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How does spinach pasta compare nutritionally to whole wheat pasta?

First, I would like to point out that these two versions of pasta are not mutually exclusive—it is very possible to purchase whole wheat pasta made with spinach! Whole wheat spinach bow ties, lasagna, spaghetti, and many other forms of pasta are available in many natural foods markets.

If I were forced to choose between refined wheat flour pasta that included spinach powder and 100% whole wheat pasta that did not include spinach powder, I would definitely choose the 100% whole wheat pasta since it is of higher nutritional value. The spinach pasta is likely to have a relatively small amount of freeze-dried spinach added to it, which makes it much different nutritionally than a common serving of spinach.

While there is nothing wrong with the addition of freeze-dried spinach to pasta, this feature of the pasta is not nearly as important as the quality of its wheat flour. One hundred percent whole wheat flours contain significantly higher amounts of more than a dozen nutrients when compared with refined wheat flours. The nutritional advantages of a whole grain product far outweigh the advantages of any added freeze-dried component. (Grains are no different than any other food in this respect. When in doubt, always head first for foods that are whole, fresh, unprocessed, and organically grown.) I would still remind you, however, that you could have the best of both worlds by choosing a 100% whole wheat pasta that also contains freeze-dried spinach.

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