The 10 Best Low Carb Pastas
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in December of 2017. What's a foodie to do when you adore pasta, but you're trying to cut back on carbs or switch to a diet with a lower glycemic index? Simple. Try some of the low-carbohydrate alternatives we found. Not only do they contain fewer calories than the regular stuff, but many have added protein and fiber, and are available in vegan, organic, and kosher options, as well as myriad shapes, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 24, 2020:
Whether you're on the paleo, Atkins, or keto diet, are gluten intolerant, diabetic, vegan, or simply looking for nutritious alternatives to comfort dishes, healthy, allergen-free substitutes get better and tastier as time goes on. When updating this list, we wanted to ensure we had a variety for all palates that could step into many recipes, as well as options that are free of common allergens, made with wholesome ingredients, and close in taste and texture to traditional pasta where applicable.
We haven't applied that rule to konjac alternatives like Skinny Noodles Shirataki and Skinny Pasta, which many love for their likeness to glass noodles. These are ideal for pho, ramen, stir fry, and much more. Their glutinous texture turns some people off, though.
We said goodbye to Atkins Cuisine and Organic Edamame due to availability and removed The Only Bean and Great Low Carb Bread Company Fettuccine, which seemed to miss the mark for the majority of eaters. Joining the ranks in their place is Great Low Carb Bread Company Elbows, which cooks up well and tastes moderately close to the real thing, with a bit of gumminess if you overcook it. Some love the chewy mouthfeel, however.
You'll also find Cappello's Sheets, an almond flour option great for those with Celiac disease, the Natural Heaven Sampler, a heart of palm selection with a very subtle artichoke taste and convincing pasta texture, and Explore Cuisine Fettuccine, a heart-healthy edamame variant.
April 05, 2019:
You may be looking at low-carb pastas for a variety of purposes, including adherence to a special diet, a gluten intolerance, health reasons, or for a nutritious change-up on spaghetti night - whatever the motivation, we've selected items that cater to these needs and more. Fiber Gourmet Light Penne and Al Dente Carba-Nada Variety Pack received top spots due to their impressive replication of traditional pasta in color, texture, and taste. Organic Edamame provides an excellent solution for heart-healthy advocates, while Skinny Pasta and Atkins Cuisine are great if you're following weight watchers or the Atkins diet, respectively.
Keto Delivered You don't have to be on the keto diet to enjoy this subscription service, which champions low-carb and high protein offerings. They supply subscribers with a handpicked selection of 5-7 keto-friendly foods a month that are sourced from small businesses to provide a farmer's market experience. There are also tons of tasty recipes on their website to try. ketodelivered.com
Oxo Table Top Spiralizer Those looking to make zoodles, or zucchini noodles, at home should check out this spiralizer from Oxo. Great for veggie noodles as well as creating uniform spirals for curly fries, salads, garnishes, and more, it features three interchangeable stainless steel blades that allow you to create spaghetti, fettuccine, or ribbon cut noodles. A strong suction cup prevents wobble on countertops, while the removable blade box keeps blades clean, safe, and organized when not in use. oxo.com
Why You Should Give Low-Carb Pasta A Try
On these diets, instead of consuming carbs for energy, you will eat protein, healthy fats, fruits, and veggies.
Pasta may be delicious, but it isn't the healthiest dish. Luckily, you don't have to stop eating noodles thanks to the availability of surprisingly tasty low-carb options that offer several nutritional advantages. Here's why you should consider introducing low-carb pasta into your diet.
Low-carb pasta will make a welcome addition to your pantry if you happen to be watching your waistline. Traditional pasta is extremely high in carbohydrates, containing more than most people need to feel satisfied. And, it's so easy to overeat! Low-carb pasta makes it possible to enjoy your favorite flavors without all of the extra calories, so you can indulge and still make progress toward your goal weight.
Foods that are low in carbohydrates are a smart choice for people who have certain medical conditions. Carbohydrates are broken down by the digestive system as sugar, which makes high-carb foods a risky bet for diabetic patients. Low-carb pasta is less likely to cause blood sugar spikes than regular pasta since its carbohydrate content is made up mostly of fiber, which the body does not convert into glucose. Of course, if you have any condition that affects your diet, you should always consult with your doctor before consuming new foods.
