Source:  Food Matters

Pasta has topped the list when it comes to the world’s most versatile food. It is cheap, convenient, and tasty. Kids love pasta, and it’s a fast, easy meal to whip up.

While it’s easy and delicious, pasta tends to cause digestive troubles for many people. But what if it didn’t need to be that way? What if pasta could actually be healthy and easy to digest?

Read on and find out how!

How Has Pasta Changed Over the Years?
Have you ever been to Italy, eaten a lot of pasta, and noticed that you feel fine? However, when you return home, you notice that when you eat pasta you instantly bloat? This has a lot to do with the type of grain that is used, and how the pasta has been made.

Traditional Sicilian pasta is made from locally grown durum wheat, which contains the nutrient-rich germ and bran. These authentic versions of pasta are hand-made and eaten fresh the same day.

On the other hand, Western society commonly uses hybridized wheat that is far higher in gluten than traditionally grown wheat. The germ and bran are also typically removed during processing. We end up with high-gluten, preservative-filled, ultra-refined white pastas that are almost empty of nutrition.

This modern pasta is now creating a lot of inflammation in many people’s intestines. More people are recognizing the link between inflammation and gluten-rich foods such as pasta, and are also noticing the health benefits to be gained by avoiding them.

So when trying to avoid the typical white starch and gluten-filled carbohydrate known as pasta, what if we told you there are some healthier options you could enjoy?

White Rice Pasta – It looks like wheat-based pasta.  It taste like wheat-based pasta.  But it’s gluten free and easy on the digestion. Bgreen Organic White Rice Pasta is a favorite of ours.

Chickpea Pasta – is gluten free, and is a great way to eat pasta that is high in protein. We love Banza Chickpea Pasta.

Brown Rice Pasta – Gluten free and containing very few ingredients, brown rice pasta is a high fiber, nutrient-rich, healthy go-to meal. Although a little darker in color and heavier in taste, it replaces white pasta in any recipe. Trader Joe’s has a great selection to choose from.

Quinoa Pasta – Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, and is also a complete protein. It contains all the essential amino acids, making it a great food for vegetarians. Quinoa is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Just don’t be fooled by the name of the pasta. Some quinoa pastas contain high corn, otherwise known as maize. With America not needing to label genetically modified foods, you can’t be sure where it’s sourced. Andean Dream is our favorite, as it is free of corn and GMOs that some other quinoa pastas contain.

Buckwheat Pasta – Even with the name ‘wheat’ in the title, buckwheat pasta is actually gluten-free . It has a mild taste and is light brown in color, similar to whole wheat pasta. Kids enjoy buckwheat pasta, and with a little healthy sauce, it may soon become a family favorite. Orgran is our top pick for Buckwheat pastas.

One Last Tip to Healthify Your Pasta…
Although pasta is believed to be a healthy, complex carbohydrate on our traditional food pyramid, when eaten in large amounts it can lead to high insulin levels – and eventually, insulin resistance.

So to make pasta even healthier, try serving it the traditional Italian way, with some olive oil or healthy fats. This will help to slow down the rate that your blood sugar levels rise.

Additionally, you can minimize a potential blood sugar level spike by eating protein along with your pasta. By blending lentils into any creamy sauce, you can make a delicious, nutritious, and high protein option that the kids won’t even notice. For that extra kick of nutrition, serve with some fresh herbs.