As summer winds down, it’s natural to begin wanting comfort food favorites like pasta-which many think is off limits while dieting. While those on a diet may swear off pasta or other carb dishes, nutritionists say that eating pasta is not only possible on a diet, but they are also healthy meals to make. Being on a diet doesn’t mean you need to sustain yourself on raw veggies and water, but rather make healthier food choices than normal. Here are a few ways you can make eating pasta on any diet a healthy way to go:
Add plenty of produce. True, eating an entire bowl of pure pasta may be a diet no-no, but when you replace half the pasta with fresh produce like tomatoes or zucchini, not only do you get a cozy meal you are also eating plenty of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals and proteins. Have some favorite vegetables? Add them to your serving of pasta to create a 50:50 ratio. Top off the dish with ¾ cup of grated cheese like Romano or Parmesan.
Stabilize blood sugar levels. According to Shape Magazine, pasta is usually pretty low on the glycemic index compared with other flour products. This allows you to enjoy your pasta without the typical drop in energy you experience when eating a full meal at your favorite restaurant. Shape Magazine also states that most pasta varieties have ground durum wheat, increasing the amount of protein in the dish.
Noodles can be part of a low-fat diet. Mixing vegetables, protein and noodles together in a dish is perfect for a low-calorie diet. Noodles that are made from whole grain not only provide you with necessary nutrients, they provide long lasting energy compared with other carbohydrates. For a simple meal after a long day, add grilled fish or chicken to soba noodles and top with your favorite vegetables.
Everything in moderation. Eating too much of anything is bad for your waistline, so pasta is no exception. Enjoy your favorite pasta dishes by reducing the serving size to a cup. If a cup of cooked pasta isn’t enough to satisfy the appetite, simply add plenty of produce to your dish to amp it up. Mixing the pasta with lean meat is also a way to enjoy your pasta dish without going overboard.