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Gluten Free Pastas: A Dietitian’s Review

Living on a gluten free diet has become less stressful the last few years due to restaurants and grocery stores becoming more gluten free friendly.  Have you heard the commercial on the radio station?  “You’re Gluten Free, We’re Commercial Free.”  Makes me chuckle every time!

Being a dietitian and living on a gluten free diet has its advantages.  I am able to connect with my patients more and I am able to understand how challenging it can to be on a “restrictive diet.”  I have been on a gluten free diet for three years and I am not only impressed with the advancements in gluten free food items, but I am also very grateful.  Being able to eat gluten free pasta is such a delight!  It makes me feel special and like a regular person at the same time!  Restaurants now adapting to gluten free items is freeing.  Have you tried the gluten free menu at The Cheesecake Factory?  It became available about two months ago, and features pages filled with gluten free options – even gluten free desserts!

I also understand the frustrations of buying gluten free items.  Spending four dollars on gluten free noodles only to be disappointed?  Been there, done that! However, there are some really great options out there. Here are some of my favorites (check the Brand’s website to find a store near you):

Food Item: Brand Name: Calories per serving: Fiber per serving:
Pasta- multiple options Schar 190 1 gram
Pasta- multiple options Trader Joes 190 2 grams
Pasta- multiple options Ancient Harvest Quinoa 205 4 grams
Pasta- multiple options Glutino 200 3 grams
Pasta- multiple options De Boles 210 < 1 gram
Pasta- multiple options Barilla 360 1 gram
Pasta- multiple options Bionaturae 200 2 grams
Pasta- multiple options Tinkyada 210 3 grams

The one caution I offer is to watch portion sizes when it comes to gluten free pastas.  They may be higher in calories and sugar than traditional white and whole wheat pastas.  I have my measuring cups handy!  Also, make sure to read the nutritional panel to see if the serving size is dry or cooked.   Use gluten free pasta as a side dish to reduce your portion.  You can also add vegetables, meatballs, parmesan cheese, and sauce to add color, protein, fiber, and flavor!

Additional about me: I have been a registered dietitian for eight years.  I currently work in Food Safety and Quality Assurance on food labeling laws and food recalls however I have experience in acute care, outpatient, food service management, menu planning, and long term care.  I enjoy exercising, cooking, reading, and playing with my nieces and nephews.  I studied at Benedictine University where I completed my BS, dietetic internship, and MPH.  Please feel free to contact me for questions or even suggestions of your favorite gluten free items!  My contact email address is: stacy_roth1@aol.com.  I would love to hear from you!

Enjoy!

Stacy Roth MPH, RD, LDN