Nontraditional pasta, such as those made from beans, rice, and soy products, has become increasingly popular as a healthier option for pasta fans. However, that doesn’t mean you can load up on vegetarian noodles without consequences. “We would be wise to remember that while these pastas are more nutritious than traditional white pasta, they still contain calories and carbohydrates,” says Monica Auslander Moreno, RD, nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition. “Servings are still cooked to a measly 1/2 cup; most of us do 2-3 cups of cooked pasta at a time. Try going “half and half” with pasta alternatives and a plant-based pasta substitute” and be sure to check out this healthy spaghetti recipe that everyone will love.
If you have celiac disease, you can and should of course eat gluten-free. But for those who choose gluten-free options because they think it’s healthier, think again. “Because alternative grains are more bitter than their wheat, barley, and rye gluten-containing counterparts, the most common way to mask bitterness is… wait for it… by adding high levels of sugar,” says Alvin Berger, MS, PhD, nutritionist, lipid biochemist and co-founder of Life Sense Products. “The sugar is added in its plethora of alternative forms and names, to provide coverage. The bottom line is that many gluten-free foods are higher in total sugars and high glycemic carbohydrates than their gluten-containing counterparts.
“While kombucha is great for its inclusion of several probiotic strains, many commercial kombuchas are loaded with sugar,” says Auslander Moreno. “In addition, consumers don’t read portion sizes well enough and what’s shown on the label can be 2-3 servings in the whole bottle, and the sugar content has tripled all of a sudden.” These are the best kombucha brands to look out for.