Health special: Healthy, guilt-free ways of enjoying pasta

Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, has been asked to lay off pasta and lose weight. Here’s how you can eat your pasta and stay healthy too

Such is the temptation of pasta that even the Pope can’t control having platefuls of it. The Vatican doctors have recently advised the 78-year-old pontiff to control his spaghetti consumption and exercise more.

Pope Francis at St Peter’s square at the Vatican after his weekly general audience.
Pope Francis at St Peter’s square at the Vatican after his weekly general audience. Pic/AFP

This advice was given to the current Pope as he has apparently put on weight during his tenure.


Loaded with carbohydrates, Italian dishes such as pasta and pizza make it tough to lose extra inches. Though with a few tweaks, this tasty cuisine can be enjoyed without guilt. Here’s how:

>> Eat whole-wheat or multi-grain pasta and pizza base instead of those made using refined flour for a leaner meal.
>> Control your portions even if it is whole-wheat pasta. Keep a tab on the portions you eat, as over-eating means over consumption of calories.
>> Go easy on the cheese, be it on the pizza or for the pasta sauce. You can also try low fat cheese.
>> Increase the portion of vegetables in your dish to make it more satisfying and increase your fibre intake at the same time.
>> Cream cheese sauces are the most fattening ones. Instead, opt for sauces such as arrabiata that use tomato puree, fresh herbs, and less of cream.
>> Use olive oil for your dressing or sautéing your vegetables, as it is healthier.
>> Whatever diet you follow, physical exercise is necessary to keep your body fit.

- Inputs by Eileen Canday, dietician

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