A lot of people think that pasta is generally unhealthy because of its carbohydrates, but it can actually be a very good meal even for people who are watching their weight. Among white-flour foods, pasta is actually the healthiest.
This is because most pasta is made of ground durum wheat. This type of wheat is higher in protein than others so pasta made with it has a low glycemic index (GI). It is ideal for diabetics, for instance, because it won’t increase your blood sugar that much while providing you with energy and satisfying your hunger. You can still look for recipes here to make the dish healthier using different ingredients for the pasta and the sauce, but at the end of the day, it should make for a distinct and tasty dish.
The good news is that many kinds of pasta are also very popular and readily available these days if you are really watching your carb intake, along with other options such as gluten-free pasta for those who are allergic or sensitive to gluten. As for the sauce, here are some factors to consider:
The secret is in the sauce
When it comes to pasta, the key to eating healthy is what goes with it. Choosing the right pasta sauce can spell a big difference in making your meal filling and satisfying, yet healthy.
For many people, using sauces in a jar or can is a convenient option, but you must be aware of the calorie and sodium content of such commercially prepared products. The ingredients used may seem healthy, but they may have a lot of preservatives that might not be beneficial for your health.
Why not spend some time in the kitchen to come up with your own pasta sauces? Aside from knowing what actually goes into your food, it is generally cheaper as well. The sauce is also more fresh and appetizing when prepared right in your own home.
Healthy pasta sauce options
There are many healthy options for pasta sauces that you can prepare quickly in your own kitchen or directly buy from a store. Various sauces and pestos from sustainable brands can be found via online stores like Real Italiano (https://realitaliano.co.uk/) and other similar ones. This way you can make sure you get the real deal, and perhaps you could then emulate these products to make your own at home.
A very popular and basic healthy pasta sauce to make is aglio e olio. It is a classic Italian pasta dish that simply uses olive oil to coat the spaghetti noodles. Garlic is added and sautéed in olive oil to bring more flavor and aroma. You can also choose to add some spices like pepper or chili flakes.
Another popular and healthy olive oil-based pasta sauce is pesto. Basil is finely chopped and mixed into the oil together with other ingredients such as garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. You can also season this with salt and pepper to taste.
Rich yet healthy
The classic Italian tomato pasta sauce is rich and filling but also very healthy, because tomatoes contain lycopene which has been found to be a very good antioxidant. To make your own herb-based tomato pasta sauce, saute some garlic and onions in a saucepan and add tomato paste along with some fresh oregano. Add in fresh, diced tomatoes and allow it to simmer for a few minutes. Finish off with fresh basil and parsley, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Alfredo pasta is another well-loved dish, and while it may seem like a heavy sauce, it can be prepared in a light and healthy way by using the right ingredients. In a pan, heat some oil and saute some garlic. Add some flour and whisk it in until smooth. Gradually add in some low-sodium vegetable stock and low-fat milk. Add some nutmeg and pepper to taste. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
To create healthier pasta dishes, consider adding more nutritious protein sources to your sauce. Opt for alternatives like haddock fish, Alaskan shrimp, or Rotisserie chicken. Additionally, enhance the nutritional value by including vegetables like carrots, zucchini, broccoli, or cauliflower, which provide essential vitamins and minerals. These choices can help you enjoy delicious and wholesome pasta meals.
Pasta is a versatile comfort food enjoyed by people of all tastes. Even if you’re following a strict diet, with careful planning and the right ingredients, you can savor wholesome pasta dishes anytime.
The beauty of pasta lies in its adaptability. It pairs perfectly with a range of sauces, from tomato to Alfredo, and complements various proteins, like chicken or shrimp. You can also mix it with vegetables, beans, or cheese for a heartier meal. Additionally, pasta salads offer a refreshing twist with your favorite ingredients. No matter your preference, there’s always a way to create a delicious pasta dish.