Pasta Perfection - How Noodles Can Be Good For You July 23 2015, 0 Comments

Summer always has us thinking about healthier, lighter options for meals. It’s a great time to lose an extra pound or two or just transition to a healthier diet. But it’s also not the time of year when we want to spend hours in front of the stove. Quick, easy meals also find their way onto the summer menu, but sometimes those don’t offer the healthiest options.

Pasta happens to be one of our favorite easy meals (go figure), but we know that sometimes pasta gets a bad rap. All those carbs and sugars and white flour. What’s light or healthy about that? Actually, more than you might expect.

Healthy pasta is all in the preparation. Of course, there are also healthier alternatives to your traditional pasta. Here are some of the best ways to make your pasta healthy. And of course, to do it easily, quickly, and with variety.

Cook it right:

You’re always hearing chefs and Italians tell you to cook your pasta al dente. It sounds like a fancy term for making sure your noodles are done. “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth” in Italian. You’re supposed to cook your pasta until it is soft but with a bite. No one likes mushy noodles after all. But did you know that there’s actually more to the cooking technique than the texture? Cooking pasta al dente makes the noodles harder for your body to break down, meaning that your blood sugar doesn’t rise as high. Softer pasta is easier for your body to break down, resulting in that eventual blood sugar crash. That crash not only makes you sluggish, but also causes fat storage. It also makes you hungry only a few hours later. To prevent all these unhealthy side-effects, cook pasta al dente.

Serve it right:

You also don’t have to eat your pasta hot. Summer time is the perfect time for pasta salads. What makes this easy meal even better? According to an article, cold pasta actually becomes a fat oxidizing agent. The cold temperatures change the structure of the starch, turning it into “resistant starch.” So sprinkle that pasta salad with some olive oil and vegetables and enjoy it with confidence!

Pair it right:

Speaking of vegetables, one of the easiest ways to turn your pasta healthy is just to add a few greens to the plate. Asparagus and peas are delicious cooked into your bowl of spaghetti, and cold cucumbers, carrots, and celery pair well with pasta salad.

You can also substitute one of these pastas for traditional noodles for even healthier options.

Whole Semolina: Made with a coarser grind of grain, semolina contains lots of fiber, which is great for your digestive track.

Vegetable Alternative: Spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles are just two alternatives to pasta that will give you a lighter, fresher meal. Try this recipe.

Egg Noodles: These broad noodles are made with more eggs than regular noodles (hence the name). This means extra protein than regular noodles. It also means that they won’t spike your blood sugar as much as regular noodles.