Portioning Your Pasta

Many people don’t have the time, or skill, to make their own pasta. While it’s on our list of things to accomplish, until we can make our own pasta we continue to buy store-brand, pre-made pasta. Although pasta is delicious, it’s filled with many empty carbohydrates and loaded with calories. Luckily for pasta lovers, like ourselves, there are many affordable options when it comes to pasta in your general grocery store that are healthier options and taste delicious.

Elizabeth’s favorite store-bought pasta: Ronzoni 150 Calories Thin Spaghetti or Penne pasta

The reason why Elizabeth loves this pasta is because not only is it lower calorie, but the amount of fiber  in each serving (13 g!) is more than half of your daily intake of fiber. What this means is that you can get fuller off of a smaller portion of pasta. Not only that, but the taste is identical of regular pasta, unlike whole grain options or those that substitute flour for grains like quinoa or vegetables. Do not be fooled by the other Ronzoni brand, Smart Taste, which has claims for 2.5x fiber and also the same taste – in fact, the 150 calorie pasta has more fiber than the 5 g of fiber per serving the Smart Taste offers and also tastes more like your regular pasta than the Smart Taste.

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Ronzoni 150 Calorie Thin Spaghetti
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Ronzoni Smart Taste (don’t be fooled!)

James’ favorite store-bought pasta: Barilla ProteinPLUS Angel Hair (or other) pasta

The reason why James loves this pasta is because one serving packs in over 10 g of protein with only 190 calories, only 40 more calories per serving than Elizabeth’s choice. Like Elizabeth’s choice, Barilla’s ProteinPLUS brand products maintains the same taste as the rest of their other pastas.

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Barilla ProteinPLUS angel hair (L) and thin spaghetti (R)

Whether you want more fiber in your diet or more protein, either option is better than buying your standard versions of ultimately the same product. One tip that we use when choosing our boxed brand pastas is to think about whether we will use sauces to complement our dish; if that’s the case we will stay away from pastas that include vegetables, greens, or whole grain as the sauce may end up tasting different, in a bad way, when paired with flavored pasta.

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