use low-fat meats Substitute ground turkey or chicken for beef in meat sauces and meatballs, and try Italian sausage made from turkey instead of the traditional pork or veal.
  • Step 5: Spice it up Reduce the need for salt in your sauce by adding other herbs and spices. Make a fiery sauce with red pepper flakes, or try adding aromatic sweet basil.
  • TIP: Rinsing cooked pasta before serving reduces the vitamin content.
  • Step 6: Switch to reduced-fat cheese Use reduced-fat ricotta and mozzarella in lasagna and ravioli. Try low-fat parmesan cheese on spaghetti, and limit yourself to a few sprinkles instead of a mound.
  • Step 7: Eat less Enjoy pasta in moderation. The carbohydrates in pasta provide energy, but excessive portions provide too many calories and can raise blood sugar.
  • FACT: Did you know? Standard pasta contains approximately 41 grams of carbohydrates per serving, compared with 31 grams in low-carb pasta.

You Will Need

  • Whole grain or blend pasta
  • Light pasta sauce
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Herbs
  • Vegetables
  • Ground turkey or chicken
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Basil
  • Reduced-fat cheese

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