When you're craving pasta, you may think swapping noodles for veggie "noodles," such as spiralized carrots or zucchini, is a healthier option. After all, you'll certainly save on calories and carbs, plus you'll increase your daily serving of vegetables.
Turns out, that's not necessarily the case. As Rachel Paul, PhD, RD, showed on Instagram, there are nutritional differences between whole wheat noodles and carrot "noodles." One cup of whole wheat noodles has 200 calories, six grams of fiber, and eight grams of protein, while the same serving of carrot "noodles" have 60 calories, four grams of fiber, and one gram of protein. So while swapping your pasta for spiralized carrots will save you nearly 150 calories, you'll miss out on fiber and protein.
"Choose whichever best suits your nutrition goals — or better yet, vary your choices throughout the week to get the range of benefits!" Rachel wrote in her caption. If you're looking to cut back on calories and lose weight, maybe choose the carrot "noodles." But if you're looking to boost your protein intake or need more fiber in your diet, opt for the whole wheat. Or, as Rachel suggests, eat both — you could even throw half a cup of whole wheat pasta in with half a cup of carrot "noodles" to get the best of both worlds.