By now, you’ve probably figured out your favorite pasta dishes are not keto-friendly. From macaroni to linguine, lasagna to fettuccine, most pasta is made from white or wheat flour, which is incredibly high in carbohydrates. And while zucchini noodles might be a suitable replacement for some, you’re looking for something closer to the “real thing.”
And that’s what got you thinking: Are egg noodles keto-friendly? After all, they have the word “egg” in the name, so they must be low in carbs, right? As you’re about to learn, egg noodles are not that different from wheat noodles.
Below, you’ll learn more about egg noodles, their nutrition content, and whether or not they fit into a low-carb diet.
Egg Noodles vs. Regular Noodles
Before determining egg noodles carbs, take a step back. What are noodles, and how are they different from regular, whole-grain noodles?
When it comes to versatile foods, egg noodles may be at the top of the list. That’s why they can be found in various cuisines all across the globe. Noodles are a staple in many kinds of meals and absorb flavors from many dishes.
Noodles have been around since the beginning of time. Well, almost. The earliest sign of noodles comes from an archaeological site in northwestern China. This bowl of thin, yellow noodles is said to date back 4,000 years. Even back then, noodles were a kitchen staple.
Noodles are made from unleavened dough originally from wheat, which means they’re a grain product. Unleavened means there were no chemicals or artificial ingredients added to change the texture of the dough. The dough is stretched or rolled out flat and cut into different shapes and sizes to form the various noodles you see today.
Are Egg Noodles Different From Regular Noodles?
Short answer: not really.
Most of the noodles you see in the grocery store today are technically egg noodles. They’re made from a simple egg and flour combination. You can create homemade egg noodles using milk, eggs, butter, and all-purpose flour, while store-bought egg noodles are made from wheat (or durum flour) and eggs.
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 a no-no in a low-carb diet, and even gluten-free noodles aren’t necessarily a good choice because they’re often high in carbs (like rice noodles).
Egg Noodles Carbs and Other Macros
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 low-carb noodle choice.
If you aren’t familiar with the macronutrients that make up regular egg noodles, you will be soon enough.
If you quickly scan the nutrition facts of a package of egg noodles, you’ll see one cup (or one serving size) contains the following[*]:
- 220 calories
- 4 grams of total fat
- 38 grams of total carbohydrates
- 37 grams of net carbs
- 1 gram of fiber
- 8 grams of protein
As you can probably guess by such a small amount of protein, fat, and dietary fiber, egg noodles are not exactly brimming with nutritional value. Plus, egg noodles carbs are high.
Egg noodles aren’t a good source of beneficial vitamins, such as vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A, or B vitamins. In fact, the most significant mineral in egg noodles is iron. But the amount in them provides just 13% of your daily value.
Do Egg Noodles Ever Fit Into a Low-Carb or Keto Diet?
Thanks to their abundance of net carbohydrates, egg noodles are a tight squeeze into keto macronutrients. Even half a cup would give you around 19 net carbs. For some of you, this might be your daily carb limit to maintain ketosis.
If you factor in the hidden carbs you likely encounter throughout the day, egg noodles carbs can quickly push you 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 20-50 grams. But this is not the only option. There are other keto diet variations.
For instance, the targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) is intended for more active people looking for a little extra wiggle room when it comes to carb count. The TKD allows an additional 20-50 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 others training at high intensities choose to eat more carbs (such as regular pasta) to adequately replenish their glycogen stores and perform at their optimal level. In this case, the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) comes into play.
Yes, that’s a lot of carbs.
That’s why 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.
Keto Noodle Recipes to Enjoy on a Low-Carb Diet
While egg noodles are probably out of the question on a keto meal plan, there are still plenty of low-carb pasta alternatives you can enjoy instead. To satisfy any lingering pasta cravings, try these easy keto recipes:
- Cheesy garlic alfredo sauce with zucchini noodles
- Soothing chicken soup (instead of grandma’s chicken noodle soup)
- Keto lo mein made with konjac noodles
- Crispy chicken parmesan served over spaghetti squash
- Simple keto Asian stir fry with veggies and cabbage noodles
- Baked spaghetti squash, which can be used in a number of keto pasta dishes
The Bottom Line: Are Egg Noodles Low-Carb or Keto-Friendly?
The verdict is in: noodles are not low-carb or keto-friendly. In fact, they can be damaging to your overall health.
Since they’re made with regular flour, egg noodles carbs can lead to unwanted weight gain as well as a spike in your blood sugar. This makes egg noodles even more damaging for those struggling with obesity or diabetes.
While egg noodles can be OK in moderation on special occasions, they should not be a staple in your keto diet. So, what should you do if you’re hankering for pasta?
If you’re hungry and feel like noodles, opt for low-carb pasta such as spaghetti squash, zoodles, or homemade low-carb egg noodles. Combine them with plenty of healthy fat like avocados or heavy cream.