Mar 26 2012
Almost everyone I talk to loves pasta, but it is also the food people tell me they most often overeat. When eating spaghetti and meatballs measure the portions of pasta and bread, and serve it with an abundant amount of vegetables . The vegetables help keep portions in control, and if you take your time and eat slowly, you are likley to eat only what you truely need.
In this picture three ounces of meatballs (270 calories) is served with 1/2 cup of sauce ( 50 calories) on top of 1/2 cup of cooked spaghetti (110 calories), and 1 cup of cooked spinach ( 42 calories) and a salad of shredded romaine ( 8 calories per cup) a little onion and red pepper ( 14 calories) and 1 tbsp of Italian dressing ( 45 calories) .
Each extra one ounce slice of bread will provide an extra 80 calories, dip in a small amount of olive oil ( 45 calories). Serving plain Italian bread, in thin slices is one way to trim calories, one slice of garlic bread or Texas Toast will carry about 150 calories.
A one-cup serving of pasta all by itself carries about 220 calories. If you cannot keep to the 1/2 to 1 cup portion, I recommend for most men and women than you will need to combine the pasta you cook with vegetables so you can have a portion that feels filling to you. This picture demonstrates what combining an equal amount of spaghetti squash ( upper left) and green beans ( upper right) looks like. The vegetable pasta combination carry about 154 calories per cup , the wheat pasta 220.
If combining pasta with vegetables seems weird to you, then serve pasta only on special occasions. Don’t count on colored noodles to be a source of vegetables either. Spinach or tomato basil pasta has small amounts of vegetables added, but they carry very little in the way of extra nutrition, and be cautious of ramen noodles too. Instant ramen noodles are steamed, fried, and air dried before packaging and carry a great deal more fat and sodium than most other noodles. Look at the portions and serving size listed on the package. This goes for whole wheat pasta and pasta called “light” or “low carb.” Whole wheat pasta will contain more fiber and B vitamins, making it a more nutrient-rich food, but the calories are the same as white pasta. An 80- to 100-calorie portion counts as one carb, and that is a half-cup portion cooked.
To make a better “fortified” tomato sauce combine jarred spaghetti sauce ( look for a sauce with 50 calories per 1/2 cup) and simmer it with an equal amount of chopped or pureed no sodium added tomatoes. This doubles the amount of sauce you have, increases the tomato content, cuts calories to 35 calories per 1/2 cup, and reduces the sodium content by almost half and it tastes terrific.