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Healthy Alternatives to White Pasta
Healthy Substitutes Of White Pasta, Everyone loves comfort carbs, but refined flour noodles don’t offer much nutrition. The alternative noodles here, however, have more fiber, less gluten, and other benefits. In addition, pasta is undoubtedly one of the quickest and easiest ways to bring dinner to the table. Of course, you don’t need to be a great chef to boil a pot of water and open a jar of gravy, but you can feel like one when the meal is a hit with the whole family, as crowd-pleasing comfort food usually is.
However, pasta has a downside: the vast majority remains made from a refined grain, namely white flour. And according to research available in the February 2021 issue of The BMJ, eating lots of refined carbohydrates, like pasta, can increase your chances of heart disease and early death. That’s not something you want at your weeknight dinner.
Pasta Gets A Bad Rap When It Comes To Health,
Says Grace Deroche, RD, the National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman. But not all pasta remains created equal, she says. Today, you’ll find many alternative kinds of pasta on store shelves that remain situated and made with refined grains. Instead, they’re frequently complete from the nutritional superstars most people need in their diets: Beans and legumes. And also whole grains. Inappropriately, misleading labels and hidden ingredients can make it challenging to choose a product that is truly an improvement over white pasta.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Pasta?
Keeping proper portions in mind is essential regardless of the pasta you choose. The serving size recommended by the Dietary Rules for Americans remains only half a cup cooked, which remains about 1 ounce (oz) dry. It’s not hard to surpass that amount, especially in a pasta main course. Many products provide nutritional information twice that amount, so be aware of how much you eat.
For reference, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), 2 oz of dry white pasta (about 1 cup cooked) contains:
- Calories: 211
- Protein: 7 grams (g)
- Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 43g
- Fiber: 2g
Compare these nutrition facts to the alternative pasta below to get an idea of what options you could add to your pantry.
1. Edamame Paste
This one-ingredient paste is Deroche’s absolute favorite. “It has a mild flavor that is a lot like regular spaghetti. It’s great with pesto,” she says. So whether you want to increase protein, Blow the white paste out of the water on both sides. See nutritional details below. The product name is a bit misleading. Soy spaghetti would remain more appropriate. The noodles are 100 percent soy flour. Edamame, on the other hand, remains young soybeans that are usually eaten fresh, not dried.
Picky eaters may not remain willing to go all out on edamame pasta, especially at first. I like to mix it with even pasta, says Deroche. That’s good advice regarding any new pasta you’re trying to get her family to accept.
Here’s what you’ll find in 2 oz Explore Cuisine Edamame Spaghetti:
- Calories: 180
- Protein: 24g
- Fat: 3.5g
- Carbs: 20g
- Fiber: 13g
2. Brown Rice Pasta
Noodles made with rice are anything but an “alternative” for many people. “In Asian culture, we have many different rice noodle dishes,” says Deroche. “I’ll use brown rice pasta when making an Asian noodle dish, but I wouldn’t use it in a red sauce or Italian-inspired dish.”
If you can’t eat gluten and like the taste and texture of brown rice pasta, it may remain something you want to keep on hand. But if you’re looking for fiber and protein, you may want to try a different kind.
Considering how full of fiber brown rice is as a whole food, it’s surprising how many grams of fiber remain contained in brown rice pasta, says Deroche. However, nutritionally, it’s not a development over old-style white pasta.
[Here’s what you’ll discover in 2 oz of Lundberg Family Farms Brown Rice Pasta]:
- Calories: 210
- Protein: 4g
- Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 43g
- Fiber: 2g
3. Chickpea Paste
Chickpea paste is a divisive food. People seem to love or hate it, so you’ll need to try it out to find out which camp you’re in. But be warned, if you’re looking at the ubiquitous Bonza brand, you’ll have to decipher the label before making any decisions.
For the best flavor and texture, many fans recommend cooking chickpea pasta for less time than the package directions indicate and rinsing it before serving. However, Deroche prefers chickpea pasta in cold dishes, like pasta salad. Particularly for people who don’t eat beans, which research shows remain so helpful to their health, it’s value trying to find a way to enjoy a bean-based pasta, she says. In addition, it’s a countless plant-based protein.
[Here’s what you’ll discover in 2 oz of Bonza Garbanzo bean Pasta]:
- [Calories: 190]
- [Protein: 11g]
- [Fat: 3g]
- [Carbohydrates: 35g]
- [Fiber: 5g]
4. Quinoa Pasta
Quinoa consumes a well-deserved reputation as a super food. According to the USDA, this is because it’s a good fiber source and contains many other essential nutrients, including magnesium, iron, B vitamins, and antioxidants.
However, quinoa pasta is not the same. “I haven’t seen a brand where quinoa is the main ingredient. The name is misleading,” says Deroche. Quinoa is usually the second or third ingredient, behind rice flour, cornmeal, or both. So if you want extra protein or fiber in your diet, choose something else.
[Here’s what you’ll discover in 2 oz of Edison Grainer Quinoa Pasta]:
- [Calories: 200]
- [Protein: 5g]
- [Fat: 1.5g]
- [Carbohydrates: 42g]
- [Fiber: 1g]
5. Lentil Pasta
Lentil pasta has similar benefits to the edamame mentioned above and chickpea pasta. You will get more protein and fiber than in traditional pasta. What you select will be a matter of taste.
This alternative pasta style is not Deroche’s favorite. I love lentils, but here remain better options. I don’t know what happens in processing. It gets rubbery and mushy, and I don’t like it,” she says. Regarding alternative pasta, personal preference matters; it is unlikely that you will eat pasta you do not like.
[Here’s what you’ll discover in 2 oz of Barilla Red Lentil Pasta]:
- [Calories: 180]
- [Protein: 13g]
- [Fat: 1.5g]
- [Carbohydrates: 34g]
- [Fiber: 6g]
Pasta is a convenient and filling meal, but some types of pasta provide empty carbs, meaning that they offer very little nutritional value alongside the calories. As people’s understanding of carbohydrates, gluten, and the glycemic index (GI) grows, they may wonder.