There are 225 calories in penne pasta by itself this is for one a cup serving. Most people do not eat penne pasta by itself, but rather top it with white or red sauce. Once you add tablespoons or cups of sauce, this number dramatically increases.
In one cup of penne pasta with red marinara sauce there are about 275-300 calories. This is not a high calorie dish, however the flour and sugar found in the pasta is not the best source of nutrition, especially for a person who is trying to lose weight. There are ways to reduce the number of calories in penne pasta and provide a nutritious meal. Using whole grain noodles, instead of the white ones, can greatly impact the calorie content.
In one cup of whole grain penne pasta with no sauce added there are about 150 calories. Once you add sauce to the whole grain noodles, there are about 200 calories or less. Now that is a low-cal dinner. The trouble with pasta is that it does not fill you up for long periods of time and people tend to cheat on their diet or eat in between meals because of this factor. Whole grain noodles contain more fiber, so they do tend to fill you up for longer periods of time than the white noodles. Whole grain penne pasta is the best choice if you are trying to reduce your calories.
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