Love Pasta? Try These 5 Healthy Pasta Tips
Quality carbohydrates can be a part of a balanced, healthful diet. If pasta is your go-to carb, there are ways to take advantage of this low-cost food to make it even healthier:
- Choose organic pasta, rice noodles, bean thread noodles and noodles such as Japanese udon and soba, which are part whole wheat and buckwheat.
- Cook pasta only until it is al dente (barely tender). When it is cooked this way, it achieves a lower glycemic index than fully cooked pasta because the pulverized grain comes apart slowly in the stomach meaning a slower blood sugar rise. (Low-glycemic-load carbohydrates should be the bulk of your carbohydrate intake to help minimize rapid rises in blood glucose levels.)
- Skip the creamy sauces – they can provide unhealthy hydrogenated fats as well as excess saturated fats and more calories than traditional tomato-based sauces and added vegetables.
- Aim for two to three servings per week. One serving is equal to about 1/2 cup cooked pasta, which is far less than the amount Americans typically eat.
- Try spaghetti squash – the pulp of this vegetable, after being cooked, teases out like spaghetti and is a great and healthful alternative to flour-based pastas. Another creative replacement allows you to make “zoodles” from zucchini with a spiralizer.
And don’t forget that pasta is the perfect complement to vegetables – you can toss in almost any lightly steamed vegetable for additional nutrients and antioxidants.
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