a group of people having a pasta dinner

A healthy pasta dinner isn't an oxymoron. A plate of pasta can be a good-for-you option; it all depends on what you top it with. Here’s how the nutrition profile of a cup of spaghetti and one-half cup of the highest-scoring sauce in our recent tests (The Silver Palate Low Sodium Marinara) changes depending on which ingredients you add or subtract.

Spaghetti and
Sauce

  • Calories:    280
  • Fat:    4.5 g
  • Sat. Fat:     0 g
  • Carbs:    49 g
  • Fiber:     4 g
  • Sugars:    7 g
  • Protein:    9 g
  • Sodium:    120 mg

Sprinkle With 1 Tbsp.
Parmesan

  • Calories:    300
  • Fat:    6 g
  • Sat. Fat:     1 g
  • Carbs:    50 g
  • Fiber:     4 g
  • Sugars:    7 g
  • Protein:    11 g
  • Sodium:    210 mg

Top With a 2-Ounce
Meatball

  • Calories:    440
  • Fat:    17 g
  • Sat. Fat:     4.5 g
  • Carbs:    54 g
  • Fiber:     4 g
  • Sugars:    8 g
  • Protein:    17 g
  • Sodium:    490 mg

Add 2 Ounces Italian
Sausage

  • Calories:    480
  • Fat:    20 g
  • Sat. Fat:     5 g
  • Carbs:    52 g
  • Fiber:     4 g
  • Sugars:    8 g
  • Protein:    20 g
  • Sodium:    540 mg

Replace half the pasta with
zucchini noodles

  • Calories:    190
  • Fat:    4 g
  • Sat. Fat:     0 g
  • Carbs:    30 g
  • Fiber:     4 g
  • Sugars:    7 g
  • Protein:    6 g
  • Sodium:    120 mg

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the January 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.