Is Chickpea Pasta a YAAASS QUEEN Or A Girl... Don't Do It?

For those of you wondering what Girl...Don’t Do It is all about, it is my vlog show in which I will review a trendy “health” food, and applying the knowledge that I gained from doing Fitness Genes, I will decide if this food is a “YAAASS QUEEN” or a “Girl...Don’t Do It!”

So for this week's episode, I am looking into chickpea pasta!

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So y'all know that I am a big health foodie…

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I love trying out new health foods, restaurants, and food trends. This amazingness is from Bibibop.

So you know that I was all over the veggie spiralizer game when it first came out.

Zucchini, carrot, and sweet potato are all really great vegetables to spiralize into “spaghetti.”

And veggie noodles are a great way to lower your processed carb intake, and add more fibrous carbs to your diet, as well as add other nutritional benefits.

And fibrous carbs are much better for you, especially when you're trying to lose weight,  because fiber helps you to feel fuller longer, and that should decrease the amount of food/calories that you eat over the course of a day.

But listen up y’all… An important lesson that I learned in this journey is that some foods are just too sacred to have a veggie “noodle”  substitute.

I know, I know…  how could I ever even try it with mac and cheese. I think I had one too many green juices that day, and got too LA for my own good. But I hope that you're at least happy that I'm willing to admit the error of my ways, and proudly declare that cauliflower mac and cheese will NEVER be a thing

But I still didn't want to eat traditional pasta because of the high amount of carbs, and the low nutritional value in most pastas. Through doing Fitness Genes, I learned that I code recessively for the PPARA gene. This means that my body does not efficiently switch over from burning carbs to fat.

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When we work out, “ We have a number of energy sources to draw upon when exercising, depending on how long and how intense the exercise. The three main ones are phosphocreatine (for short, intense bursts of activity), carbohydrates, and fat. The PPARA gene produces a protein that is involved in the regulation of fuel choice. It plays a key role in increasing the use of the more efficient energy source of fat by activating genes involved in fatty acid transport and metabolism. There are two versions of the PPARA gene: the G allele and the C allele. Individuals who carry a G allele have been found to have inherently higher levels of the PPARA protein than those who carry the CC genotype. A higher level of PPARA protein enables efficient switching between fuel types (fat versus carbohydrates), thus giving G carriers a much larger pool of energy to draw from during endurance exercise.”

Ultimately, this means that as a CC person, I have a limited pool from which I can pull fuel to help me get through my workouts. So if I overindulge in either fatty, or high carb foods, there’s a good chance that I might not burn it off, and it will result in me holding excess weight. So I learned that I don't need to eat a low-carb diet, however, overtime I will want to gradually reduce the amount of carbs that I am eating.

So I was really at a loss as to what to do, because I loved traditional pasta dishes like mac and cheese, but just could not bring myself to ever try using a veggie substitute for certain dishes.

And then, of course, as I was shopping at a Targét in Portland, OR, I saw a bright orange box that looked like it contained pasta, but had macros unlike any other pasta I had ever seen before.

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25 g of protein and 13 g of fiber per serving is astronomically good, and better than almost any other protein pasta that you will see on the market. But I have a feeling that they might be playing into selective attention marketing.

So let's get into it to find out if chickpea pasta is a YAAASS QUEEN or a Girl... Don’t Do It.

So I'm sure many of you are wondering what is selective attention marketing?

To give you a brief overview, selective attention, by definition, is "the process of focusing on a particular object in the environment for a certain period of time. Attention is a limited resource, so selective attention allows us to tune out unimportant details and focus on what really matters." (Source: A Very Well Mind).

So selective attention marketing when it comes to food is when certain nutritional aspects of a food are highlighted on the front part of the packaging. This is to make your attention focus on those trigger words, and potentially believe that the food is healthier than what it might actually be.

But I will say the hard part about selective attention marketing is that not all companies that do it are bad, because again, they are just trying to compete for your attention. So then the real question is how do we figure out the good ones from the bad? And that is partially the purpose of why I created Girl... Don't Do It in the first place.

So when we look at the Banza box…

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It is clear that they are playing into selective attention marketing.  Now let's find out if it is in a good or a bad way by looking at the serving size…

So the thing about the serving size that you have to be careful about is that the serving size is not always reflective of what people will normally eat in one serving. A lot of times, companies like to choose a serving size that makes their product look more attractive rather than what people typically eat in one serving.

Not knowing this could potentially be hindering your ability to manage your weight because you might be consuming more calories than you thought you were.

For Banza, the standard serving size would be 2 oz, and the entire box contains 4 servings worth of pasta

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So what is cool about this is that Banza not only has the calorie/macronutrient information for the standard serving, but it also has the calorie/macronutrient information for the portion size that I think most people typically eat.

So for a 2 oz serving, you're looking at 190 calories, and for a 3.5oz serving you're looking at 340 calories, which is on par with regular protein pastas like Barilla. So I'm fine with that.

Let's now look at the macronutrients…

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So it looks like the macronutrients advertised on the front of the box are for if you ate the 3.5 oz serving, and not the standard serving. But that's fine because the 3.5 oz serving is what most people will typically eat at one time anyway. (I actually eat around 2.5 oz in a serving).

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So as far as selective attention marketing goes, this one checks out.

I'm actually really impressed by these macros given that pasta tends to be very high carb ( typically 60g and above per serving). And these macros shine even brighter when you compare it to a similar protein pasta.

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For a 3.5 oz of Barilla protein plus pasta you are getting a 2.5 less grams of  fat, 11 more grams of carbs, and 8 grams less of protein.

So lastly, let's look at the ingredients list.

So I already really like this ingredients list because it is only 4 ingredients, and they are all ingredients that I am familiar with.

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But for those of you that are not familiar with xanthan gum, here is a brief definition:

Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide with many industrial uses, including as a common food additive. It is an effective thickening agent and stabilizer to prevent ingredients from separating

I also love that chickpeas is the first ingredient. This means that chickpeas are the most prominently used ingredient in the food. So even though it is a little bit higher in fat and sugar than the Barilla pasta, I know that it’s coming from a natural source. So I’m much less concerned about it.

So my ultimate verdict on this product would be…


I definitely think this is a product worth having in your kitchen. The macros are amazing. I love that it has such few ingredients that I am familiar with, and can pronounce; that means that it's not full of processed junk. And with such a high amount of fiber, eating a little of this would go a long way in terms of keeping you full.

The only thing that I would want to make you aware of is that when the pasta is cold, there is  sometimes a noticeable texture difference that would make you think this isn't traditional pasta.  But when it is hot, you can barely tell the difference.