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Best Gluten-Free Pasta: Is Gluten-Free Pasta Healthier?

Best Gluten-Free Pasta: Is Gluten-Free Pasta Healthier?

Posted on: Gluten-Free, Pasta

By Lucy Yanckello, Ph.D.

Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries. 

 

Going gluten-free, whether for a gluten sensitivity, a gluten allergy, or personal preference, does not mean that you have to give up pasta. There are a multitude of gluten-free pasta options on the market made with a variety of non-wheat based flours. Continue reading to learn about the gluten-free pasta options on the market and their health implications. 

Is gluten-free pasta healthy? Is gluten-free pasta better for you than regular pasta?

Similar to gluten-free bread, most gluten-free pasta lacks the protein, fiber, and micronutrient content of wheat-based pasta due to lack of flour fortification. However, there are now great gluten-free pasta options on the market, such as pastas made with chickpea flour, lentil flour, and edamame flour. These pastas are naturally gluten-free and contain two to three times as much protein and up to four times as much fiber as traditional wheat and gluten-free pastas. These alternatives also contain a lot of vitamins, with higher levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium than wheat-based or other gluten-free options. 

What’s the difference between gluten-free pasta vs. regular pasta nutrition?

Strictly looking at wheat-based pasta compared to traditional gluten-free pasta made with corn and rice flour, wheat-based pasta has more nutritional benefits. Wheat-based pasta has lower calories, higher fiber and protein, and higher micronutrients, including iron, calcium, and B-vitamins. However looking at high protein gluten-free pastas, these options have higher protein, fiber, and micronutrients than regular wheat-based pastas. 

Is gluten-free pasta good for diabetics?

The best pasta for diabetics is whole grain-based pasta. For example, gluten-free pasta made from lentils, chickpeas, and other beans are great options for those with diabetes as they are higher in fiber and protein and lower in carbohydrate content, meaning their glycemic index is lower. Glycemic index is a scale that ranks how quickly a food will raise blood sugar. Lower GI foods are better for those with diabetes as controlling blood sugar spikes is essential for those with the condition. 

Is gluten-free pasta easy to digest?

Gluten-free pasta made from whole grains and other whole ingredients, such as chickpeas, black beans, edamame, and lentils, is higher in fiber and protein. This will aid in digestion compared to pasta that is strictly carbohydrate-based and does not contain as much fiber or protein. Fiber and protein are both able to slow digestion.  

Is gluten-free pasta low FODMAP?

Gluten-free pasta can be considered low-FODMAP. FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, which are types of carbohydrates that easily ferment in the digestive system. This causes uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, pain, and flatulence. Gluten-free pastas made with low-FODMAP ingredients such as corn, quinoa, or chickpeas are good options. 

Is gluten-free pasta good for weight loss?

Gluten-free pasta that is high in protein and fiber, such as chickpea-based pasta, will aid in weight loss. Eating foods high in protein and fiber will slow digestion, making you feel fuller for longer. This will help you stay in a caloric deficit, which is necessary to lose weight. 

Is gluten-free pasta low carb?

Gluten-free pasta, even when made with high protein flours such as chickpea, edamame, or black beans, are not inherently low carb. As these ingredients are all carbohydrate-based, they will still contain similar, or higher, amounts of carbohydrates to wheat-based pasta. Gluten-free pasta alternatives, such as zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash, are a good option for those who don’t eat wheat but are looking for low carbohydrate options. 

Where can I buy the best gluten-free pasta online?

At Wildgrain, we specialize in making high-quality, fresh baked goods that are delivered directly to your door. Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen delivery subscription service for fresh pasta, breads, and pastries. Currently we do not carry gluten-free pasta, but we are developing our first gluten-free pastas. Learn more about Wildgrain and our artisanal baking and cooking methods. 

 

About the Author

Lucy Yanckello received her Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. She currently works as a medical writer and enjoys being able to help people better understand nutrition and science.

 

This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional nutrition and/or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific nutrition and/or medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.