CAPSULE REPORT: Though pasta is rarely a go-to source for a nutritionally-balanced meal, Barilla Plus spaghetti is a healthy pasta alternative that provides the satisfying taste of everyone’s favorite carb-loaded food along with some added health benefits. If your goal is to add more nutrition to your family’s diet, few people will notice the switch, given enough flavorful sauce.
After a long day, few things are better than a large bowl of pasta. For those who know that carbs mean portion control, there’s a new excuse in town: multigrain pasta, which has much more nutritional benefit to offset the carbs. The pasta is enriched with a legume flour blend of lentils, chick peas, oats, spelt, barley, egg whites, ground flaxseeds and wheat fiber.
For those seeking an artisan pasta experience, Barilla Plus spaghetti is not quite perfect; but given the health benefits, it shines. The multi-grain spaghetti is a little more slippery on the fork than other pastas, which is a bit odd since once you taste the spaghetti, it feels just the slightest bit more glutinous. But, these are only minor complaints from people looking for flaws. Top it with a flavorful sauce and some good grated Italian cheese, and no one will notice you’ve switched from pure semolina. In fact, we made an elbow macaroni salad loaded with cubes of cheese, ham, red and green pepper and olives in a garlic vinaigrette, and we couldn’t tell the difference.
Moreover, it is highly unlikely that the fussiest eaters—kids—will note a difference between Barilla Plus and Barilla’s regular pasta. It looks like normal pasta, it tastes like normal pasta. In fact, many states have mandated that schools receiving food subsidies serve only multigrain pasta. So they may have grown to prefer it!
One quarter of the spaghetti box (a little less than two servings, or a normal serving for an adult) boasts:
17 grams of protein (30% of daily value)
360 milligrams of ALA omega-3 (28% of daily value)
7 grams of fiber (28% of daily value)
Compared to regular spaghetti, Barilla Plus has four more grams of protein and three more grams of fiber per serving. ALA omega-3 is not found in traditional pasta. A two-ounce serving has 210 calories, 20 of them from fat.
Barilla Plus is available in Angel Hair, Elbows, Penne (shown above), Rotini and Spaghetti.
If you know that protein/fiber/omega-3 is good for you but you aren’t quite sure why, here’s a quick review:
ALA omega-3: A type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that may help to prevent coronary heart disease. The best sources are flaxseed (found in Barilla Plus), walnuts and fish oils such as salmon and halibut. Read more about omega-3.
Fiber: Makes the intestines move faster, cleans out the colon and slows down the rate of sugar absorption. The best sources are bran, beans and some fruits like pears and prunes.
Protein: Builds up and maintains body muscle and tissue. The best sources are
beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds and legumes.