What Is The Healthiest Pasta? Dietitians’ Top 7 Picks And Recipes

Pasta is one of those foods that is universally loved, but often criticized because of the carbohydrates. Although traditionally made from refined grains, pasta can actually be healthy. Case in point: Pasta is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, which experts consider one of the healthiest ways to eat.

Further evidence comes from a 2020 study examining associations between pasta eaters and pasta avoiders. The study found that pasta eaters had higher quality diets, with higher daily intakes of folate, iron, magnesium and fiber, compared to those who avoided pasta. Pasta eaters also consumed less saturated fat and added sugars than those who didn’t eat pasta.

These days, there are many pasta options to meet your dietary needs and goals. Here’s a guide to the healthiest pasta and the most nutritious way to eat it to reap the benefits of a balanced diet.

Pasta Nutrition

The nutritional value of your pasta depends on the type you choose. For example, whole wheat pasta will contain more fiber than traditional white pasta, while pasta made from legumes (like chickpeas) will offer significantly more protein than either option. For vegetarian noodles, the nutrition will depend on the healthy vegetable you choose, but they generally contain fewer calories and carbohydrates than other types of pasta.

Generally speaking, a cup of regular cooked noodles contains:

  • 168 calories
  • 6 grams of protein
  • 33 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 0 grams of saturated fat

What is the healthiest type of pasta?

Chickpea pasta

To some extent, the healthiest pasta depends on your specific needs and goals. For example, some people should avoid gluten, while others can safely eat it. However, my vote for healthiest pasta goes to chickpea pasta because it is gluten-free, so it meets a variety of dietary needs and is high in protein and fiber.

A 2-ounce serving provides:

  • 190 calories
  • 11 grams of protein
  • 34 grams of carbohydrates
  • 8 grams of fiber
  • 4 grams of fat
  • 0.5 grams of saturated fat

Protein helps fill you up and keep you full longer than other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats). It also helps you maintain muscle mass, which is important for weight management and healthy aging. Additionally, one study found that chickpea eaters have a more nutritious diet than those who avoid chickpeas.

Choosing pasta with protein, like chickpea pasta, can make mealtimes easier because you don’t need to cook a separate protein to make a balanced meal. Just add non-starchy vegetables and a sauce of your choice, and you have a healthy meal!

Many brands make chickpea pasta these days, but the healthiest versions contain one ingredient: chickpea flour. Some popular brands may contain additives, such as starches and gums, that give chickpea pasta a more classic, pasta-like texture. However, these substances may play a role in disease risk. A large 2023 study found a link between cardiovascular disease risk and common emulsifiers, such as xantham gum. This is why I recommend finding chickpea pasta that does not contain these substances.

What are some healthier options for pasta?

If you’re a pasta lover, you’ll love that you have plenty of healthier options to choose from. Here are some top picks.

Whole wheat dough

Whole wheat pasta has a nuttier flavor and grainier texture than regular pasta, but when topped with sauce, it’s just as delicious.

Unlike typical pasta, whole wheat pasta contains all three parts of the grain – the bran, endosperm and germ – meaning it is less processed and more nutritious. Whole grain foods contain fiber and antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that protect health.

Findings from a large study suggest that replacing refined grains with whole grains, such as whole-wheat pasta, is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer.

1 cup of cooked whole wheat pasta contains:

  • 207 calories
  • 7 grams of protein
  • 39 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 1.5 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of saturated fat

Soba noodles

These noodles are made from buckwheat, another whole grain. Buckwheat is a nutritious, gluten-free grain, but if you’re following a gluten-free diet, check the labels of soba noodles carefully, as some contain a blend of buckwheat and wheat flour.

Buckwheat contains many bioactive compounds that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties.

Two ounces of 100% buckwheat noodles contain:

  • 200 calories
  • 7 grams of protein
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 39 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1.5 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of saturated fat

Brown Rice Pasta

These whole-grain pastas are gluten-free, but they’re also a great option for those who prefer milder-tasting whole-grain pastas than whole-wheat pastas.

A serving of this healthiest rice is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and B vitamins, as well as an excellent source of manganese, a nutrient that supports bone health and is necessary for brain and brain function. nerves.

One cup of cooked brown rice pasta contains:

  • 215 calories
  • 5 grams of protein
  • 50 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 3 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of saturated fat

Red lentil pasta

Red lentil pasta is another healthy alternative to traditional pasta. Not only is it gluten-free, but it’s also high in protein and fiber. Lentils are also a great source of other nutrients, like folate and iron. Additionally, they have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, allowing them to have positive effects on many health conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

As with other types of alternative pastas, look for versions that contain just one ingredient — in this case, red lentil flour — and no gums or additives.

A 2-ounce serving of red lentil pasta contains:

  • 180 calories
  • 13 grams of protein
  • 34 grams of carbohydrates
  • 6 grams of fiber
  • 1.5 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of saturated fat

Vegetarian noodles

Make zucchini noodles with a spiralizer.Olga Miltsova/Getty Images

Replacing your pasta with a non-starchy vegetable is a fun way to include more vegetables in your diet – which would benefit most people. It can also be helpful for people trying to monitor their carb or calorie intake.

If you want to jump on the vegetarian noodle bandwagon but don’t want to make a complete swap, consider replacing some of your pasta with vegetables. This blend will give you the best of both worlds. If you want to try vegetarian noodles, but don’t have a spiralizer (or don’t want to be bothered), you can buy frozen or freshly prepared spiralized vegetables at most major grocery stores.

Since veggie noodles lack protein, it’s helpful to pair them with a protein-rich food, like ground turkey, to balance out your meal.

One cup of cooked zucchini contains:

  • 27 calories
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 0 grams of saturated fat

The healthiest pasta for weight loss

All types of pasta can be included in a weight loss diet, but certain types may offer more benefits. Although you may think that vegetarian noodles are the best pasta for weight loss, edamame pasta is my top choice if you’re trying to lose a few pounds.

Edamame pasta

The fiber and protein content of edamame pasta makes it a great choice for weight loss because these nutrients help you feel full longer, which can help you eat less overall. Additionally, bioactive compounds in soy – known as soy isoflavones – have been shown to influence your gut microbiome in ways that affect carbohydrate absorption and metabolism. This makes soy foods potentially beneficial for weight control.

Again, look for edamame pasta that doesn’t contain any thickening agents.

A 2-ounce serving of edamame pasta contains:

  • 190 calories
  • 25 grams of protein
  • 50 grams of carbohydrates
  • 11 grams of fiber
  • 3.5 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of saturated fat

Healthiest Pasta Dishes

Where people often go wrong with pasta is when they eat a giant portion of it. In the Mediterranean region, where pasta is a staple food, it is often eaten in smaller portions than what we are used to eating in the United States. And they are balanced with other foods.

A balanced pasta meal contains more vegetables than pasta. And unless you choose protein-rich pasta, it’s also helpful to add a protein source, like seafood or chicken, to your pasta meal. Also, go easy on creamy, rich sauces; Healthier choices include red and olive oil-based sauces, such as pesto.

Here are some ideas for making a healthy pasta dish at home:

Zucchini pasta with pistachio and parmesan

Try serving it with salmon and a side salad.

Zucchini pasta with pistachio and parmesan

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Giada De Laurentiis’ Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

I would also recommend a side salad here.

Giada De Laurentiis' Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Giada De Laurentiis

Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta

I would add a side salad and chicken here, or use a protein-rich pasta instead.

Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta

Samah Dada

News Source :
Gn Health

Back to top button