Food For Better Health,  Pasta

Pasta Can Be Healthy

Pasta on a fork but it can be healthyDAY 6 of my 100 Days of Real Food Challenge and my #1 issue is PASTA!  I crave it constantly.

Scientific research claims when we crave carbohydrates, it is usually due to the association of comfort and our mood.

Besides the energy boost, carbohydrates provide solace during stressful times.

Although I don’t feel it, subconsciously, I probably am stressed due to my food restrictions for 100 days!The Process of Pasta

Most standard pasta is made with refined bleached or unbleached flour, which is on the restricted list.  During the refining process, the nutrient-rich outer bran shell and inner germ layer are removed from the grain, leaving just the starchy endosperm.  This process strips the healthy nutrients from the grain.


Some nutrients, including iron and a handful of B vitamins, are added back during manufacturing (hence the term “enriched flour”).

Pasta is mostly starch because it is made of flour;  however, there is an alternative – whole wheat pasta.

What is Whole Wheat Pasta?

Whole Grain used for pastaWhole wheat pasta is only made with whole wheat flour and water.

During the refining process,the bran and germ part of the kernel, in addition to the endosperm are NOT extruded.

Because nothing is removed during processing, whole-grain pastas contain more natural fiber and nutrients.

Because whole wheat pasta is higher in fiber and nutrients, it tends to have a nuttier flavor and different texture than standard pasta.

The quality of the wheat used, and the milling of the wheat make a different in texture and flavor, therefore, can vary among brands.

Tips when using whole wheat pasta…

  • Absorbs a lot more liquid than traditional enriched flour pasta
  • Work best in very loose sauce
  • The longer whole grain pasta sits, the more sauce it will soak in
  • Pasta can fall apart easily
  • Fewer calories
  • High in protein and fiber


Here is a great example:

Box of Muellers 100% Whole Grain Penne Pasta


Nutrition Facts

Total Fat 1.5g 2%    Saturated Fat g 0%   Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 40g    14%
Dietary Fiber 5g   17%
Total Sugars 2.0g
Protein 7.0g

Make sure to READ the ingredient list.  Some brands have misleading labels.


Gluten-Free Pasta is another alternative

Gluten-Free pasta is NOT made with the traditional durum semolina flour, which is hard and is naturally high in gluten.
Many gluten-free pastas are made from refined grains.  Make sure to stick with those made with 100% whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa.
Brown rice pasta – slick texture. Make sure NOT to overcook, as it will dissolve into your sauce. Cook to just al dente.
Quinoa pasta – can rapidly move from toothy to overcooked.  Be sure to taste often during cooking.

Tips for gluten-free pasta…

  • Can overcook easily
  • Start checking for doneness a few minutes before box recommended time
  • Keep pasta separate from sauce if there are leftovers
  • Very delicate pasta


Nutrition Facts
Total Fat 1.5g 2%    Saturated Fat g 0%   Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 43g   18%
Dietary Fiber 2g   8%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 5.0g


Have you tried WHOLE-WHEAT or GLUTEN-FREE pasta?   Leave me some comments.

Want to learn more about PASTA?  Get my FREE DEFINITIVE PASTA GUIDE!

CLICK HERE: Definitive Pasta Guide









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