Pasta Substitutes That Taste Great

I love pasta. Like, LOVE it. It’s just... Not really very eye healthy. Lately, I have found myself wanting a healthy, but tasty alternative. Well, guess what friends! I found one and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Understanding grains

White pasta is packed full of the kind of carbohydrates that process in our bodies as sugar. This isn’t the best health choice for our eyes. I’ve written a few articles on this very topic: The Benefits of Whole Grains and We Need to Talk About Sugar and Macular Degeneration.

Be sure to check these articles out if you want the full scoop on why white pastas and breads aren’t eye healthy.

Flavor matters!

I want to be upfront about something you may be thinking. You know, the elephant in the room. Ahem... Whole wheat pasta just doesn’t taste as good as white pasta. There, I said it. Look, I know how important flavor is in the foods we eat. I also know there’s a constant struggle between wanting to eat healthier for the wellness of our bodies and eyes and actually desiring to eat the healthier foods because they lack taste.

Let’s be honest here, most people don’t want to eat food that doesn’t taste good; not even for the health of our eyes. Since the articles listed above tell us the science behind why those of us who have been diagnosed with macular degeneration may not want to be eating as many white pastas, I won’t write about that here. This article is all about taste! I’ve found not just one, but two alternatives to white pasta that actually tastes delicious! Phew, finally!

Plant based pasta!

You may be aware of the plant-based craze. Many more foods are being produced by using plant-based ingredients to promote better overall health. This is fantastic news for our eyes!

Even meat alternatives are being produced and distributed at most of our local grocery stores and restaurants nowadays. As more and more products are being made with plant-based ingredients, these alternatives are starting to be more common and taste better. This makes the nutrition nerd inside of me giddy with excitement. Why? Because now we can eat foods that are healthier for our bodies and eyes that don’t taste too different to want to eat!

Lentil and chickpea pasta

I recently found red and yellow lentil pasta and chickpea pasta at my local grocery store. I’m tired of trying to like whole wheat pasta (and my family is tired of trying to like it as well), so I grabbed a box of each to try. They’re all found in the same aisle, right next to the white and whole wheat pastas. And, you cook them just the same -  in boiling water. Easy peasy.

P.S. I didn’t even tell my two sons that I was making a different kind of noodle and they both scarfed it, completely unaware of what I had done. If you ask me, that’s a real-life flavor test if there ever was one!

What are the health benefits of these new pastas?

Besides containing absolutely no unhealthy white carbohydrates, these noodles are made out of one ingredient only. Lentils or chickpeas depending on which one you buy. Not only that, each serving contains 13 grams of protein! Protein is also very important to the health of our eyes. See, I told you I’m a total nutrition nerd (and proud of it!).

I don’t know how pasta makers work their magic, but they do and I’m really happy about it! Have you tried lentil or chickpea pasta? If so, let us know in the comments what you thought of them!

Andrea Junge

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