Busting the biggest myth about pasta

I think most people are afraid of pasta, especially in January when some of us swear off tempting, indulgent foods in favor of lettuce and carrots. Pasta tastes so good—but it’s soooo bad for you. Or is it? Would you believe me if I said that pasta can actually be a healthy choice for dinner—even when you’re watching your weight? Because it’s true. The trick is to keep the portion size of your pasta under control and add lean protein and vegetables to the mix so you feel satisfied.

Eat Pasta, Shed Pounds with These Recipes
6 Reasons You Should Be Eating Carbs

The other secret to keeping pasta healthy? Skip the “regular” white pasta, which is made from refined grains. Instead opt for whole-wheat pasta.

Don’t groan. On average, whole-wheat pasta offers two to three times more fiber per serving than regular white pasta (the amazing benefit is that eating more fiber can actually help you lose weight)—and it’s available in countless shapes and sizes. “And no, it doesn’t taste like cardboard,” says EatingWell Assistant Food Editor Hilary Meyer. “Many brands have a soft nutty flavor.” (See her tips for picking the best whole-wheat pasta below.)

5 More “Bad” Foods You Should Be Eating
Recipes for the Skinny “Starch”

This recipe for Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce has everything that we could want in a healthy dinner. Check out these benefits: it’s low-calorie, so you can enjoy it even if you’re watching your weight. It costs less than $1.50 per serving to make. It’s a quick 30-minute meal you can whip up any night of the week. But the best part is that it’s PASTA—and it’s GOOD FOR YOU. For real, eat some pasta tonight.

Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce
Active time: 30 minutes | Total: 30 minutes | To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Cost per serving: under $1.50

Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you’re serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce.

1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 pound lean (90% or leaner) ground beef
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
3. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to high. Stir in tomatoes and cook until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt.
4. Serve the sauce over the pasta, sprinkled with cheese.

Makes: 8 servings, 1 cup pasta & generous 3/4 cup sauce each

Per serving: 384 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 48 mg cholesterol; 52 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 10 g fiber; 416 mg sodium; 655 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (49% daily value), Zinc (34% dv), Iron (26% dv), Vitamin C (23% dv), Magnesium (21% dv), Potassium (19% dv).

How to Pick the Best Whole-Wheat Pasta

Why You Should Go Whole-Wheat
Unlike white pasta, whole-wheat pasta is made from wheat flour that hasn’t been stripped of its bran and germ—the fiber—contributing parts of the grain that also give it its darker hue. Whole-wheat pastas have the added benefit of retaining their magnesium, zinc and other nutrients. There are many brands of whole-wheat pasta; a few include additional whole grains, such as barley and rye. Experiment until you find one that has a flavor and texture you like.

100% Whole-Wheat Pasta
When it comes to 100% whole-grain pasta, we prefer brands that have a texture similar to white pasta and a mild flavor that won’t compete with the flavors in a dish. We found that pastas made with 100% whole durum wheat flour fit that description better than whole-grain pastas made with a mix of wheat and other whole-grain flours. Some of the brands we tried made from 100% whole wheat are Bionaturæ, Pastene, DaVinci and Eden Organic.

Whole-Wheat Blends
If you prefer to ease into the world of whole-wheat pasta, try a blend. Blends have a varying percentage of whole grain to refined flour. You’ll sacrifice some fiber, but you still get an average of 2 grams more per serving compared to white pasta. We like Barilla Plus, which is made with a combination of grain and legume flour and has a taste and texture similar to white pasta.

What’s your favorite whole-wheat pasta?

Penelope is a web producer and writer for EatingWell.com. When she’s not busy geeking out at the computer, she loves cooking and trying new recipes on her friends. Some of her favorite foods are dark chocolate, coffee, apples, sweet potatoes and cheese.

More from EatingWell:


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Latest News

  • Russian superhighway could connect London to New York AFP Relax - Fri, Mar 27, 2015 1:24 AM PHT
    Russian superhighway could connect London to New York

    Russia has unveiled ambitious plans to build a superhighway that, in theory, could make it possible to drive from London on one end to New York on the other. According to a report by The Siberian Times, the head of Russian Railways is asking the government to seriously consider his project dubbed the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, the first modern transportation corridor that would link up the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. Plans call for the construction of a new high-speed railway and the …

  • 8 Signs the Girl You’re Dating is Not the One 8list - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 8:25 AM PHT
    8 Signs the Girl You’re Dating is Not the One

    Neeext! …

  • What Everyone Gets Wrong At The Gym Realbuzz - Mon, Mar 23, 2015 5:00 PM PHT
    What Everyone Gets Wrong At The Gym

    Not seeing results for all your hard work at the gym? It could be down to these common pitfalls …

  • Trim the fat for happiness, says latest diet research AFP Relax - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 11:12 PM PHT
    Trim the fat for happiness, says latest diet research

    Diets high in fat can lead to not only weight gain and heart disease, but depression and behavior changes, according to a new study at Louisiana State University in the US. These changes come about due to the high-fat diet's affect on the gut microbiome, according to the study. They transferred the gut microbiota from mice that had been fed either a high-fat diet or a control diet into adult mice of normal weight that had been kept on a normal diet. Those who had received microbiota shaped …

  • Sierra Leoneans to stay home in final push to stop Ebola Associated Press - 1 hour 42 minutes ago
    Sierra Leoneans to stay home in final push to stop Ebola

    FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's 6 million people were told to stay home for three days beginning Friday, except for religious services, as the West African nation attempted a final push to rid itself of Ebola. …

  • Kids eat more veggies when tasty: study AFP Relax - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 5:22 PM PHT
    Kids eat more veggies when tasty: study

    Children just hate all vegetables, no matter how tasty you make them, right? Wrong, says an influential study out Monday that found US children in Massachusetts ate up to 30 percent more vegetables when school dinners were made more palatable with the help of a professional chef. The research, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association's website, provided an encouraging sign in the battle to fight childhood obesity. "The results highlight the importance of focusing on the …

  • Thai junta leader to fight forced labor in fish industry Associated Press - 21 hours ago
    Thai junta leader to fight forced labor in fish industry

    BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's junta leader has vowed to take legal action against companies using forced labor, after an Associated Press investigation revealed that fish caught by enslaved migrant workers was being exported from Thai ports to global markets. …

  • 6 Foolproof Fitness Apps To Get You Into Shape Realbuzz - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 5:00 PM PHT
    6 Foolproof Fitness Apps To Get You Into Shape

    Imagine a world without your smartphone… it would be your worst nightmare, right? If you hate the thought of exercising without your phone, don’t panic – it can be a pretty nifty fitness tool! If you’re new to the apping world, you’ve got lots to catch up on. In an increasingly digital world, everything can be tracked, taught and shared at the touch of a button; enhancing your fitness plan more than you ever thought possible. If you’re curious to find out which apps could really make a …


My New Year's resolution is to:

Poll Choice Options