Pasta dishes can be healthy. Here are 5 tips to make your pasta dishes healthier.

1. Get healthy noodles

Replace white pasta with whole grains, sprouted grains, or gluten-free pasta such as buckwheat, rice, or quinoa instead. It’s important to see “whole grains” on the ingredient list. Fresh noodles, which can also be made gluten-free, are also a good option, as they are fresh and natural. Noodles can be also made out of vegetables such as zucchini and sweet potatoes for a healthier, raw, and gluten-free version.

2. Cook “al dente”

By cooking your pasta “al dente”, meaning that your pasta is still a little bit hard, it makes your meal easier to digest and lowers the glycemic index, which is helpful to prevent blood sugar spikes. So it’s best to avoid overcooked, squishy pasta.

3. Replace creamy sauces with healthier ones

Avoid all types of sauces that are made with cream and butter such as Alfredo, Carbonara, and pink sauce. Instead, choose marinara or primavera sauce, pesto, olive oil and garlic, etc. If you want to eat a creamy sauce, make your sauce at home so you can control the quality and the quantity of the ingredients.

4. Add veggies to your plate

Try to add more vegetables to your meal. Broccoli, mushrooms, and asparagus are delicious in pasta, or if you prefer, have a salad on the side. The tomato sauce doesn’t count as a vegetable.

5. Eat smaller portions

A portion is ½ cup of cooked pasta, but most people eat a lot more. So if you eat a big bowl of pasta, try to make it healthier by choosing healthy noodles and a healthy sauce, and by adding veggies to your meal. Try to not eat pasta more than 3 times a week.