Let’s look at noodles and their nutrition, also the varieties and types. I don’t think I realized just how many varieties of noodles there are! Here are some:
Shells, Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Rigatoni, Tortellini, Bucatini, Pappardelle, Ravioli, Linguine, Egg Noodles, Orzo, Cavatappi, Tagliatelle, Ziti, Fusilli, Penne, Macaroni, Capellini, Rotini, Angel Hair, Farfalle, Paccheri, Lasagna, Ramen, Rice, Udon, and the list appears as if it could go on for a while.
How many pasta varieties out of that list have you cooked with? I think I counted 13 types that I have.
Not only is there a vast variety of noodle shapes that you can use, but there are also quite a few different types of noodles. More on that next.
Pasta most commonly is made from durum wheat (both white and whole wheat). It also, however, can be made from rice, corn, and chickpea (Banza) among other less common ingredients. Some people even use spaghetti squash as a pasta replacement. Zoodles are also a pasta replacement and are spiralized out of zucchini.
Carbohydrates are a big part of noodles and their nutrition (learn here why carbohydrates are an important part of your diet). They do have more to offer than that but that is the big one – noodles are carbs. I put together a table to compare spaghetti and the differences in the ingredients they are made of/nutrients.
Next, let’s look at what pasta brings to the table…literally. 😉
|2 oz of Spaghetti||White Pasta||Whole Wheat Pasta||Chickpea Pasta||Zoodles/Veggie Spirals||Rice/Corn Pasta (Gluten-Free)|
|Cost per package||$0.98/16oz||$1.43/16oz||$3.18/8 oz||$3.86/12 oz frozen||$2.52/12oz|
|Brand||Great Value Brand||Great Value Brand||Banza||Green Giant||Barilla|
Here are a couple takeaways I got from creating this noodle nutrition table:
- For the cost difference chickpea pasta doesn’t offer that much more nutritionally speaking as whole wheat pasta.
- Vegetable spirals have a lot less nutrition to them. Yes, they might be lower in carbohydrates but also in turn are less in protein.
Think about this for a second:
You could choose the veggie spirals thinking you are making a “healthier” choice, when in reality you will be hungry sooner and might make a worse food choice to snack on then if you would have just eaten the pasta with more nutrition (carbs, protein, etc.) and a side of vegetables. Remember you need calories, carbohydrates, and protein to fuel your body well. Carbohydrates are not our body’s enemy. More so, it is our desire to eat excess amounts that gets us into an unhealthy situation. Moderation is key.
I find side by side comparisons are helpful. In this day and age there are a lot of opinions about food. Some are scientifically based, some are promoted because of a company trying to make money and some a little of both. It can make it hard to know the facts and make good food choices. I hope this table and post will help you to make the best pasta choice for your body!
Here are a few links to a couple of pasta dishes that we have found lately that we have really enjoyed:
Do you like to support small businesses?
This company is based out of the Grand Forks, ND area called, Three Farm Daughters. They make pasta, grown and made in the USA. You can find their pasta in some grocery stores, but you can also have it shipped to you. Check them out here!
What is your favorite way to eat pasta? Did you learn anything about noodles and their nutrition? Leave a comment below and let me know too, how you like this post.
Mariah Nienhuis, NDTR
*Note: This post is intended for the general healthy population. It is not personalized nutrition advice and if you are in need of this, please visit your doctor/health care professional for specific advice. *
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31