Whole-Grain Pasta vs. Regular Pasta: Health Benefits, and Nutrition Facts


whole grain pasta

Introduction

A close up of food

We all know that whole-grain pasta and regular pasta are both made from wheat. But what’s the difference between the two? Is whole-grain pasta really healthier than regular pasta? And if so, why?

In this article, we’ll compare whole-grain pasta and regular pasta in terms of their health benefits, nutrition facts, and recipes.

What’s the difference between whole-grain pasta and regular pasta?

A close up of food

Whole-grain pasta is made with whole wheat flour, while regular pasta is made with refined wheat flour. Refined wheat flour has the bran and germ removed, leaving only the endosperm. This process strip whole-grain pasta of its fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Whole-grain pasta is a good source of fiber and nutrients, including magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6. It may also reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Regular pasta is lower in calories and has a higher GI than whole-grain pasta. The GI is a measure of how quickly blood sugar levels rise after eating a food. Foods with a high GI cause blood sugar levels to spike, while foods with a low GI cause slower, more gradual increases.

Whole-grain pasta is usually more expensive than regular pasta. It’s also not as widely available and may be harder to find in stores.

If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to regular pasta, whole-grain pasta is a good choice. It’s packed with nutrients and fiber and may reduce the risk of several chronic diseases. However, regular pasta can still be a good option in moderation, particularly if you’re trying to lose weight or manage your blood sugar levels.

To make whole-grain pasta even healthier, try adding vegetables, beans, or legumes to your dish. You can also use whole-grain pasta in place of regular pasta in any of your favorite recipes.

Health Benefits of Whole-Grain Pasta vs. Regular Pasta

Whole-grain pasta contains more fiber than regular pasta, which can help with digestion and weight loss.

Whole-grain pasta is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron and magnesium.

Whole-grain pasta has a lower glycemic index than regular pasta, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar as much.

Whole-grain pasta is richer in antioxidants than regular pasta.

Whole-grain pasta may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Whole-grain pasta may help protect against diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Whole-grain pasta is a good source of protein and can help with muscle building.

Eating whole-grain pasta can help you feel fuller longer and may aid in weight loss.

Whole-grain pasta may improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

Whole-grain pasta may help reduce inflammation throughout the body.

The nutrients in whole-grain pasta can promote a healthy pregnancy and help prevent birth defects.

Whole-grain pasta may improve brain function and protect against cognitive decline.

Whole-grain pasta may lower the risk of developing cataracts.

Whole-grain pasta has a lower environmental impact than regular pasta.

Regular pasta is typically made from refined wheat, which has been stripped of its nutritious bran and germ.

Regular pasta is usually higher on the glycemic index than whole-grain pasta, meaning it can cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

Regular pasta is often lacking in vitamins and minerals.

High intake of refined carbs like regular pasta has been linked to weight gain and obesity.

Refined carbs like regular pasta can also lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Eating too much refined carbs has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.

While whole-grain pasta is typically more expensive than regular pasta, it offers a whole range of health benefits that may make it worth the extra cost.

Nutrition Facts of Whole-Grain Pasta vs. Regular Pasta

Calories: 174

Fat: 1.8 grams

Saturated fat: 0.3 grams

Unsaturated fat: 1.2 grams

Trans fat: 0 grams

Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Sodium: 0 milligrams

Carbohydrates: 37 grams

Fiber: 6 grams

Sugar: 2 grams

Protein: 7 grams

Calories: 158

Fat: 1.8 grams

Saturated fat: 0.3 grams

Unsaturated fat: 1 gram

Trans fat: 0 grams

Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Sodium: 6.7 milligrams

Carbohydrates: 31 grams

Fiber: 1 gram

Sugar: 2 grams

Protein: 7 grams

While whole-grain pasta has a wealth of health benefits, regular pasta is still a nutritious choice and can be included in a healthy diet. However, it’s best to choose whole-grain varieties of your favorite pastas whenever possible and limit the amount you eat to avoid weight gain and other health problems associated with refined carbs like regular pasta.

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