Pasta purists argue that the whole-wheat variety tastes grainy and bitter. But when our professional tasters sampled 10 whole-wheat pastas—sans sauce—all of them received Very Good scores for nutrition, and three products earned Very Good taste ratings. (Download a PDF of our whole-wheat pasta ratings.)

Whole-wheat pasta’s calories, fat, and protein content are similar to those of regular. But it packs at least twice as much fiber—a good thing, considering that only about 5 percent of Americans meet their daily fiber needs.

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People on low-carb diets may be needlessly taking pasta off the menu. “Our bodies need carbohydrates to function,” says UCLA’s Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., R.D. “Even though traditional pasta is made from refined flour, it’s not devoid of nutrition, and it isn’t digested as quickly as other refined carbohydrates, so it’s less likely to cause blood sugar spikes.” Still, you can make pasta healthier by choosing 100 percent whole-wheat. To ease the transition, start with a 50-50 mix of regular and whole-wheat, and gradually go all whole-wheat.

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Consider the cookware below to find a pasta pot that’s right for you, or check CR's complete cookware ratings.

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Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the January 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.