Is quinoa really better for you than normal whole wheat pasta?

Question by : Is quinoa really better for you than normal whole wheat pasta?
I’ve heard all of these great things about quinoa and how it’s a “super grain”, but when I compare the nutrition facts on the back of my quinoa bag and my whole wheat pasta box, the facts don’t seem to favor quinoa very much. Quinoa has less carbs, but it doesn’t have Thiamin, Niacin, folic acid, or Riboflavin like the whole wheat pasta does.
So basically, I’m wondering if Quinoa has some advantages that just aren’t written on the packaging?

Best answer:

Answer by Davie Eatson
Quinoa isn’t a “super grain” and anyone who calls it that is silly. Why? Quinoa is technically a fruit, not a grain! Neat, huh? 🙂

First, ensure that “fortified” doesn’t show up on your wheat pasta box. If it does, the B vitamins you listed are supplemented in there artificially, not actually naturally-occurring, which means it’s harder for the body to absorb. Otherwise, the B vitamins are naturally-occurring, which is good.

Second, I like to use for stuff like this because it really, really shows a lot of the different information about a food. Scroll through the pages and you’ll see. Use these pages to do a side-by-side comparison:
Whole Wheat Pasta:

Whole wheat pasta doesn’t have as much protein as quinoa, but does contain more minerals than quinoa.

So which is better?
You should eat a well-rounded diet, which means you don’t eat the same thing over and over. Some nights, have whole grain pasta. Some nights, have quinoa. Other nights, enjoy rice or millet or sorghum or buckwheat noodles…the list goes on!

Add your own answer in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Is quinoa really better for you than normal whole wheat pasta?”

  1. Take a look at the ingredients of your whole wheat pasta. It is FORTIFIED with niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and folic acid – it doesn’t contain that much naturally.

    Quinoa (actually a seed, not a grain) is particularly important to vegans because it is a plant-based single source of a “complete” protein (i.e. it contains all amino acids essential for human consumption). Not that vegans can’t easily get all essential amino acids by combining plant-based foods (legumes, grains and nuts) but it’s nice to have it all in a single food for a change.

    It’s a good source of fiber and phosphorus, and is high in magnesium and iron. It’s a pretty good source for folate and niacin too.

    Also, quinoa tastes great and makes a great change from the ordinary (bread, pasta, rice). You can’t have pasta every day, so give it a try.

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