How Pasta Can Be Healthy

There have been health myths whether pasta is healthy for the diet or not. It could be healthy with the right ingredients and cooking it to the right temperature and softness. Pasta can be made into a complete nutritious meal.

Pasta with spinach sauce (Cr/freedigital)

Here are tips on how to cook healthy pasta.

Ingredients:

Go for whole wheat pasta: When you pick your raw pasta opt for whole wheat grain pasta or multi grain pasta which will keep the calorie intake low and provide the body with fiber and absorb the excess water from the body.

Cooking Style:

Do you cook the pasta ‘Al Dente’ ?Pasta when cooked Al dente has a lower glycemic index when overcooked. Pasta when cooked al dente is soft but not too soft and holds the shape and feels just perfect to the mouth while chewing it. Basically, what that mean is that pasta should not be cooked till it is completely soft. When it is ‘al dente’

Add olive oil: Use olive oil when you cook pasta as olive oil has anti-oxidant properties and helps to reduce bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol of the body making it healthy for the heart. It also helps in digestion and keeps the skin healthy as it contains vitamin E. The anti-oxidants present in olive oil help to fight free radicals in the body acting as an anti-inflammatory.

Add vegetables: Add delight to your pasta by including veggies like mushrooms, peas, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, beans or anything that suits your tounge. Vegetables are full of nutrition and would add on with the nutrition from pasta making it a healthier choice altogether.

Add protein:  The protein would help in muscle repair and help you feel fuller for a longer period of time and repair muscle tissues..Lean meats, eggs, cottage cheese or fish are some of the healthy options for protein.

Go light on the cheese: Avoid cream sauces and saturated-fat-rich  sauces. It is the sauce where you could break your diet. Adding a lot of cheese can increase the intake of saturated fat which could be beyond the daily caloric requirement.

Start cooking healthy pasta and savour it with your family as snack or a complete meal with the right combination of nutrition for taste as well as health.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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