Healthy Meal Alternatives to Pasta

This is not an article on why pasta is bad for you. In fact, pasta can be a healthy meal as it is a good source of iron and niacin – both help carry oxygen through the body. Pasta also provides a healthy meal source for carbohydrates, which the body absolutely needs for energy. Unfortunately, energy needs to be burned off. Most of us lead busy lives, making it difficult to find time to exercise. When we don’t exercise, we burn very little energy, and it ends up getting stored as fat. Here are some healthy meal ideas that will provide an alternative to traditional pasta.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is the most pure and nutritious form of white rice (brown rice can be milled into white rice). Similar to the way raw vegetables have more vitamins and minerals than their cooked counterparts, brown rice is a more healthy meal than white rice. Brown rice is popular around the world because it is nutritious, cheap, and can be mixed with cheap vegetables to make a tasty healthy meal. This is an easy healthy meal of Wild and Brown Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and there are thousands more at online recipe sites.

Whole Wheat Pasta

What is whole wheat anyways. Whole wheat means the entire grain of wheat is used during the milling process. According to an online Library Article, a wheat grain is made of three parts, the germ, bran, and endosperm. In order for something to be called whole wheat, the three parts of a wheat grain must be retained through the process: the result is a brownish type of flour. With the nutritious content of the entire grain still intact, whole wheat food is considered a healthy meal. Next time you’re at the store, keep in mind that whole wheat pasta offers significantly more vitamins and minerals than traditional pasta. A point of interest, watch out for brands advertising “whole grain,” this is not the same thing as whole wheat. It’s not that whole grain foods can’t be a healthy meal, for a detailed description of whole grain vs whole wheat, check out Quality Health’s article.

Healthy Breads

If you take a look at the governments food pyramid, you can see pasta is under the Grains category. You’re trying to find a healthy meal that will provide an alternative to pasta grains. Try cooking a healthy meal you already know and enjoy. To get the suggested 3 oz of grain, supplement your meal with your favorite bread choice. Breads are a fantastic source of nutrients and grains. For an even more healthy meal, choose a whole wheat bread. This will ensure you receive as many nutrients as possible.

Crackers

Yes, some crackers are a sufficient source of grain, and can make for a healthy alternative to pasta. Again, to add another level to your healthy meal, choose whole wheat crackers. A good example of crackers to look for would be whole wheat water/table crackers, or even Triscuits. To add some flavor, buy one of your favorite block cheeses and serve them together. Another point of interest, stay away from saltines, they are not a healthy meal choice.

Keep in mind that pasta is not an unhealthy meal. Just make sure you burn off what you take in. This was a list designed to highlight foods that would provide a similar nutritional value to pasta. For more foods that will provide a healthy meal, check out the government food pyramid linked below.

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