When it comes to versatile foods, this one in particular is at the top of the list.
That’s exactly why it can be found in different dishes from traditional cuisines all around the globe, from italian to asian cuisine. So what is this food that makes everyone’s mouth water, regardless of where they may live?
That’s right — noodles. Noodles are a staple ingredient found in all kinds of meals today. They are able to absorb the flavors of other foods, making it a good compliment to any meal in need of some substance and texture — like a simple and comforting chicken noodle soup.
While noodles are incredibly versatile, the real question is, are noodles low carb or keto friendly?
What are Noodles?
Before deciding whether or not noodles are low carb or keto friendly, let’s take a step back. How are noodles made in the first place?
Noodles have been around since the beginning of time. Well, almost. The earliest sign of the existence of noodles comes from an archaeological site in northwestern China. This bowl of thin, yellow noodles is said to date back 4,000 years ago. Even back then noodles were a kitchen staple.
Noodles are made from unleavened dough originally from wheat, making them a grain product. Unleavened simply means there were no chemicals or artificial ingredients added in order to change the texture of the dough. The dough is stretched or rolled out flat and cut into all the different shapes and sizes you see noodles come in today.
Most of the noodles you see in the grocery store today are technically egg noodles. They are made from a simple egg and flour combination.
Most people following a low carb or ketogenic diet know that when it comes to flour, you have to choose wisely. Regular wheat flour is definitely a no-no in a low carb diet, and even gluten free noodles aren’t a good choice because they’re often high in carbs too, such as those made with rice flour.
So is there a pasta alternative that fits your low carb lifestyle?
Opting for a dough made with coconut flour, almond flour or even cream cheese is your best bet. Shirataki noodles, also known as miracle noodles, are also a far better choice. However, this type of low carb noodle is not the one we are looking at today.
If you aren’t familiar with the macronutrients that make up regular egg noodles, you will be soon enough.
One cup of cooked egg noodles contains a total of:
- 221 calories
- 3 grams of total fat
- 40 grams of total carbohydrates
- 38 grams of net carbs
- 2 grams of fiber
- 7 grams of protein
As you can probably guess by their lack of fiber and fat, egg noodles are not exactly loaded with nutritional value. In fact, the most significant mineral in egg noodles is iron, and the amount in them provides just 13% of your daily value.
How And When Do Egg Noodles Fit Into a Low Carb or Keto Diet?
Thanks to their abundance of net carbohydrates, egg noodles are a tight squeeze into keto macronutrients. In fact, even half a cup would give you around 19 net carbs. For some individuals, this is their daily carb limit in order to maintain ketosis.
Now factor in the additional hidden carbs you likely encounter throughout the day and your carb count can easily go over the limit. Not to mention the ingredients found in egg noodles aren’t exactly the most nutritious thing in the world.
However, in some cases you may still be able to make noodles fit into your diet.
If you’re following the standard ketogenic diet (SKD), your daily carb intake should range anywhere from 20 to 50 grams. But this is not the only option. There are a couple other variations of the keto diet to choose from.
For instance, the targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) is meant for more active individuals looking for a little extra wiggle room when it comes to carbs. The TKD allows an additional 20 to 50 grams of carbs up to an hour both before and after your workout window. In this case, you might get away with eating a small amount of al dente pasta with olive oil.
Still feeling like that’s not enough? Some athletes and other individuals training at such high intensities choose to eat more carbs in order to adequately replenish their glycogen stores and perform at their best ability, and regular pasta is a common choice. In this case, the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) comes into play.
The CKD follows a SKD for the majority of the week, with the other one or two days being dedicated to carb backloading, which involves a high carb intake of 400-600 grams of carbohydrates.
Whoa. That’s a lot of carbs.
In conclusion, unless you’re doing a targeted or a cyclical keto diet, egg noodles should be off your plate if you want to remain in ketosis.
So are Egg Noodles Low Carb or Ketogenic Friendly?
Not only are noodles not low carb or keto friendly, they can be damaging to your overall health as well.
Since they’re made with flour, egg noodles are high in carbohydrates and can make you gain unwanted weight as well as spike your blood sugar. This makes egg noodles even more damaging for individuals struggling with obesity or diabetes.
While egg noodles can be consumed in moderation on special occasions, they should not be a staple in your keto diet. The only times a keto-er can consume egg noodles should be when:
- You are on the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD).
- You are on the targeted ketogenic diet (TKD).
- Your carb intake for the day including the noodles does not exceed 50 grams of carbs.
- You are celebrating a special occasion and have a clear plan for getting back in ketosis quickly afterward.
Noodles are not low carb or ketogenic friendly.
So what can you do about it? If you are hungry and want noodles, opt for low carb pasta, such as spaghetti squash, zoodles, or homemade low carb egg noodles, and make sure to pair them with plenty of fat like avocados or heavy cream.