When it comes to portion control, there are few foods that are more confusing than pasta. Some questions I get frequently are:
So, what is a serving of pasta? According to Canada's Food Guide and the Diabetic Exchange System, a serving of pasta is ½ cup of cooked pasta (this is equivalent to about 2 ounces [60 grams] of cooked pasta). This would provide approximately 80-100 calories and 15-20 grams of carbohydrate.
How do I measure pasta? Pasta can be measured before or after cooking. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that pasta doubles in size and weight when it is cooked. Here are some guidelines to follow when measuring pasta.
If you would prefer to measure the pasta before you cook so you are not making too much, the following tips can be helpful:
In summary, a good generalization to measure pasta is as follows:
1 Serving cooked pasta = 2 ounces (60 grams) or ½ cup
1 Serving uncooked pasta = 1 ounce (30 grams) or ¼ cup
Yes, I know that your thinking….a half-cup of pasta might not be enough to satisfy your appetite. So, have more than a half-cup of pasta at a meal, just be sure to count it as more than one serving. Also, try adding extra vegetables to the sauce, have a side salad or a small chicken breast along with the pasta.
You may also want to substitute some or all of your pasta noodles for spiralized veggies.
Here's my creation of spiralized zucchini noodles with a tomato meat sauce! Yum!!!
2016 was the Year of the Pulses and they continue to be rising stars in 2017!
6 reasons why you should be eating them!
Pulses are dried beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas and other legumes. So what’s the big deal about pulses? Here are 6 good reasons you should be eating them!
1. Blood Sugar. Eating 5 cups of beans each week can lower your blood sugar, probably due to their high fibre and resistant starch content.
2. Cholesterol. Beans lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, probably because they’re rich in soluble fibre.
3. Blood pressure. Beans help lower blood pressure.
4. Regularity. Beans are a concentrated source of fibre.
5. Plant protein. Beans are rich in protein. Getting your protein from beans instead of from red meat like beef or pork can help lower your risk of colorectal cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Plant proteins are also more environmentally friendly than animal proteins. An added bonus: pulses are inexpensive!
6. They’re packed with fibre, potassium, magnesium, folate, and iron. These are nutrients many people don’t get enough of.
Beans contain oligosaccharides, these are carbs that our digestive enzymes can’t break down. Instead, the bacteria in our gut ferment them and produce gas.
The solution: cook beans thoroughly (or use canned), rinse away liquids, and increase your servings gradually. Also, the smaller the pulse, the less gas they tend to produce. So start small! If all else fails, try Beano (available on pharmacy shelves).