Pasta dishes can be as sinful or as light as you want them to be. Try these simple tweaks to keep this comfort food diet-friendly.
Measure your portions correctly
As dried pasta comes in bags that aren’t individually portioned, many people under or overestimate the amount to cook. The quickest way to measure out spaghetti portions is using your fingers. Bring the tip of your thumb to the middle of your index finger. The amount of noodles that fit into the space is enough for one person.
For an easier option, you can buy a pasta spoon that measures the portion size or use this simple life hack – take a small 500ml bottle and use the opening to measure a single serving. Alternatively, you can just split the bag based on portions provided.
(Also read: Use These Portion Control Tips to Avoid Overeating)
Opt for a healthier pasta
Wholegrain pastas contain more fibre and nutrients, so you know you’re not wolfing down empty calories. For days you have more time, try making your own noodles or pasta shell. All you need are flour, eggs and oil. You can even throw in vegetables for good measure such as in this recipe for fresh whole wheat spinach pasta.
It’s useful to have a bag of spinach or even frozen vegetables in your refrigerator. Toss in a handful (or two), and the fibre will keep your feeling full for longer. This means, you’re less tempted to get dessert later on.
Choose lean meats or plant proteins
Ditch the crispy bacon and salty ham. Instead, go for the holy grail of healthy protein – skinless chicken breast or heart-friendly salmon. Alternatively, incorporate ingredients like soya, lentils, edamame, tofu, tempeh and other plant-based proteins.
(Also read: 7 Of The Best Protein Sources For Vegetarians)
Go easy on the sauce
Marinara and pesto are lighter options compared to rich creams. Toss your pasta into a small amount of sauce and add little by little until the strands or shells are evenly coated. For oil based sauces like agile olio, choose good quality olive oil.
(Also read: How to Make Healthy Eating Much, Much Cheaper)