Refined grain foods are made with white flour, which you may have seen listed on a food label as “enriched” or “bleached” flour. This flour has been milled to remove the bran and germ, in order to give products a finer texture and extended shelf life. By doing so, many important nutrients, such as fiber, iron, and B vitamins are also removed.
Think you’re being healthier by buying the gluten-free version of your favorite pasta? Think again. Many gluten-free pastas are made from a combination of corn and rice flours, making them even lower in protein, fiber, and other important nutrients than their already nutrient-void, white flour-based counterparts. Instead, swap out your regular and gluten-free penne for ancient grains, like amaranth, sorghum, and quinoa, which also happen to be gluten-free if you do follow that dietary restriction. These ancient grains are rich in both fiber and protein to help fill you up without filling you out. If ancient grains aren’t a match for your palate, try pulse pastas, like Banza’s chickpea pasta, instead. They’re made entirely from pulses like chickpeas, beans, or lentils, and can pack in up to double the protein and quadruple the fiber for the same amount of calories as their wheat-based alternatives.