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Is pasta high in fat? Eat Like an Italian: 5 Simple Steps to a Healthy Pasta Dinner

Is pasta high in fat? 

Whether you're trying to lose weight or simply eat healthfully, pasta is frequently shunned. However, you do not have to eliminate pasta or relegate it to a "cheat meal" status; in fact, an Italian study published in July 2019 in Nutrition & Diabetes discovered that eating pasta is associated with a decreased risk of obesity.

However, before you pile on the pasta, keep in mind that Italians consume much smaller portions than what is typically seen on a dinner plate in the United States. Furthermore, while the 23,000 study participants who consumed pasta regularly were more likely to maintain a healthy body weight, they also followed a Mediterranean-style diet.

The good news is that if you already eat a healthy diet, spaghetti and meatballs, penne primavera, and even lasagna can all be added to your dinner rotation as healthy options. The trick is to choose the healthiest ingredients possible — and using a few of the following tricks can help you reduce calories and fat without sacrificing flavor!

Is pasta high in fat? Eat Like an Italian

1. Select the Appropriate Pasta:

Let's begin with the fundamentals: pasta. The critical point to remember is to choose whole grain pasta.

Pasta has naturally low-fat content and high carbohydrate content. Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta contains all of the grain's nutritious layers, which adds heart-healthy fiber to your dish (these grains have been removed from regular white pasta). As a result, whole-grain pasta digests more slowly, which aids in maintaining a stable blood glucose level and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

When purchasing pasta, always check the ingredients list and look for whole-wheat flour as the first ingredient. And keep in mind that even though whole-grain pasta is healthier, portion control is still necessary. Uncooked pasta contains approximately 100 calories per ounce; when cooked, this amount equals approximately 12 cups. A large, substantial bowl can easily add hundreds of calories, so be sure to calculate the appropriate portion size for your daily calorie allowance and serve accordingly.

2. Substitute Veggies:

One option to increase the serving size of your favorite pasta meals without increasing the calorie count is to substitute vegetable noodles for flour-based pasta. Cut veggies into "noodles" using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, sauté for a few minutes, then top with the sauce of your choosing. In pasta dishes, zucchini, carrots, parsnips, and butternut squash all work well.

3. Incorporate Vegetables

Are you unable to give up your pasta noodles? That is acceptable. You may enjoy flour-based spaghetti while controlling your calories (and packing in nutrition) by increasing the volume of your meal with veggies. Begin with a nutritious base of whole-grain pasta and top with spinach, onions, peppers, squash, zucchini, eggplant, peas, mushrooms, and broccoli.

You can briefly sauté or steam veggies that have been sliced into bits or strips and then add them to pasta or homemade sauce after it is cooked.

4. Incorporate protein:

After you've included pasta and fresh veggies, it's time to incorporate lean protein. Skinless chicken (grilled, roasted, or sautéed) transforms spaghetti into a hearty main course in an instant. Another delectable option for topping your noodles is steamed, grilled, or sautéed shrimp.

Even meatballs, when made with lean ground chicken or turkey, maybe a nutritious spaghetti topping. Alternatively, you can make vegetarian meatballs by using nuts and legumes as a basis, as in this recipe for meatless meatballs.

5. Pasta Sauce Is Critical:

The final step is to season your bowl with sauce. Before you pour a substantial quantity, keep in mind that sauce can easily transform a healthy pasta dish into a fat-laden one. If it comes in a jar, check the label for fat and sodium content. As a general rule, choose a variety with a maximum of 75 calories, 3 grams fat, and 150 milligrams of sodium per serving. Because sauces made with creams, such as Alfredo or carbonara, are typically heavy in fat and calories, sticking to a simple tomato sauce is usually a safe decision.

You can also be creative and make your own, which is an excellent method to manage the sodium content of your cuisine. Simply blend low-sodium canned or diced tomatoes with fresh basil and oregano in a saucepan over low heat. Alternatively, toss pasta with olive oil, minced garlic, and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice for a light, refreshing flavor. If the urge for a thicker sauce strikes, going homemade allows you to lighten up a recipe without sacrificing the comfort-food flavor. Give it a try with this Fettuccine Faux-Fredo, which makes use of beans to create a creamy texture while reducing fat.

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