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Last Updated on April 3, 2022 by Mandy Schmitz
Spaghetti is a kind of pasta that is long, thin, and cylindrical. Traditionally, spaghetti is a staple of Italian cuisine but is today a highly versatile delicacy enjoyed by many people globally. Although spaghetti contains some essential nutrients, it is high in carbs. We all know that high calories, like spaghetti calories, are not the best health-wise.
If you were trying to lose weight or lower your blood sugar, it would help if you cut your spaghetti calories consumption. In this post, we will list some spaghetti alternatives that you can use to achieve this.
Before we dive into this, let’s deal with some basics.
According to USDA‘s information, 1 cup of cooked spaghetti without toppings, salts, and fat contains around 157 calories. This is even higher if toppings are added to the spaghetti. Although spaghetti contains other minerals and nutrients needed by the body, the high amount of spaghetti calories just makes it an unhealthy diet, especially for a person on a journey to lose weight.
If you are after achieving health goals such as weight loss that require you to reduce spaghetti calories intake, here are some strategies for you:
While you moderate your spaghetti consumption, you need to couple it with healthy and nutritious foods such as vegetables and proteins. With this kind of diet, the negative effects of the high spaghetti calories will not be significantly felt. Let spaghetti be only a proportion of your meals that add carbohydrates to the diet.
Toppings in spaghetti and other kinds of pasta usually contain a high amount of calories. No matter how good you will be at balancing your diet, it will still be hard to manage your calories intake if you overdo the toppings when preparing your meals. Avoid those high-caloric spaghetti-sauce recipes and you will accelerate your journey towards clocking the weight you’ve been dreaming of.
Anything made of whole grains is high in fiber. Since fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate, it renders this kind of spaghetti a lower-calorie food. Additionally, when you eat whole-wheat spaghetti, you’ll feel full for longer, meaning that you will eat fewer calories than before.
While the above are great ideas to reduce the intake of high spaghetti calories, you can turn to healthier food alternatives that will offer the same delicious taste of pasta but lower calories. If you were more focused on achieving your weight loss goals, you’d be better if you switched the conventional/traditional spaghetti with the foods discussed below:
Did you know that with a spiralizer tool, you could turn the vegetables you enjoy into spaghetti-like structures? These vegetables will not only come with highly reduced calories but also other healthy components such as minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Below are examples of low calories vegetables to spiralize with the other health-benefiting components that they contain:
- Zucchini-Vitamin C, Potassium, and Lutein
- Beet-Potassium and Betaine
- Butternut squash-Potassium, Beta-carotene
These are young plants with seeds that have germinated. Sprouts are low in carbs, but higher in proteins, Vitamin C&K, and minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese; hence are a lot more beneficial to the body than spaghetti. The process of sprouting reduces anti-nutrients naturally found in seeds, making sprouts very easy for the body to digest and absorb.
You can make sprouts from seeds such as beans, vegetable seeds, peas, nuts, etc. Since sprouts are associated with risks of food illnesses, you should only buy fresh ones that are properly refrigerated.
Although noodles made from legumes such as black beans, chickpeas, lentils don’t have lower calories than regular spaghetti. However, they come packed with lots of fibre and a satiating plant protein that will keep you feeling full for a long time. This works for weight loss as it helps you reduce the consumption of other high-calorie foods such as regular spaghetti.
To maintain their refreshing taste, it would be better if you did not overcook them. You can pair them with a tomato-based sauce for a more delicious serving.
This squash has flesh that can be cast into cylindrical strings to look just like regular pasta. The amount of calories in cooked spaghetti squash is more than 4 times less than spaghetti calories. Additionally, this squash is loaded with more vitamin A&C and minerals such as potassium and calcium. This means that besides the low calories, it is healthier than regular spaghetti. This mild-tasting squash can be paired with many low-calorie sauces, including olive oil, pesto, and marinara.
Cauliflower contains around 13% of carbs. Hence, it is an excellent spaghetti alternative for someone looking to cut weight. Cauliflower is low in carbs but high in Vitamins C, E, and K. You can make cauliflower couscous by breaking cauliflower florets and grating them with a food processor until they are the size of rice.
Drizzle some oil on the couscous and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then cover and cook for 5-8 minutes until tender. You can use this product in various couscous recipes and cut down your spaghetti calories consumption.
While it may not be possible to give up on spaghetti entirely, reducing its consumption can lead to a more healthy diet. If you moderate its consumption by including the alternative foods discussed above, you’ll reduce the spaghetti calories you take in and ultimately, your health will be tuned. Note that the alternatives discussed here provide beneficial nutrients such as Vitamins and minerals that you will not find in standard spaghetti.