The Best-Selling Pasta at Trader Joe’s Is Actually One of the Healthiest Products in the Store (No, Seriously)

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Among the many reasons we all secretly shape our weekends in ways that allow for sufficient time to stand in the exceedingly long (but always worth it) lines at Trader Joe's, there is apparently one we all share: their Hearts of Palm Pasta.

Indeed, according to a recent episode of the Inside Trader Joe's podcast, the beloved brand’s top-selling pasta product is not made from semolina flour, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, or any form of flour at all. It is, in fact, made from a vegetable. As Jasmine, the category manager of grocery at Trader Joe’s reveals in the podcast, “Our number-one selling pasta is the Hearts of Palm Pasta. We can’t even keep [it] in stock because that’s how much people love it. And we have an amazing, amazing value."

Shocked? So were we. After all, Jasmine goes on to reveal that Trader Joe’s sells somewhere between 20 to 30 different types of pasta. While the majority of them are made from wheat semolina flour—what traditional pasta is made from—they also stock plenty of bean-based pastas, as well as noodles made from rice and veggies (shoutout to our other TJ's favorite, the Cauliflower Gnocchi). But given the potent health benefits associated with hearts of palm as well as its delicious flavor and al dente noodle-like texture, it’s no surprise why the H.O.P. pasta reigns supreme. (It also soaks up spaghetti sauce in the *most* delicious way.)

Experts In This Article
  • Krista Linares, MPH, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of Nutrition Con Sabor
  • Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, registered dietitian and nationally-recognized food, nutrition, and wellness expert with a private nutrition counseling practice

"For our latest non-traditional noodle, we’ve taken a break from the legumes and alternate grains and gone for something we think is truly unique: Hearts of Palm Pasta!" says Trader Joe's on their website. So, what is it exactly? "Tender, mild-tasting hearts of palm come from the center of palm trees. Our Ecuadorian supplier takes special care to use only palms that have been cultivated specifically for heart harvesting. With their sustainable process, the palms are not cut down, which avoids endangering the trees. Harvested hearts are cut into thin, white strands, using a special process. Nothing is added to this mild-flavored pasta, which means it’s ideal for heating and tossing with a variety of different sauces. Go Italian with some marinara or take things in an Asian direction by making Palm Hearts Pad Thai. Trader Joe’s Hearts of Palm Pasta even works well in your chicken noodle soup!"

This is definitely a IYKYK situation. But if you haven't had the pleasure of trying this product yet, we promise you'll be hooked after one forkful. In fact, you should probably rush to get in line right now before the hearts of palm pasta sells out again.


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Whether you're a seasoned Hearts of Palm Pasta pro or new to this particular TJ's find, you might be wondering what its health benefits are and how you can use the vegetable. Here, we spoke to registered dietitians about why hearts of palm are so good for you, and why you should strongly consider incorporating this super ingredient into your diet—whether it's a delicious Trader Joe's pasta imposter or not.

Health benefits of hearts of palm

Like many other vegetables, hearts of palm pack potent digestion-boosting benefits and serve as a very strong source of many essential vitamins and minerals, notes Krista Linares, RD. She adds that fresh varieties are also very low in sodium (though it’s important to check the salt content of the canned or jarred varieties) and carbohydrates. Find more specific benefits of hearts of palm outlined below.

1. Hearts of palm are great for your gut.

“Hearts of palm are a great source of fiber, potassium, and copper,” says Samantha Cassetty, MS, RDN. “In fact, a cup of canned hearts of palm has three and a half grams of fiber, which is about 13 percent of your daily requirement. Fiber can help to lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar, and promote a healthy gut. A fiber-rich meal or snack can also help you feel more satisfied after eating and helps keep your digestive system healthy by promoting bowel regularity." Potassium, Cassetty adds, can help manage blood pressure, while copper can aid with metabolism and nervous system function.

2. They're anti-inflammatory.

Cassetty explains that hearts of palm are rich in polyphenols, aka compounds found in plant-based foods that contain antioxidants which work to neutralize free-radical damage in the body. Polyphenols also boast strong anti-inflammatory benefits and prebiotics, meaning they feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut that helps to regulate your microbiome. (One more gut benefit.)

3. They pack plenty of much-needed magnesium.

Hearts of palm are a strong source of magnesium, supplying 13 percent of your daily needs, Cassetty says. “This mineral is involved in regulating blood pressure, blood sugar, and sleep.” And given that up to 75 percent of people consume insufficient amounts of magnesium, adding some hearts of palm to a salad is a smart step towards meeting your magnesium needs.

4. Hearts of palm are great for your heart.

Finally, Cassetty notes that hearts of palm are a great source of manganese. A single cup of the veg comprises about 90 percent of your daily recommended intake of this mineral, which is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and has been linked to blood pressure regulation and lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.

How should I incorporate hearts of palm into my meals?

Chances are, you know exactly how to make use of the Trader Joe’s Hearts of Palm Pasta you just stood in line for: In any and every type of noodle dish. While marinara or a plant-based bolognese sauce is perhaps the most obvious, TJ's Hearts of Palm Pasta pairs perfectly with fresh basil pesto, with an asparagus, pea, and parmesan sauce, or alongside mussels (the shape is very linguine-like). You'll also love stirring them into ramen or serving them alongside stir-fried tofu and vegetables or pad thai. You really cannot go wrong.


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Trader Joe's pasta aside, the most popular use for hearts of palm is as a salad ingredient. Try tossing it with strawberries and avocado for a delicious iron and vitamin C-rich dish. Hearts of palm's mild, fresh flavor makes it an ideal plant-based replacement for far more than just pasta noodles, too. “In fact, the plant-based community is making great use of hearts of palm lately as a vegan substitute for seafood in ceviche dishes thanks to its firm and meaty texture,” Linares explains.

The point? Whatever way you slice them, saute them, or serve them, this is one vegetable that definitely has our hearts.

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