Whole Wheat vs Regular Pasta
March 3, 2021 29 Comments
Whole wheat pasta versus regular pasta is an easy comparison. It isn’t a stretch to use whole wheat in a product that already uses wheat flour.
My son, Alex, loves pasta more than any other food. If I ask him, “What do you want for dinner?” He will say, “PASTA!” even if he ate it for lunch. Seriously.
I want to ensure he is eating his share of whole grains. How about whole wheat pasta? I had dismissed whole wheat pasta as a terrible idea until I spoke with an Italian chef.
The Italian chef insisted that imported Italian pasta was the best (or course). Italian pasta is regulated by law (seriously) and must contain 100% durum semolina flour and water. Durum wheat has a very high protein content versus other strains of wheat. Rienzi (above) is an Italian brand.
If you choose Italian pasta versus American pasta - you are getting something that probably tastes better and is a bit better for you. Ronzoni is an American brand that is pretty good.
Does whole wheat pasta taste different than regular pasta? The easiest thing was to do a side by side comparison without sauce. I cooked both batches in salted water, which I think makes pasta sing. I add a full tablespoon of salt to pasta water when I am making a full pound.
I believe the water should taste like sea water when you make pasta. It is optional but I am a fan.
Whole Wheat Pasta Nutrition:
3/4 cup: 180 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 39 g carbohydrates, 2.0 g sugar, 9 g protein, 5 g fiber, 0 mg sodium, 5 Green, 5 Blue, 0 Purple WW SmartPts
The whole wheat pasta has a nutty flavor but a good consistency. It is still soft like regular pasta. Whole wheat pasta tasted almost the same as regular pasta. The flavor wasn’t as different as whole wheat versus regular bread.
Regular Pasta Nutrition:
3/4 cup: 200 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 41 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugar, 7 g protein, 2 g fiber, 0 mg sodium, 5 Green, 5 Blue, 5 Purple WW SmartPts
As you can see, you get more protein and fiber for fewer calories with the whole wheat version.
I found that I didn't notice a difference in the taste of whole wheat pasta after I put a sauce on it. Honestly, you don't notice the flavor of the pasta after you add the other stuff.
And, mysteriously, I ate less of it than the regular pasta. Could it be that the extra 3 grams of fiber filled me up and I felt fuller sooner? I think so!
Some people mix the two pastas together to keep the family happy. Anytime I can add a whole grain and not get complaining - I am happy.
What do you think of whole wheat vs regular pasta? Can you taste a difference?
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