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How Do I Choose the Best Penne?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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If you looking for penne to create your next pasta dish, there are various factors you may consider before buying. You can choose pasta based on taste, texture, health value, or ingredients if you are on a special or restricted diet. Although penne may vary in price, the difference between one variation and another is typically not significant. If you have never eaten penne pasta before, choosing your favorite may take some trial and error.

The most popular variety of pasta is made from white flour and prepared commercially. This type is usually very inexpensive in price, but it is also the least healthy. White pasta is stripped of its wheat germ and other portions that are rich fiber and nutrients. Many times they are enriched with vitamins to replace what was lost, but it's not as beneficial as eating whole wheat. Additionally, white pasta can raise blood sugar and lead to weight gain.

Keep those issues in mind when making a decision, but remember that white penne pasta is fine in moderation. If you prefer the taste of this variety, buy and eat it in smaller amounts. Another option is to purchase products that contain whole grains, half wheat and half white flour, or low-carbohydrate pastas. All of these preparations are available for those who are diet- or health-conscious.

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If you eat pasta more often, whole wheat penne is probably your best bet. The texture and flavor is slightly different than that of white pastas, but many people who switch from refined food to whole foods eventually acquire more of a taste for the healthier options. If you miss the limper texture of the white pasta, cook whole wheat varieties more thoroughly.

Other options you may consider if you are health conscious include organic pasta, and gluten free options. If you have celiac disease or are otherwise sensitive to gluten, there are pastas available which don't contain wheat products with gluten in them. There are also rice pastas made from white or brown rice. These often have similar texture to wheat versions, and brown rice penne is a healthy option that is full of fiber.

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