Asian Noodle Article (from Healthcastle.com web site RSS feed)

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Tired of Potatoes and Pasta?
Try Asian Noodles.

Written by Gloria Tsang, RD
Published in February 2006

asian noodles grains flour(HealthCastle.com) A reader wrote to us asking for grain product suggestions. She said she was getting tired of having potato and pasta for every dinner. I thought of my grandmother immediately. She was a vegetarian. By taking advantage of various textures of Asian noodles, she would make the most delicious vegetarian dishes (in my biased opinion)!
Asian Noodles Show Down!

* Noodles made with Wheat Flour
These include Japanese udon and many types of Chinese noodles. For instance, the Chinese chow-mein and wonton noodles are made with wheat flour and eggs. The nutritional value of these noodles is very similar to pasta.

* Noodles made with Buckwheat Flour
Japanese soba is a classic example for this category. They are usually brownish gray in color, but sometimes you can find green versions. Buckwheat flour is rich in protein, making soba an excellent choice among vegetarians.

* Noodles made with Rice Flour
Chinese rice noodles and rice vermicelli are the most known rice noodles out there. However, other ethnicities such as Vietnamese and Indonesian also have their own versions. Rice noodles come in various forms: fresh, dried, thick, thin, sticks, bundles and even in macaroni shape. They taste great in soups or cold salads. Unfortunately, rice noodles are mostly starch and low in other nutrients.

* Noodles made with Mung Bean Flour
Thai call them glass noodles whereas Chinese call them bean threads or bean vermicelli. They are also known as cellophane noodles and usually turn translucent after being cooked. Similarly to rice noodles, mung been noodles are also mostly starch.

* Noodles made with Potato Flour
Some noodles are made with potato flour (such as Japanese harusame) and some are made with sweet potato flour (such as Korean dang myun). Similar to rice flour, potato flour is also gluten free.

The Bottom Line

asian noodles grains flourStay away from Instant Noodles: These noodles are usually individually packed and come bundled with a flavor sachet. They are often dried by deep-frying so they are usually high in fat; only a handful of brands are air-dried. The MSG sachet is loaded with artificial colorings and flavorings. In other words, they are low in nutritional value.

asian noodles grains flourHow about Healthier Grains? All noodles mentioned above are refined grains. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans of January 2005 recommend that all adults eat half of their grains as whole grains – that’s at least 3 servings of whole grains, such as oats and whole wheat, a day. For more information about whole grains, click the Whole Grains Guide below.

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