In recent years, many have tried to significantly cut back on — or completely eliminate — pasta from their diets. The thought was that macaroni, penne, linguine and their other carbohydrate brothers and sisters results in unwanted weight gain.
But a group of Italian scientists recently reported that their findings indicated no association with an elevated body mass index, a scale commonly used to measure body fat levels.
Despite that encouraging news, you’re not necessarily free to eat bucketfuls of ravioli. Just because the carbohydrates don’t result in higher body fat doesn’t mean that eating too much of it is good for you.
According to the USDA, a male between 21 and 40 years old needs just 2,400 calories a day; women in the same age range, on average, require between 2,000 and 1,800. Two servings of cooked spaghetti, with no sauce or oil, total roughly 440 calories: almost 20 percent of a male’s daily diet and more than 22 percent of a female’s.
With that in mind, Nyree Dardarian, assistant clinical professor in the Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions and director of the Center for Integrated Nutrition & Performance, came up with three tips for incorporating pasta into your diet without packing extra calories into your day.
- Stick to the Serving Size
One serving is the equivalent of half a cup of cooked pasta. That’s all. It should only take up about a quarter of a seven-inch plate.
- Add Veggies
Add bulk to your pasta dish by mixing in vegetables to make the meal less energy-dense. This adds volume to your dish — and gives you a fuller feeling in your stomach — while keeping the total calories or energy in check.
- Use Pasta as a Vehicle for Heart-Healthy Ingredients
Toss pasta with cholesterol-lowering, nutrient-rich foods like extra virgin olive oil, basil, spinach, avocado, almonds, cashews and chickpeas.
Media interested in speaking with Dardarian should contact Frank Otto at 215.571.4244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.