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Why Spaghetti Squash and Zucchini Noodles are Nutritionally Superior to Pasta and Taste Better Too

Susanna Sisson's picture
Succhini recipe

With the rise in Type 2 diabetes and the increase in popularity of diets low in carbs and dense in nutrients and protein, more people are looking for options to replace their beloved pasta without having to give up on flavor. It’s not difficult to see why spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles are nutritionally superior to pasta and taste better, too.


A 2-ounce serving or about one cup of cooked angel hair pasta contains around 200 calories, 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of protein and a whopping 42 grams of carbohydrates, and that’s before adding any sauce.

Compare that to one cup of spaghetti squash which is only 31 calories, 0.6 gram of fat, 1 gram of protein, and only 7 grams of carbohydrates so it's much lower on the glycemic index than pasta and won't raise your blood sugar levels, yet contains vitamins and minerals. Spaghetti squash can be used as a substitute in any dish that typically uses pasta and it's low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol. This vegetable is also a good source of niacin, Vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, potassium and manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber and Vitamin C.

Zucchini contains 33 calories, 0.2 gram of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates and 2.4 grams of protein and is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. Zucchini is a good source of protein, Vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese.

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Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and affects approximately 29.1 million Americans. Of those cases around 8.1 million cases are undiagnosed. Diabetes is a silent killer and by the time of diagnosis much of the damage to organs, eyes, and blood vessels is already done. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, renal failure, and amputations. Most people with diabetes suffer from other health issues such as heart disease which may lead to heart attack or stroke. The total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. in 2012 was $245 billion.

Obesity is the leading cause of diabetes and is the second most preventable cause of death, only second to tobacco use according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The number of adults who are considered obese has doubled since the 1980’s and the number of children who are obese has more than tripled since the 1970’s. Around 39% of the people in the U.S. are considered to be overweight.

With those statistics in mind, cutting down on calories and carbs while making more nutritious choices seems a reasonable goal which would also lead to losing weight and decreasing your risk of diabetes and associates diseases.

Let’s face it, pasta is nothing more than processed flour formed into different shapes and really doesn’t have much taste. So, if you’re considering losing weight you can still have your favorite foods like spaghetti and lasagna without giving up any of the flavor, and, in fact adding flavor as well as more vitamins and minerals to your diet just by using spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles as a substitute for pasta.