Angel hair pasta and mashed potatoes are each the building blocks of starchy, satisfying meals. They’re also significant sources of carbohydrates. Many people count carbs as a weight-loss or health measure, trying to consume fewer carbs. Others count carbs in preparation for an athletic event, attempting to “load” as many carbs as possible. But the carbohydrate count of your dish is only part of the picture. The amount of fiber in your pasta or potato dish is also crucial.
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A serving of regular angel hair pasta has 42 carbohydrates, or about 14 percent of the daily value (DV) of carbs you need. Some people know angel hair pasta as capellini, which means "long hair." The most slender of the long pasta types, it works best paired with light sauces and delicate chunks of vegetables and seafood, rather than hearty, chunky sauces and meatballs. Angel hair pasta is made from durham wheat.
A serving of mashed potatoes has about 24 carbohydrates, or 8 percent of the DV. Calories and fat will decrease or increase depending on if you mix butter and whole cream into the recipe, but the carb count remains fairly constant. Mashed potatoes are typically prepared from boiled white potatoes, to which fat, liquid and spices are generally added.
Carbs vs. Fiber
Whether you are cutting back or piling on the carbs, make them count by ensuring they contain dietary fiber. The starch portion of your carbohydrates breaks down in your body and converts into sugar, affecting your blood glucose level. You need some of these carbs every day for fuel. Dietary fiber is not broken down or used for energy, but instead flushes fat and other foods through your digestive system, improving digestion and lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Improving Angel Hair
Use whole-grain angel hair pasta to boost the dietary fiber content of your pasta. Traditional angel hair contains 2 grams dietary fiber, or 8 percent of the DV. A whole-grain version has about the same number of carbohydrates, but contains 6 grams dietary fiber, or 24 percent of the DV for fiber. Add vegetables such as broccoli to the dish for even more fiber and vitamins.
Improving Mashed Potatoes
The peel of a white potato is a significant source of fiber. Include some of the skin when you prepare your potatoes for boiling. Choose russet potatoes rather than red potatoes, advises the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Their thicker skins help provide 4 grams of fiber per potato, or 14 percent of the DV for fiber. The equivalent serving of red potatoes have about half the dietary fiber. Adding chopped vegetables to the mashed potatoes will also increase fiber and vitamin content.