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Q&A: Is Pasta Off-Limits if You're Trying to Lose Weight?

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Q: I'm trying to lose weight. Should I cut pasta from my diet? - Bryan, St. Louis

A: With all the hype about low-carb diets, pasta and other carbohydrates get a bad rep when it comes to weight loss. Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source, and it's important to eat them at each meal to maintain a balanced diet.

Just keep in mind two key factors: portion size and carbohydrate type. A good rule of thumb is to limit your amount of carbs with each meal and snack to no larger than a fistful in size. This could be a fistful of whole wheat pasta with dinner or a piece of fruit the size of your fist as a snack.

Choose mainly whole grain products for a good source of fiber (3 or more grams per serving) and fruit that's low in sugar, such as berries to add antioxidants to your diet.

Here are a few examples of balanced meals with carbohydrates (portions vary for individuals):

  • Breakfast: 1 cup of cereal with 4 ounces of milk, and 4 egg whites
  • Snack: 1 tangerine and 1 string cheese
  • Lunch: 1 turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with lettuce, tomato, and 1/6 of an avocado
  • Snack: 1 apple with 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
  • Dinner: 5 ounces of salmon, 1 cup of brown rice, and 1 cup of broccoli
  • Post-workout Snack: 1 glass of chocolate milk and a banana

Tags: Health, Weight Loss, Food, Carbohydrate