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The Calories in a Bowl of Pasta

author image Sarah Collins
Sarah Collins has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park and formal education in fitness and nutrition. Collins is an experienced blogger, editor and designer, who specializes in nutrition, fitness, weddings, food and parenting topics. She has been published in Arizona Weddings, Virginia Bride and on Gin & Pork and Bashelorette.com.
The Calories in a Bowl of Pasta
A bowl of pasta with meatballs. Photo Credit robynmac/iStock/Getty Images

USDA's ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends eating between 5 and 8 ounces of grains per day, depending on your age and gender, with at least half of those being whole-grain options. One-half cup of cooked pasta equals one serving or 1 ounce of grains. The number of calories in your bowl of pasta depends on what type of pasta you choose, the number of servings per bowl and what type of sauce you choose.

Calories in Pasta

For every 1/2 cup of cooked, enriched spaghetti you add to your bowl, you'll get about 111 calories, but just 1.3 grams of fiber. If you change that pasta to whole wheat, each 1/2 cup provides 87 calories, and the amount of fiber doubles to 3.2 grams. To ensure you don't take in too many calories, measure out each serving of pasta as you add it to your bowl.

Calories in Sauces

The type of sauce you top your pasta with makes a big difference in terms of calories. A 1/2-cup serving of tomato-based marinara provides 65 calories and 2 grams of fiber. A more decadent yet less healthful sauce option is Alfredo, a cream-based topping -- 1/2 cup of Alfredo is 220 calories with no fiber and 20 grams of fat.

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