Serving Size and Nutrition
The rule of thumb is to serve 2 ounces of dry pasta per person for a first course or side dish, and 3 to 4 ounces per person for a main course. This is flexible, of course, depending on the amount of other ingredients in the dish.
As labeled on a retail package of dried pasta, the standard serving is 2 ounces (56 grams) of uncooked pasta. The cup measure approximating 2 ounces varies with the shape of the pasta. Some examples:
|Elbows||½ cup||1 cup|
|Penne||¾ cup||1 cup|
|Ribbed Lasagne||2 1/2 pieces||2 1/2 pieces|
|Spaghetti||1/8 of a lb. carton||1 1/4 cups|
|Egg Noodles||1 1/4 cups||1 1/4 cups|
Pasta is naturally low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates - the ideal food for a healthy diet. Studies have shown that eating a diet rich in complex carbohydrates (55-65% of calories) and low in fat (25-30% of calories) with an adequate amount of protein (10-15 % of calories) results in a lower incidence of heart disease and cancer.
Pasta is the perfect canvas for a wide variety of great tasting ingredients. With its appealing versatility, pasta has taken a front and center position in the average American diet. Some important pasta nutritional facts:
- Today the average American eats 19 pounds of pasta each year.
- A 1/2 cup serving of cooked pasta contains 99 calories, less than half a gram of fat and less than 5 milligrams of salt.
- As a complex carbohydrate, pasta is an excellent energy food. Stored as glucose in the muscles and gradually released during prolonged activity periods, pasta provides sustained energy.
- Six to11 daily servings of complex carbohydrates are recommended in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid.
- Since January 1, 1998 federal standards require pasta manufacturers to fortify pasta with folic acid, an important B vitamin proven to contribute to the healthy function of the body's central nervous system.
The following is a Nutrient Profile of a typical dried pasta product:
|Serving Size 3/4 cup (55g)
Servings Per Container About 8
|Amount Per Serving|
|Calories 210 Calories from Fat 10|
|TOTAL FAT 1g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 14g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||7%|
|Vitamin A 0%||Vitamin C 0%|
|Calcium 0%||Iron 10%|
|Thiamine 30%||Riboflaving 10%|
|Niacin 15%||Folic Acid 30%|
|Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.|
|Total Fat||Less than||65g||80g|
|Sat Fat||Less than||20g||25g|
|Calories per gram|
|Fat 9 Carbohydrate 4 Protein 4|