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Ways to Fit Pasta Into Your Diet

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Who doesn't crave a big bowl of spaghetti every now and then? But then comes the question of how to fit it into a smart diet plan.

The answer is portion control.

On average, one cup of cooked pasta has between 180 and 220 calories. But that number can change depending on how long you cook it: The more water it absorbs, the fewer calories it has by measure. Also, it's very likely that you're putting far more than one cup of pasta in your dinner bowl, and a near certainty that restaurant portions are up to three times the size of that suggested serving.

For the most accurate count when you're cooking at home, weigh the pasta dry and count 100 calories for each ounce you're having. (Do choose whole grain pasta for its nutrients.) Depending on what you'll add to it, you can generally have 2 to 3 ounces, which will cook up to a filling meal. (Be sure to make note of what that amount of pasta looks like when cooked so that you know how much to eat when facing a supersized plate at a restaurant.)

The key rule, home and away, is to keep pasta dishes light. Skip sauces made with butter, cream and heavy amounts of cheese in favor of tomato sauces. Cherry tomato halves, chopped herbs and a drizzle of olive oil are smart options. If you have more time, add steamed vegetables like broccoli.

Another way to stretch a pasta portion is to add an equal amount of vegetable spirals made with the kitchen tool called a spiralizer. Carrots, zucchini and summer squash are low-calorie options to try.

You can still get tangy cheese flavor by sprinkling one tablespoon of grated Parmesan on your pasta dish. It has just 22 calories and, by adding it after your dish is fully prepared, its flavor won't get lost among the other ingredients.

More information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Mixing Bowl has many healthy pasta recipes, including simple pasta salads.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=739480

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Diet
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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