Though many people are counting carbs and avoiding gluten, there are still plenty of healthy pasta dishes that can be made by people who are watching their weight. While white flour pasta does deserve some of the scorn it has received by dietitians and nutritionists, there are plenty of other healthy pasta varieties that are just as delicious and easy to make.
Wheat pasta is the standard and most popular healthy pasta alternative to white flour pasta. Whole wheat is better for you because, as the name suggests, it uses the whole wheat stalk. When white flour is processed, only the endosperm is kept, and the bran and germ are discarded. The problem with this is that those parts are super good for you. As a result, whole wheat flours are packed full of fiber, which makes you feel more full and helps to curb overeating, as well as many vitamins and minerals. White flour pasta tries to make up for this by enriching their unhealthy pastas artificially, but the nutrient levels pale in comparison to whole wheat. The downside to this healthy pasta, is that it is slightly more expensive and it tastes different than white pasta recipes. Using other delicious ingredients help mask or complement the difference in flavor in many pasta recipes, but there is no getting around the price. Although, the whole wheat pasta I buy is only 20 to 30 cents more than white pasta.
However, not everyone can handle whole wheat healthy pasta. There is a very small subset of the population who really cannot hand gluten, which is not actually bad for you and it is not necessary to remove it from your diet, unless you have a sensitivity. For this population, there is pasta made from brown rice flour, as well as buckwheat, which is not actually wheat. This means all sorts of delicious Japanese pasta dish recipes, like soba and ramen, are open to people who do not eat gluten.
Healthy pasta alternatives are out there, if you know where to look and are willing to sacrifice the familiar taste of white pasta. Healthy wheat, rice flour, and buckwheat pastas are available for gluten eaters and gluten avoiders alike. If you are trying to eat healthy, there are plenty of healthy pastas out there for you to eat.