Can you eat PASTA during your DIET?

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I am sure that many of you have been wondering whether you can have a portion of this delicious Italian masterpiece while you are in the process of weight loss or maintenance.

Well, again, it is smart to look at this appetizing dish from many perspectives and analyze the facts. Many people believe that Pasta is strictly forbidden during weight loss due to its high carbohydrate content, and they are partially right. On the other hand, it all depends on the size of the portion and the type of Pasta.

Nowadays the shelves in the supermarkets are stuffed with various types and shapes of Pasta and our main goal is to learn how to pick the healthiest one. For this you will require some label reading skills and some patience.

What should you look at when choosing the right type of Pasta?

– First of all, I will have to repeat myself for another time and mention the importance of whole-wheat products. Whole-wheat (whole-grain) products contain less carbohydrates and are better digested and processed by the body. Luckily, there is also whole-wheat Pasta on the market, and that’s the one you have to go for.

Protein and fiber content. Some varieties of whole-wheat Pasta are fortified with extra protein and fiber which is undoubtedly beneficial for your workouts and for your weight loss. These components will keep your appetite away for longer due to their rich nutritional value, and retain your muscular mass which is also beneficial for weight loss. If the Pasta of your choice has about 7 to 8 grams of proteins, it is a good choice.

– The portion size is essential as well. The fact that you’ve picked the healthiest Pasta from the entire shop doesn’t quite allow you to stuff yourself with it as much as you want. Don’t forget that it still quite a calorie-friendly dish, therefore I would not recommend eating more than a cup at once (approx 190 calories).

– What you serve with your Pasta. I have rarely ever seen anyone (besides myself) eating plain Pasta with no other garnish. Usually this dish comes with a variety of dressings, sauces, vegetable and meat garnish, which is not always quite advantageous for your diet. Therefore I would suggest avoiding fat dressings and sauces made of cream, sour-cream or full milk. I would as well avoid bacon or powder mixes which you can easily mix with water and add to your dish pretending it is super healthy. Instead, spend another 15 min baking some vegetables to it – believe me, it’s worth it. If you’re not the “cooking type”, I recommend using pesto or oils (walnut, olive, soya). I personally prefer adding a lot of raw vegetables, herbs and spice and a table-spoon of butter instead of dressing. This will make your dish worth about 350 calories and a delightful dining experience.

– the gluten free Pasta option. No, this option is not only available for those with the celiac disease but also for those who would love to drop some weight. This type of Pasta has just as many calories as the whole-wheat pasta (about 180 cals per cup) and its protein content can go up to 4 grams per cup.

Some more healthy garnish suggestions for your Pasta!

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Blenched asparagus or chopped white-broccoli can become amazing low-calorie accompaniments to this dish.

If you are a cheese lover you can spread 2 tea-spoons of shredded natural Swiss cheese over your Pasta, or cut a few cubes of Feta cheese. This would deliciously pair with basilicum and pesto for a rich and delicate flavor.

Let’s not forget about the tasteful and nutritious sea-food which you can add with no fear for calories. Shrimps, salmon or tuna are perfect compliments to your dish. Don’t forget to add a good amount  of herbs – they always do the trick, and there is no need for fatty dressing or sauce.

BON APPETIT – STAY FIT!

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