A Healthier Bowl of Pasta
Whole-grain and higher-fiber pastas are healthier. But how do they taste?
More About Healthier Pasta Brands
Here are more details about these whole-grain or higher-fiber pastas:
- Barilla Plus Penne: While this enriched multigrain pasta isn't 100%
whole wheat, it contains a grain and legume flour blend, along with semolina.
This blend generally includes lentils, chickpeas, oats, spelt, barley, egg
whites, ground flaxseed and wheat or oat fiber. What this means is that the
pasta is high in protein (from the legume flour and the egg whites,) contains
some plant omega-3s (from the ground flaxseed,) and will boost your fiber
significantly (thanks to the legumes, whole grains, ground flaxseed.) Cooking
time for the penne variety is 11-12 minutes.
- Westbrae Natural Organic Lasagna: The first and only ingredient is
organic whole durum wheat flour. Hard to argue with that, isn't it? I love
lasagna, so I've noticed over the years that it is definitely difficult to find
a higher fiber lasagna noodle. So I was happy to have found this choice at
Whole Foods. Yes, it's definitely whole-wheat pasta, but this fact seems to be
less noticeable when it is layered in lasagna. Cooking time: 10 minutes for the
- Lifestream Organic Whole Grain & Flax Linguini: This pasta has
the highest amount of plant omega-3s in a serving of the brands I checked out.
The fiber ain't too shabby, either (8 grams per 2 ounce serving). The brand is
distributed through Nature's Path Foods Inc. in Washington, and has just two
ingredients: organic wheat durum flour and organic brown flax meal. Cooking
time for the linguine is 7-9 minutes.
- 365 Organic Whole Wheat Shells: Even the Whole Foods store brand is
jumping on the whole-wheat pasta bandwagon. The pasta contains just organic
whole durum wheat flour and water. You'll find it in assorted shapes including
long narrow tubes (also known as penne). Cooking time for the shells is 14-16
- Trader Joe's Organic Whole Wheat Pasta Rotelle: You can find a few
different shapes of whole-wheat pasta in the Trader Joe's brand, including
rotelle, penne, and spaghetti. The only ingredient in this pasta is organic
durum whole wheat. Cooking time is 9-11 minutes for the rotelle.
5 Healthier Pasta Survival Tips
Ready to try one of these healthier types of pasta? Here are five tips to
help you make the transition:
- Keep trying different higher fiber pasta brands or products until you find
the one you and your family enjoy most.
- Whole wheat or higher-fiber pastas are more appealing when served with
flavorful sauces or layered (like in lasagna) with sauce, cheese, vegetables,
- Keep in mind that some whole-wheat pastas seem to lighten in color as they
cook. (I suspect this has to do with the absorption of water).
- You may eat a little less pasta than you normally would. The whole-wheat
and higher- fiber pastas seem to be more satisfying.
- If you are a ravioli or tortellini lover, fear not! I've found raviolis
made with whole-wheat pasta at Whole Foods Markets and other specialty food