Interested in trying a fad diet? There are plenty to choose from, and low-carb pasta can be incorporated into most. The Atkins, ketogenic, and paleo diets — to name just a few — all prescribe a low-carb lifestyle to support health and fitness. On these diets, instead of consuming carbs for energy, you will eat protein, healthy fats, fruits, and veggies. Each of the aforementioned programs allows for a small portion of carbs each day, so you can chow down on low-carb pasta without falling off plan.
It almost sounds too good to be true, but it's possible to enjoy delicious pasta dishes without the guilt. Low-carb pasta can help you lose weight, maintain good health, and is suitable to eat as part of your low-carb diet of choice.
Choosing A Low-Carb Pasta
There are many types of low-carb pasta on the market, which can make the shopping process time-consuming. Beyond differences in shape and size, here are a few other qualities that may impact your decision.
As you can see, there really is a low-carb pasta out there for everyone.
If you're a fan of health food already, you'll appreciate that a good portion of low-carb pastas are made using gluten-free ingredients. Gluten is a substance found in wheat and similar grains that some individuals do not tolerate well. In fact, those who suffer from celiac disease are completely allergic to it. If you find that your body doesn't agree with foods like bread and cereal, there's a good chance you'll feel better after switching to a gluten-free diet. There are lots of low-carb pasta varieties available that have a noodle-like texture thanks to beans, not wheat.
Non-GMO low-carb pastas are a good option if you're concerned about the potential effects on your health of consuming genetically altered ingredients. Though there are competing views in the scientific community with regard to the long-term safety of regular GMO consumption, many choose to eat only non-GMO products as an extra-cautious measure. Similarly, organic low-carb pastas that include ingredients that haven't been treated with or exposed to chemicals are easy to find.
In contrast with standard pastas, the nutritional profile of low-carb pastas varies widely from brand to brand. There are options made using black beans, edamame, chickpeas, and other beans. Legume-based noodles may have a slightly higher carb count, but they contain a good amount of fiber and protein to keep you full and energized. Shirataki noodles are made using the root of the Asian konjac plant and are virtually calorie-free. They don't, however, offer as much of a nutritional kick as other options.
Finally, if you follow a vegan diet, choose a low-carb pasta that does not contain eggs. That way, you'll be able to savor the texture and taste of pasta without breaking any lifestyle rules. As you can see, there really is a low-carb pasta out there for everyone.
Tips For Low-Carb Eating
Following a low-carb diet may seem intimidating, but it's actually quite easy. There are lots of delicious foods that you can eat to keep you satiated and feeling great. In order to achieve enduring success, it's important to focus on what is on the table rather than what's forbidden.
Every meal should include a heaping portion of low-carb veggies, like leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower, which provide the essential nutrients for optimal health.
One of the staples of low-carb diets is protein. Lean meats like fish, chicken, beef, and pork are all wonderful protein sources that are sure to satisfy your cravings. Eggs can be incorporated into meals at any time of day and contain six grams of protein, which makes them perfect as a pre-workout snack, too. Vegans can replace meat with plant-derived protein products like tofu and tempeh. When you assemble your meals, keep in mind that protein should take up roughly one-fourth of your plate.
Since your carbohydrate intake will be restricted, you'll have to rely more on healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, and avocados, for energy. You can also use oil, butter, and nut butters in your cooking to enhance the flavor and richness of dishes. In general, an appropriate serving of healthy fat is roughly the size of your thumb, though you can safely have a little bit more or less depending on your hunger and energy requirements.
Every meal should include a heaping portion of low-carb veggies, like leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower, which provide the essential nutrients for optimal health. Vegetables that should be limited due to their higher carbohydrate content include all root vegetables: potatoes, carrots, and parsnips fall into this category, unfortunately. Fruits should be consumed with caution, as well, because they contain high amounts of sugar (read: carbohydrates).
If you follow these simple rules and incorporate tasty snacks and substitutions like low-carb pasta into your diet, you'll soon find that maintaining a low-carb lifestyle can be both simple and enjoyable.