How to Make Your Pasta Dish a Nutritious Choice
Nutrition may seem like a confusing topic, but one thing is for sure: pasta has the potential to create a healthy meal. Pasta is an excellent source of carbohydrates and calories to provide energy for the hungriest of eaters. This article will highlight a few tips to help you increase the nutritional value of your next pasta dish.
Choose Whole Grain
When choosing a type of pasta, whole grain or whole wheat pasta options are the most nutritious. Whole wheat pasta has a hearty texture and dark color because of the amount of fiber it contains. Fiber is an essential nutrient for maintaining good digestive health, and most Americans do not get enough in their diet. Whole grain pasta also contains more vitamins and minerals than the typical refined grain or white pasta.
Pack in Protein
Pasta is high in carbohydrates and is the perfect partner for high protein foods. The easiest way to significantly add protein is to add meat to pasta. Steak, ground beef, chicken, and pork are all great options. If you are looking for a lean option, one four-ounce chicken breast has 36 grams of protein. For those with busy schedules, meat can be cut into small pieces and sautéed in a saucepan in less than 15 minutes. Meat also provides a hearty and satisfying flavor. As a result, it helps to balance your pasta dish.
Mix in Veggies
Mixing in vegetables to make your pasta dish as colorful as possible is a great way to get a variety of nutrients from your meal. Vegetables are a crucial source of vitamins and minerals and are low in calories, making them a prime option for feeding a hungry crew. To keep your picky eaters full, you can cook the vegetables a variety of ways. Sautéing, steaming, or roasting vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes provide you with plenty of options for creative recipe making.
See the Seafood
While seafood is also an excellent source of protein, seafood and fish also provide many essential nutrients that most land-produced foods are lacking. Fish such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel are also wonderful sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower risk for heart disease. Additionally, salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D, a nutrient in which many Americans are deficient.