Get Creative With Your Carbs

  • By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD
  • Published Aug 12, 2014
  • Updated May 6, 2016 at 6:50 PM UTC
Soba noodles. Photo: John David Becker

Refine and upgrade your go-to plate of pasta with these simple, tasty tips.

Despite being dragged through the mud during the low-carb craze and with the rise in “Paleo” eating, spaghetti has and will surely continue to be a favorite food for legions of athletes. It’s a love affair largely attributed to all those carbohydrates in a pile of pasta that helps fuel hard-charging muscles. It’s also the no-fuss preparation. Boil water, open box, voila! But don’t settle for a plate of uninspiring refined noodles drowned in sugary jarred tomato sauce. Here’s how to transform your plate of spaghetti from the ground up.

Oodles of Noodles

These days, athletes have more spaghetti alternatives than ever—a culinary trend we love! Here are some to twirl your forks in when jonesing for a pasta night.

Whole Wheat
Providing higher levels of fiber and nutrients, pasta made with 100 percent whole wheat is a significant upgrade from white pasta. Also try noodles made with ancient grains like spelt and Kamut for different flavor and nutrient profiles.

These quick-cooking, tawny Japanese noodles are made with nutty-tasting buckwheat flour that packs in more protein. Unlike Western-style noodles, soba should be rinsed immediately after draining to wash away excess starch.

When gluten-free pastas first emerged, most left a gummy mess in your pot. However taste and texture have improved greatly. Seek out noodles made with brown rice or quinoa. Most are best prepared al dente or the short end of package directions.

Spaghetti squash
A favorite among the Paleo community, the cooked flesh of spaghetti squash pulls apart into slightly nutty tasting noodle-like strands that are rich in vitamin C. Use as you would grain-based spaghetti.

RELATED: The 10 Best Carbohydrate Sources For Endurance Athletes

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FILED UNDER: Nutrition / Performance Nutrition TAGS:

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