5 Healthy Pasta for Dieters and Pasta Substitutes to Try

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Let’s face it, white pasta is fattening. But it’s so hard to quit something that tastes so good! The good news is, you don’t have to eliminate pasta from your diet to maintain your figure. There are different types of pasta that are healthier than your average white pasta. In today’s post, we are listing down 5 pasta types that are less fattening than the white variety. We are also giving recommendations on pasta alternatives to try:

1. Whole Wheat Pasta

The reason why white pasta is so fattening is it contains refined grains and flours. The refining process – called chlorine dioxide bleaching –reduces the nutritional value of grains by up to three-quarters.

Whole-wheat pasta is healthier because it contains the entire grain kernel – the germ, endosperm, and bran. This type of pasta is loaded with fiber and contains complex carbohydrates. Unlike white pasta, whole-wheat pasta is high in B vitamins, copper, selenium, and magnesium. Even better, whole-wheat pasta is less fattening than white pasta. Consuming whole wheat pasta also reduces blood pressure too.

2. Spelt Pasta

Spelt pasta is derived from dinkle wheat, an ancient relative of wheat. Just like whole wheat pasta, spelt pasta is loaded with essential nutrients including vitamin B, riboflavin, and niacin. It’s also low in calories compared to white pasta. Spelt pasta is also a rich source of fiber. Fiber keeps the heart strong, protects from cardiovascular diseases and promotes better digestion. Those who are sensitive or intolerant to wheat can use spelt pasta instead.

3. Rice Noodles

Rice noodle has a chewy, stickier texture than white pasta but is lower in calories. It’s also gluten-free, wheat-free and contains zero cholesterol! Rice noodles are sold dry. This product is made from white rice flour. It can be used in stir-fry and soups. Because it has very mild flavor, you can use it as substitute to white pasta too.

Rice noodles contain protein, fiber, and essential nutrients like beneficial fats, and phosphorus. Phosphorus strengthens bones and helps the body process carbohydrates for fuel.

4. Jerusalem Artichoke Pasta

Jerusalem artichoke pasta is low in calories, high in fiber and protects from certain types of cancer. This pasta is derived from Jerusalem artichoke, a vegetable with a mild flavor similar to watercress. Jerusalem artichoke pasta is loaded with protein, probiotics inulin, vitamin C, and thiamine.

5. Kamut Pasta

Kamut pasta is made from Khorasan wheat. It has a nutty flavor and a broader content of nutrients than white pasta. It’s rich in fiber, protein, selenium and magnesium. Kamut pasta also contains zinc and manganese. All these essential nutrients protect from cardiovascular diseases, prevent genetic mutation and protect from certain types of cancers. It’s also loaded with phytochemicals and antioxidants that prevent free radical damage.

Pasta Substitutes to Try

Abstaining from white pasta? These nifty pasta alternatives let you enjoy your favorite pasta dish without the unwanted calories:

Spaghetti Squash

Just use any squash in season and grate it into spaghetti-like strands. Add your favorite pasta sauce and bake for a few minutes. Serve it piping hot and enjoy!

Zucchini Pasta

Shred or julienne zucchini using a peeler. Add tomato sauce and sprinkle low-fat cheese for a tasty, non-fattening treat!

Soba Noodles

Soba is made from buckwheat. As such, it has a distinct nuttiness that adds depth to a traditional pasta dish. Enjoy it the traditional way with a dipping sauce or experiment using your favorite pasta dishes.

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