So Many Grainless Pasta Options – But Which One Is Healthy?
Who doesn’t love pasta? A warm bundle of noodles smothered in garlic butter topped with grilled chicken to a classic spaghetti Bolognese – it’s a comfort meal for many. Despite its amazing taste, a tiny little protein found within those favorite noodles – GLUTEN – can wreak havoc on your blood sugar/insulin and gut lining.
An average 2 ounce serving of pasta is loaded with 43 GRAMS of carbs – which is about the maximum number of carbs you ever want to eat in an entire day (and trust me, you eat more than 2 ounces don’t you?!) Additionally, gluten damaged intestines have been linked to leaky gut (increased intestinal permeability) which is a precursor to almost every chronic disease we know of today – everything from obesity to heart disease, even autoimmune issues (Hashimoto’s Thyroid, Psoriasis, MS, etc).
The good news – interest in alternatives has opened up multiple companies to produce grainless pasta – i.e. those that are not wheat, corn, or rice sourced. This is AMAZING because until recently the only grainless pasta was the kind you made yourself – and often threw away because it didn’t form or turn out properly! The majority of these are made from chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, or nut flours – they also taste amazing and some even have a “real pasta feel and taste.”
Here Are Some of My Favorites for You to Consider Having On Your Next Recovery Day
Cappello’s Pasta Noodles (www.cappellos.com)
In my opinion, Cappello’s has by far the best tasting and closest resembling pasta noodles on the market. Note: Cappello’s also makes other grainless foods including ready to use pizza crusts, gnocchi, and cookies. For pasta, they offer spaghetti & fettuccini noodles made from a combination of egg yolks, almond flour, tapioca, and sea salt. They have a rich and buttery flavor cooking and act like grain-based pasta A 3-ounce serving contains 9 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, and it cooks up in just 90 seconds!
Sugar Alert – being grainless doesn’t make them carb-free – the Fettuccini has 31g total carbs and with 3g (Net Carb: 28g) per serving. Much lower than traditional pasta so these are perfect for a dinner meal on your recovery day(s).
Banza Pasta (www.eatbanza.com)
Banza was the first to introduce grainless pasta. They have now branched out and even offer a “grainless rice” which is outstanding! Kinds of pasta include shells, penne, spaghetti, and rotini made from chickpea flour (plus tapioca and pea protein). A 2-ounce serving of Banza contains 14 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and 32 total carbohydrates (Net Carb: 24g). The “rice” they offer is made from chickpeas and potato starch (plus spices) pressed into small grains. It cooks well and is an exceptional substitute for high carb rice.
Thrive Market “Wonder Noodles” www.thrivemarket.com
If you want a truly exceptional noodle with incredible taste and ingredient breakdown then you must try “wonderful noodles.” Made from konjac flour, a flour derived from konjac root, they contain 0 net carbs (3 grams of carbs & 3 grams of fiber per serving). The “Shirataki Spinach Fettuccini” also contains spinach powder which provides antioxidants and color. Their texture is quite “slippery” and far from the taste of grain-based pasta, but they can do wonders for soups, stir-fry, or other “Asian” noodle dishes.
Tolerant Pasta (https://tolerantfoods.com/)
Tolerant is yet another grainless source for pasta – they use nothing but 100% organic plant ingredients and offer chickpea, red lentil, and green lentil penne, rotini, and elbow macaroni. These kinds of pasta have a nuttier taste compared to grain-based noodles, but don’t let that prevent you from using them in your dishes. Green lentil pasta has 21 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, and a whopping 53 grams of total carbs (44 net carbs) per serving. While these are grainless they should be reserved for that “special occasion” based on the carb load. The reason I like this is most other legume pasta are riddled with rice or cornflour and tolerance is just one ingredient – green lentil flour!
Hopefully, you can see you are not limited when it comes to pasta options! Just remember – even the grainless ones can carry a heavy carb load. Keep them to a recovery day so that your weekly intermittent fasting will recover your GKI and you can enjoy your favorite pasta-based dish with a healthier twist.