Is Pasta Fattening? Is There Any Room for Spaghetti on a Diet?
The biggest concern most people have when they start a new diet is which foods that they currently love will they need to give up. The thought of taking something away, especially something as yummy as pasta, is often too much for some people to handle.
This is an example of approaching a diet with a negative mindset. A sense of deprivation will only ensure failure. A better approach is to open your mind and be creative. In the case of pasta, you may find there are some delicious alternatives as well as some new types of pasta you can add to your diet.
The first question to ask yourself when considering how much pasta to keep in your diet is to really figure out if it’s the taste of the pasta you love, or is it the accompanying sauce and meatballs, sausage, vegetables or seafood. If you find you love the additions then you can experiment with alternatives to pasta. For example, baking a spaghetti squash and then scooping out the spaghetti-like flesh can provide the pasta-like texture you need. Since the taste is somewhat neutral you can add the sauce of your choice.
Another dish that uses pasta in your diet is lasagna. Again, is it the lasagna noodle that you crave, or do you simply need a divider between layers. You could slice a zucchini squash lengthwise and layer these instead of pasta. While you’re at it, why not add in some fresh spinach and other colorful veggies with a white sauce rather than red sauce. This could become your family’s new favorite.
If you really love the feeling of fullness and taste that comes with pasta then you can consider some of the new pastas on the market. In the past, many types of pasta were made of white, bleached flours. This is not your best option. When you want to improve your diet your goal should be to make everything you eat matter. What it contains should add value to your overall nutritional goals.
When wheat pastas were first introduced, they tasted very much like the boxes they came in…not appetizing. Since those early introductions there have been some very good improvements. Be sure to spend some time looking at the ingredient and nutritional labels. Get the freshest possible and pasta varieties that have some fiber, protein, and valuable flours like wheat. If you are gluten intolerant, then you must find a gluten free alternative as any gluten pasta will keep that weight around your middle. There are gluten free pastas made from rice flour and quinoa flour that have great reviews. Even if you’re not gluten intolerant, trying gluten free pasta may be beneficial. Some people who have removed gluten entirely from their diets have reported vast improvements to their fat loss efforts.
Typically, the healthiest pastas for your diet will not be the cheapest. You can compensate for this by cutting back on the amount of pasta you use (smaller portions) and include another course to the meal. As an example for our spaghetti dinner try this. Start with a soup or salad followed by a small plate of spaghetti, meatballs, and steamed broccoli or carrots, then end the meal with a dessert of fresh pear slices and a few slices of cheese. This meal is sure to satisfy whether or not you are on a “diet”.