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Pasta Made Healthy

  By posted Mar 21st 2011
Healthy Living

 

 

Pasta Made Healthy

Pasta dishes don't need to be all cheese and cream, or loaded with calories and butter. Not only do several white sauces not call for any cheese at all, but there are also several pasta preparations that only contain the healthiest and most nutritious ingredients available today. So get set to prepare pasta with lots of health benefits by reading these tips closely, especially if you're trying to lose weight. Most weight loss plans ask you to ditch pasta because of poor cooking methods, but use the ones we mention below and you'll be losing weight while eating plenty of healthy pasta dishes in no time...

Choosing the right pasta: In order to create a health-friendly pasta dish, start with the basics— the pasta itself. Whether you make your own pasta or buy it from the friendly neighbourhood store, you should always try and choose pasta made from whole grains. 

By itself, pasta is high in complex carbohydrates (read: Good carbs) and low in fat. Whole grain and whole wheat pastas make an excellent heart-healthy dishes as they are rich in dietary fiber, unlike white pasta which is devoid of nutrients. It is comparatively easy to digest whole grain pasta as it helps in maintaining a  steady level of glucose in the blood and gives you the feeling of being ‘feel’ full for a longer time.

But here comes the tricky part- You have to watch the portions even with healthy pastas. Here’s the math: Uncooked pasta has about 100 calories per ounce, which equals about ½ cup when measured cooked. 

Add vegetables to your pasta:
Once you start out with the right pasta, add volume and nutrition to your pasta recipes by piling on the veggies. Let your pasta look colourful- add sundried tomatoes, spinach, onions, peppers of all colours, squash, zucchini, eggplant, peas, mushrooms, and broccoli. We would recommend you lightly sauté or steam vegetables that have been neatly diced or cut into chunks or strips. In the end, just toss these vegetables into your cooked pasta and eat a healthy meal without feeling any guilt.

Healthy protein is a must: 
Go for skinless chicken or any seafood, grilled, baked, steamed or sautéed. This will not only provide your pasta dish with much needed protein but it will act as a ready-to-eat main course meal too. 

Sauce it up! 
Make your tastes buds happy by going for tomato sauce or tomato puree and adding a bit of your creativity to it. Let tomatoes simmer in a hot pan along with oregano, basil or any other fresh herb which is readily available. Tomato sauce is not your type? Fret not! Go for a non-tomato sauce using a little olive oil, garlic, other seasonings, pureed peppers, and some chicken broth. Or you could simply use a spot of butter in some milk and a little bit of flour to get a low-fat white sauce. Add a little meat stock to it and you've got a winning recipe.

 

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