Nutrition Articles

7 Whole-Grain Pastas You've Never Tried

Expand Your Palate with New-to-You Noodles

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Quinoa pasta
Quinoa is the seed of a grass-like plant found in the Andes Mountains of South America. It is not technically a grain, but it is often referred to as a whole grain because it is nutritionally similar. It resembles couscous in size and shape but is ground into flour to make gluten-free pasta (often made with a blend of quinoa and corn flours). It’s superior to traditional white flour pasta in amounts of protein, iron and phosphorous and is considered a complete protein, which is important to vegetarians.

Spelt pasta
Spelt is a close relative of wheat but yields noodles with a deeper flavor. It combines well with olives, feta cheese and tomatoes for a Mediterranean-inspired dish. This niacin-rich ancient grain can help with heart health by lowering total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Corn pasta
Pasta made from stone ground corn is yet another whole grain, gluten-free option when it comes to choosing noodles. It can range from white to yellow in color, depending on the type of corn used. This type of pasta can be a bit mushy, so it’s best to avoid using it in soups. Try combining it with spinach, peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes.


Use the table below to help you decide which types of whole-grain noodles will be best for you and your nutritional goals. Each brand and variety will have a different flavor, so you might want to experiment with a range of new-to-you whole grains.

Each of these values represents a single 2 oz serving of dry pasta (about 1 cup cooked). The fat content in all varieties is less than 1 gram per serving!

Type of Pasta Calories Carbs Fiber Protein *Gluten-Free?
Whole wheat 200 41 g 6 g 7 g No
Quinoa 205 46 g 4 g 4 g Yes
Buckwheat 200 43 g 3 g 6 g Yes
Spelt 190 41 g 4 g 8 g No
Brown rice 210 43 g 2 g 4 g Yes
Kamut 210 40 g 6 g 10 g No
Corn 203 45 g 6 g 4 g Yes

*Please note that foods that are naturally gluten-free can be contaminated during the manufacturing process. Always read labels and look for certified gluten-free products if gluten intolerance is an issue for you.

Sources
www.ilovepasta.org
www.whfoods.com

This article has been reviewed for accuracy and approved by licensed and registered dietitian, Becky Hand.
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About The Author

Sarah Haan Sarah Haan
Sarah is a registered dietitian with a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She helps individuals adopt healthy lifestyles and manage their weight. An avid exerciser and cook, Sarah likes to run, lift weights and eat good food. See all of Sarah's articles.

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