The 10 Best Shirataki Noodles
This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in May of 2016. These thin, translucent, gelatinous, shirataki noodles are made from konjac (or elephant yam), and are fast becoming the go-to choice for people trying to lose weight. They are low in carbs and fat, have almost no calories, and come in shapes perfect for replacing various kinds of pasta in many types of cuisine. We've chosen a range of options to suit keto, paleo, and gluten-free diets. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 09, 2020:
One of the first things to note about Shirataki noodles is that their texture is rather unusual and, although they are a great low-carbohydrate substitute for use in recipes that call for pasta or rice, those who expect them to replicate these foods exactly are likely to be left disappointed and may prefer a low-carb pasta instead. That said, those on a keto, paleo, gluten-free, or simple weight loss diet may find them an ideal alternative when traditional choices are not an option. The closest selections to getting that real Italian texture that we all know and love are those that combine konjac powder with oat fiber, like Well Lean Pasta and Better Than Pasta Spaghetti. It's for this reason that we retained these selections from our last update.
We introduced Yuho Variety as it's a great starter pack for those looking to explore this kind of food. By offering fettuccine, spaghetti, and rice variations in the same packet users can experiment with different kinds of recipes rather than being lumbered with a whole bunch of one particular foodstuff, which they potentially may not like. Many who invest in trying Shirataki noodles are discouraged by the fishy odor that emanates from the bag when they are opened. This actually comes from the water they are stored in, which over time has absorbed the smell of the konjac root itself, and is usually pretty straightforward to get rid of through thorough rinsing. However, the initial pungent aroma can be enough to put people off trying them, so we wanted to include options that have very little to no unpleasant odors. This is one of the reasons we added Amazing Lokarb 6 Pack, as the pouches emit no disagreeable smell and have a pleasing texture.
December 19, 2019:
Shirataki, also known as konnyaku noodles, are an interesting food. They're made almost completely of fiber, which is one of the healthiest additions to a varied diet, and while they don't have the exact same mouthfeel, they're an excellent low-carb and gluten-free alternative to pasta. One thing you'll notice from reading users' reviews is that some people aren't prepared for that texture difference, and some are put off by the generally fishy smell that the noodles exhibit when the package is first opened. With proper rinsing and cooking, though, you can overcome both of those issues pretty well. But if you're just not a fan of the uber-chewy texture, check out Well Lean Pasta and House Foods Tofu. The first has a touch of oat fiber added to combat the natural jelly-like consistency while the second uses soy to achieve the same.
If you're okay with extra chewiness, the wide variety of other brands should suit you fine, though, in your quest to maintain a keto diet or just minimize your calorie intake. Miracle Noodle Pasta is incredibly popular and in fact is many people's introduction to this somewhat unconventional food. For the ultimate in diet-friendly effectiveness, NOoodle All Natural are a great choice, as they claim to be even lower in calories than most others, although a 15-calorie difference may not be a big deal to you. Newdles New Generation are interesting because they come with veggies and flavoring, making them the perfect quick snack.
And if you're okay with getting your hands dirty, take a look at Konjac Foods Glucomannan Powder. You'll need a plastic potato ricer and a jar of pickling lye, but rest assured that this large bag will make many, many batches of noodles, and can be kept on the shelf while dry for a very long time.
Shirakiku Black 396g As the name suggests, this offering is a dark variety of this much-loved Japanese staple. It is infused with seaweed powder, which gives it a distinct taste and color. Each pack contains 14 ounces, which equals roughly 7 portions. asianfoodgrocer.com
Shirataki Noodles As A Low-Carb Staple
Unfortunately, the perceived limitation in low-carb food choices is one of the main reasons people quote as to why their diets fail.
The public regard for shirataki noodles has risen in the past decade, coincidentally mirroring the rising rates of obesity in the United States. Fortunately, a growing incidence of weight loss trends is actually evidence of the population's desire to become healthy, and many dietary replacements have sprung up in order to support this desire. At the forefront of these trends are low-carb replacements for dietary staples. In the realm of noodles and pasta dishes, this immediately calls to mind the shirataki noodle. Researchers at the American Journal of Epidemiology found that adhering to a low-carb diet by eating predominantly ingredients low in both simple and complex carbohydrates can promote weight loss in some individuals.
