As I wander the gluten-free aisle at the store these days, I'm bombarded with the huge shelf of gluten-free pastas. Now as excited as I am at the new plethora of options, I'm also a little overwhelmed at knowing how to choose the best option for my basket. There's the obvious lowest price tag approach. Then there's also the best tasting approach. But how do we know the healthiest choice in the sea of options?
Overall, gluten-free pastas are up there as being an empty calorie laden food that will add to the hips. But, there are key powerhouse ingredients you can look for to lighten the blow.
A study published in the journal "Plant Foods for Human Nutrition" in October 2010, noted that gluten-free pasta made with the whole grains quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth is higher in protein than pastas made from refined starches like rice flours. Which makes sense since, rice in general, is known for being an empty starch that offers little nutritional value.
Another plus is these whole grain pastas also have more of the key minerals, folic acids and fiber the body needs as opposed to pastas made from refined starches. In addition, both quinoa pasta and soba or buckwheat noodles are slow releasing carbohydrates, so they will take longer to digest and keep you full longer. They will also give you longer lasting energy. So what I'm hearing, is leaning towards those quinoa pastas is the way to go.
Other powerhouse noodles to try?
Sweet potato noodles offer a tasty helping of good carbohydrates while also being low in sodium, fat and calories. Paired with nutritious vegetables and low calorie sauces, these noodles can be the perfect meal to keep that waist line trim. These noodles are perfect to use in Asian dishes, stir-fries and soups.
A great brand to look for that makes all of these powerhouse grains and sweet potato noodles? King Soba Noodles. They're one of my favorites and they have tons of great flavors to try.
Hope this helps for next time you're choosing a gluten-free noodle.