5 Healthy Pasta Brands That Are Nutritionist-Approved

5 Healthy Pasta Brands That Are Nutritionist-Approved

Pasta is a beloved comfort food, but traditional options can be lacking in nutritional value. However, recent trends have seen the emergence of healthier pasta alternatives that are enriched with protein and fiber. These alternatives make it possible to enjoy favorite noodle dishes without the guilt associated with white pasta, which is typically low in fiber and protein but high in calories.

Brooke Alpert, MS, RD, CDN, author of The Diet Detox—Why Your Diet Is Making You Fat and What to Do About It, advises that a meal should include protein and fiber. With the availability of pastas made from chickpeas, lentils, and quinoa, many of which are also gluten-free, it is now possible to choose nutritionist-approved pasta options. Additionally, pastas made from legumes contain essential nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron, making them a healthier choice.

Considering these benefits, here are some nutritionist-approved pasta brands that offer excellent protein and fiber content:

5 Healthy Pasta Brands (Almost All Gluten-Free!)

When selecting pasta, Alpert recommends looking for brands that provide at least five grams of protein and seven grams of fiber per serving. Furthermore, it is essential to be mindful of the overall nutritional content of the pasta dish and avoid excess sugar, opting for healthier toppings and pairings, such as vegetables and lean meats. Here are some recommended pasta brands:

1. Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea pasta, with its high protein and fiber content, is a filling gluten-free option, offering 14 grams of protein and eight grams of fiber per serving, along with 30 percent of the daily recommended iron intake.

Our pick: Banza Chickpea Shells. This variety of pasta from Banza is suitable for a range of recipes and can be paired with pesto, vegan cheese, turkey meatballs, or chicken breast. Banza offers a variety of pasta shapes, from rotini to ziti. ($25 for six boxes; eatbanza.com)

2. Quinoa Pasta

Quinoa pasta, favored by paleo enthusiasts, is gluten-free and provides a good source of fiber and protein. Many quinoa pasta products also include a blend of rice, offering a nutty flavor.

Our pick: Living Now Quinoa Spaghetti Pasta. This organic pasta is a versatile option suitable for individuals with food allergies, as it is free of wheat, corn, soy, and other allergens. With a blend of rice, quinoa, and amaranth, it offers a hearty texture and five grams of protein per serving. It pairs well with a flavorful chimichurri sauce. ($5 per box; nowfoods.com)

3. Beet Pasta

Some store-bought beet pastas combine beet juice with a blend of grains and rice, offering additional health benefits, including being rich in vitamins A and C and other inflammation-fighting nutrients.

Our pick: Sfoglini Beet Fusilli. While not gluten-free, Sfoglini’s beet pasta includes cold-pressed beet juice, providing a healthy dose of antioxidants. It can be enjoyed as a pasta salad with arugula, pecans, apples, and crumbled feta. ($8 per box; sfoglini.com)

By incorporating these nutritionist-approved pasta brands into your meals, you can enjoy the flavors and comfort of pasta while maintaining a healthy diet.

Healthy Pasta: Miracle Noodle Angel Hair Pasta

Photo: Courtesy of Miracle Noodle

4. Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki Noodles are the zero-calorie noodles made with konnayaku, a Japanese product from the taro family. These gluten- and soy-free noodles are perfect for preparing poke bowls and Asian-inspired dishes. The noodles are incredibly light, allowing the sauce and other foods in the dish to take the spotlight.

Our pick: Miracle Noodle Angel Hair Noodles. These noodles can be used to make homemade chicken soup. When paired with bone broth, it creates an immunity-boosting bowl. ($34 for 10 packages; miraclenoodle.com)

Healthy Pasta: Explore Cuisine Black Bean Pasta

Photo: Courtesy of Explore Cuisine

5. Bean Pasta

Bean pasta is the perfect choice for those with a serious fettuccine craving but want to cut back on carbs. It has a much healthier nutrition profile than brown rice pasta as it is higher in fiber, helping stave off hunger. Bean pasta also has a lower glycemic index than rice, quinoa or any whole grain, resulting in a smaller blood sugar spike and crash. With its hearty texture and neutral taste, these gluten-free pastas are filling and versatile.

Our pick: Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti or Red Lentil Penne. The black bean spaghetti has 23 grams of carbs, 24 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber. It pairs well with a cheesy butternut squash sauce for a healthy macaroni and cheese or with a mixture of mushrooms, carrots, and celery with tomato sauce for a vegan-friendly Bolognese. ($7.55 per box; explorecuisine.com)

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