Nutritional Comparison of Polenta and Pasta

Polenta vs. Pasta

I went out to dinner last night, and a friend of mine ordered a spicy chickpea dish that came with polenta discs. The other friend I was with had ordered pasta primavera, and we got into a discussion about which was a healthier dish, the polenta or pasta.

The best way to answer that question is to compare them nutritionally, so check out the chart when you read more.

5 slices
Basil & Garlic Polenta
5 slices
Quinoa Polenta
2 ounces
dry macaroni
2 ounces
dry whole wheat macaroni
Calories 140 160 210 198
Fat 0 g 0 g .9 g .8 g
Sat. Fat 0 g 0 g .2 g .1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 mg 0 mg 0 mg
Sodium 620 mg 540 mg 3 mg 5 mg
Carbs 30 g 32 g 42.7 g 42.4 g
Fiber 2 g 2 g 1.8 g 4.7 g
Protein 4 g 4 g 7.4 g 8.3 g

As you can see from the chart above, polenta may be lower in calories, fat, and carbs, but it's also much higher in sodium than the pasta. The macaroni is also higher in protein, and the whole wheat variety is higher in fiber as well. The flavor and consistency of these two foods are also very different, so depending on your personal preference, and what your needs are nutritionally, there isn't a huge difference when it comes to choosing between these two grains. Personally, I'm a polenta fan but tell me, which do you prefer?

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