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Protein pasta: useful or nonsense?



  • Protein pasta: what is it made of?
  • Nutritional check: This is how much protein protein pasta really contains
  • These types of protein noodles perform best
  • You should keep this in mind when preparing
  • Conclusion on protein pasta: sense or nonsense?

No matter whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or eat healthier: proteins are considered a top aid – for almost all goals. The motto everywhere is: more protein, less carbohydrates. For many, however, this means the painful farewell to an absolute favorite food: pasta.

You don’t have to miss out on pasta or the enjoyment: protein pasta should make it possible. Sounds promising. But what can the protein-rich noodles really do, what exactly is in them and how do they taste? We’ll do the check.

How it works? Through protein-rich foods, such as legumes or protein-rich flours. The composition differs depending on the variety. For example, some varieties consist of one hundred percent soybeans, edamame or lentils, while other manufacturers use plant-based protein, such as pea or wheat protein, which is mixed with other flours. In a study, protein-rich pasta with spirulina, pea protein and whey protein (whey) was produced, tested and rated as a healthy addition to our daily diet.

Protein pasta is worth at least trying

This creates a pasta that not only contains more protein but also fewer carbohydrates, which is why it is often referred to as “lower-carb pasta”. However, legumes themselves contain a lot of carbs. In contrast to wheat, these are complex, healthy and filling carbohydrates that we should integrate into our diet much more often.

Edamame noodles or pea pasta are also rich in fiber. And most of us don’t get enough of it anyway, which can have a negative impact on your digestion – or in other words: According to studies, your digestion benefits from sufficient fiber. According to the DGE (German Society for Nutrition), 30 grams per day is considered optimal. These special food components are indigestible, but they feed your good intestinal bacteria and can have a digestive effect.

Nutritional check: This is how much protein protein pasta really contains

One thing is clear: when it comes to protein pasta, the protein content has to be convincing. For most products when raw, this is between 26 and 46 grams per 100 grams. In contrast to the 12 grams that durum wheat pasta contains, this is impressive. At the same time, the carbohydrate content is reduced by a significant amount, mostly to around 15 grams. However, the fat content increases to around 6 to 8 grams per 100 grams. But that is still within limits. Plus, it’s “good” fat, so no reason not to eat it.

However, it’s not just about carbs, protein and fats. Thanks to the high-quality flour, protein pasta contains a lot more micronutrients, such as magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin K and a number of secondary plant substances. Not to forget the fiber, which ensures good intestinal flora. You can read below how the individual varieties perform.

These types of protein noodles perform best

Not all protein pasta is created equal. Not just in terms of nutritional values, but also the taste. So it’s worth trying out a few varieties to find the one you like best.

Yes, they all taste different than “normal” pasta, but you know, sometimes you should focus on the inner values. And maybe you even like them better than the rather tasteless wheat pasta.

1. Protein pasta made from peas, chickpeas and red lentils

You can now find pasta made from legumes in every supermarket and drugstore. With 20 to 25 grams of protein per 100 grams, they perform quite well.

Most people just don’t like the taste. Pasta made from peas tastes slightly sweet and intensely “peachy”, chickpea pasta is a bit nutty and you have to get used to the intense taste and floury consistency of red lentil pasta. In contrast to other protein pasta, most of which have extremely few carbohydrates, the legume pasta has 50 to 55 grams. If you want to load not only protein but also carbs, that’s completely okay. In addition, these carbohydrates are long-chain and provide your body with long-term energy, which also keeps your blood sugar level relatively constant.

Legume pasta is very trendy

Nutritional values ​​per 100 grams of legume pasta, for example from Barilla:

  • Carbohydrates: 50 to 55 grams
  • Protein: 20 to 25 grams
  • Fat: around 6 grams
  • Fiber: 6 to 8 grams

2. Protein pasta made from edamame or soybeans

An impressive 43 grams of protein is impressive. Edamame are unripe, green soybeans that are naturally extremely rich in protein. This means you can get this proud amount of protein even without other plant protein. They have a slightly nutty taste. It’s important that you don’t let them cook for too long so that they still have some bite.

Nutritional values ​​per 100 grams of edamame pasta, for example from Just Tasted:

  • Carbohydrates: 9 to 15 grams
  • Protein: 43 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 18 grams

3. Black Bean Protein Pasta

Similar to protein pasta made from edamame, black beans do not need any support to reach a protein content of 45 grams. In contrast to other pasta made from legumes, they have a very mild taste, so they can be combined in many ways.

A real eye-catcher on the plate

Nutritional values ​​per 100 grams of black bean pasta, for example from Planet Plantbased:

  • Carbohydrates: 16 grams
  • Protein: 45 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 20 grams

4. Protein pasta with wheat and pea protein

Wheat and pea protein (depending on the manufacturer in combination with linseed flour) together ensure a protein content of 60 grams per 100 grams in this pasta. Much more is probably not possible. A fair deal that keeps you full for a long time, is low carb, provides valuable fiber and is a good alternative to normal pasta.

  • Carbohydrates: 15 grams
  • Protein: 61 grams
  • Fat: 5.4 grams
  • Fiber: 11 grams

for example from More Nutrition (vegan) or BenFit (with protein and whey)

It almost looks like regular pasta, but it’s protein penne

You should keep this in mind when preparing

The cooking time for protein pasta is completely different than for conventional pasta. Varieties made from legumes in particular are ready in a flash. So that they still have a bite and don’t fall apart, you should really keep an eye on the time. You can have fun with the sauce. The good thing: you already have enough protein. A simple tomato sauce, some pesto or roasted vegetables are enough to put a balanced meal on your plate.

Conclusion on protein pasta: sense or nonsense?

Making sure you get enough protein in your diet makes sense. Protein pasta can be a way to add more variety to your plate and replace animal protein sources with plant-based ones and also consume more complex carbohydrates. But do you really have to follow every food trend? Absolutely not.

Good news: Nobody has to go without normal pasta made from durum wheat, even if they are losing weight. A new review study (i.e. a summary and evaluation of many different studies on one topic) was able to show that there is no significant connection between pasta consumption and overweight or even obesity. You can read here which little trick you can use to save calories when eating pasta.


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