Low fat pasta sounds like music to a dieters ears. However, even low fat pasta can have its downsides--low fat doesn't guarantee healthy in other ways.
Downsides of Low Fat Pasta
- Low fat pasta can be high in calories. Even if you avoid high fat creamy sauces, pasta is a carbohydrate that can be high in calories. Unlimited portions or oversized portions will still pack on the pounds.
- Low fat pasta dishes can be limited in nutrients. Although whole grain pastas can have much needed nutrients, it's the vegetables and lean proteins that you eat with the pasta that round out a nutritious meal. Pasta and sauce alone have limited nutrition for the calories.
- Low fat pasta can be high in sugar. Many tomato sauces and other pasta toppers are high in sugar to add taste. Check jar sauce labels for calories and sugar content.
- Low fat pasta can be full of processed ingredients. If you're not choosing whole wheat or whole grain pasta, you're probably getting a pasta made with processed white flour. That equals low nutrition and a sharp spike in your blood sugar.
- Low fat pasta doesn't keep hunger at bay as long. Lean proteins take the body longer to digest and convert to energy, so a diet heavy in pasta, even low fat pasta, may find you returning to the table more frequently as hunger returns more quickly.
- Low fat pasta doesn't alway taste great. Many pastas that reduce fat (or carbs) have a different taste and texture than the regular pasta we all love (and have become accustomed to).
Avoiding the Downside of Low Fat Pasta
- Choose colorful vegetables like red peppers, cherry tomatoes, wilted spinach and mushrooms to add nutrients without the fat or calories.
- Instead of sugary sauces or cream sauces, toss your warm pasta with some olive oil for the Omega 3 fatty acids your body needs.
- Avoid all white flour pasta and go for whole grains instead.
- Control portion sizes to control weight. A great low fat pasta dish should be a side portion accompanied by lots of fresh vegetables and lean protein, instead of the main course.
Like many foods, low fat pasta can be either healthy or unhealthy depending on the preparation you choose. Keep theses "avoiding" tips in mind to make sure your pasta choices benefit your diet.