Ways to make your pasta healthier
Measure your portions correctly
As dried pasta comes in bags that are not individually portioned, many people underestimate 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.
Opt for a healthier pasta
Wholegrain pastas contain more fibre and nutrients, so you know you are not wolfing down empty calories. On days where you have more time, try making your own noodles or pasta shell. All you need is flour, eggs and oil. You can even throw in vegetables for good measure.
It is 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 you feeling full for longer. This also means you are 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.
Go easy on the sauce
Marinara and pesto are lighter options compared with 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 aglio olio, choose good quality olive oil.
This article first appeared in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)