Results of studies like these make many people want to switch to a low-carb diet. Unfortunately, the perceived limitation in low-carb food choices is one of the main reasons people quote as to why their diets fail. A low-carb diet asks participants to leave out sugars, starches, margarine, alcohol, and even fruit. This means that soft drinks, pastas, potatoes, rice, and breads must all be left behind. The problem is that these are dietary staples for most, causing many people to feel that there is something missing from their dietary intake.
This does not have to be the case with shirataki noodles. They provide an easy-to-use alternative that is acceptable on any diet, and is especially helpful on a low-carb diet. Shirataki noodles have little flavor on their own, which allows them to be very flexible in their culinary applications. It's easy to create delicious Asian dishes like pho, pad thai, and lo mein with shirataki noodles. The same applies for Italian dishes normally made with whole-wheat pasta. Shirataki noodles are delicious with pesto, marinara, or any cream-based sauce. Using them as a staple in the low-carb diet drastically reduces the dieter's simple carbohydrate intake while simultaneously filling their cravings for delicious food.
Is It Important That Shirataki Noodles Contain Zero Calories?
There is evidence that a reduction in dietary caloric content influences advantageous reactions in the human organism. Studies have shown that low-calorie diets can reduce weight, put type-2 diabetes into remission, and even reduce oxidative stress in test subjects.
This makes the shirataki noodle a gift for many dieters. These noodles contain no caloric content. The only calories from a meal made with shirataki noodles come from the sauce or ingredients added to them.
This may be the reason early research into diets for the sake of weight loss indicated the easiest way to reduce body fat was to reduce fat intake itself.
This statement may seem counter-intuitive if the idea of a calorie is not well understood. The amount of energy consumed by a person each day is generally quantified by the number of calories they've eaten. These calories come from different sources, each with their own varying caloric value. For instance, a gram of dietary carbohydrates or protein produces approximately four dietary calories, where a gram of dietary fat contains nine dietary calories. This may be the reason early research into diets for the sake of weight loss indicated the easiest way to reduce body fat was to reduce fat intake itself. This has been invalidated multiple times, however. When comparing dietary intervention methods over long term periods, there is no evidence to suggest that low-fat diets have any advantage over other similar methods.
Many people misunderstand calories to mean the amount of food a person eats. In the basic understanding, more dietary intake equals more calories. This is often very misleading. For instance, a person may spend all day eating arugula and never reach the number of calories in one large steak. This is because there are over ten times as many calories in one gram of steak as there are in one gram of arugula.
Yet it seems questionable when something is ingested that has no calories whatsoever. There is nothing to worry about with shirataki noodles. Shirataki noodles are a 100 percent natural product derived from a type of yam. They are made from glucomannan starch, which is an indigestible dietary fiber. Its indigestible nature means that it can not provide the body with any calories at all. To put it into perspective, a person could eat shirataki noodles all day and never reach the number of calories in one serving of arugula.
Every calorie counts when on a calorie-restricted diet, and a typical wheat pasta has over 130 calories per serving. Dieters free these calories up for the addition of nutrient-rich vegetables or even more sauce by choosing to use shirataki noodles over traditional noodles.
For Whom Are Shirataki Noodles Best?
At first glance, the image of the shirataki noodle has within it every negative connotation surrounding diet foods within the last half of a century, such as an unpleasant flavor, weird texture, or the inability to satisfy hunger pains. Luckily, this negative connotation is changing due to a combination of physical necessity and a breakdown of the psychological barriers associated with trying something different. Once they try them, most people find Shirataki noodles are rather delicious, and that they lend themselves easily to a range of dishes.
For them, a stir-fry made with shirataki noodles can fill a dietary craving without taking a toll on their bodies.
Dieters seek these noodles out for a number of benefits. Pastas are often made with enriched wheat, which is lower in bioavailable nutrients and loaded with carbohydrates. Consuming shirataki noodles, on the other hand, allows people to increase their fiber intake while reducing both carbohydrate consumption and calorie count.
The noodles are also a perfect replacement for people with dietary limitations, such as people with Celiac disease or those who have biological sensitivities to wheat. In these people, gluten intake is associated with fatigue, cognitive disabilities, and intestinal difficulties. For them, a stir-fry made with shirataki noodles can fill a dietary craving without taking a toll on their bodies.
Because shirataki noodles often come prepared and ready to cook, anyone looking for a quick, healthy lunch can simply use shirataki noodles in place of their normal noodles to feel lighter and help avoid the afternoon crash. They are also an easy addition to broths to make quick soups, and many companies offer varying shapes for popular dishes such as macaroni.