Love it, Like it, Hate it: Pasta!

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If you’ve been trying to make healthier food choices, chances are you’ve tried making the switch to whole grain pasta.  And while this is good in theory, the reality is that many of the seemingly better-for-you pastas are still loaded with refined, processed carbs.  In today’s Love it, Like it, Hate it segment, we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on which brands are really better for us, and which ones are just marketed as if they are.



Veggie-based pastas, and high-protein/high-fiber pastas.  All also happen to be GF.


Black Bean or Edamame Pasta:  Per 2 ounces:  185 calories, 17 grams carb, 12 grams fiber, 25 grams protein.

Black beans or edamame.


Chickpea Pasta (e.g. Banza): Per 2 ounces:  190 calories, 32 grams carb, 8 grams fiber, 14 grams protein.

Chickpeas & Pea Protein.


Lentil Pasta:  Per 2 ounces: 190 calories, 33 grams carb, 3 grams fiber, 14 grams protein.

Yellow, green or red lentil flour; may also contain soy or oat fiber.



  • Spaghetti Squash & Spiralized Zucchini: 40 calories, 10 grams carb, 2 grams fiber per cup
  • Shirataki Noodles: Per cup: 40 calories, 6 grams carb, 4 grams fiber | Made of tofu & yam flour





100% Whole Wheat Pasta (e.g .Barilla Whole Grain, Great Value Whole Wheat, Gia Russa, Hodgson Mill, etc)

  • Made with 100% whole durum wheat flour
  • Average per 2 ounces: 200 calories, 40 grams carb, 6 grams fiber, 8 grams protein


Barilla Protein Plus

  • Blend of white flour + legume & whole grain flours (lentils, chickpeas, flaxseed, barley, oats, spelt etc)
  • Per 2 ounces: 190 calories, 38 grams carb, 4 grams fiber,110 grams protein




Lower in fiber & protein than LOVE IT & LIKE IT pastas


White Pasta

  • Durum wheat semolina (white flour)
  • Per 2 ounces: 210 calories, 41 grams protein, 2 grams fiber, 8 grams protein


“Veggie” Pasta like Ronzoni Garden Delight & Luxury “Hidden Veggie” pasta

  • The claim for some brands: “One serving of Vegetables”
  • The reality: More white flour than anything, with dried carrot, tomato & spinach for color.
  • Per 2 ounces: 200 calories, 40 grams carb, 2 grams fiber, 8 grams protein


Dreamfields Pasta

  • The claim: only 5 grams digestible carbs per serving.
  • The reality: Main ingredient is white pasta flour (enriched semolina), with added isolated fibers (inulin, xanthan gum, pectin) & wheat gluten. Doesn’t provide same full-body benefits as real whole grains.
  • Per 2 ounces: 190 calories, 41 grams carb, 5 grams fiber, 7 grams protein


Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in|The Times-Picayune!   And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD

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