Pasta is the go-to meal for millions of people around the world. It’s readily available, easy to make, affordable, and it fills you up. A novice cook can execute a pasta dish, or an experienced chef can take pasta to places you never thought possible. Unfortunately, pasta is high in calories and carbohydrates. It also contains enriched flour and processed ingredients, which can lead to uncomfortable bloating, indigestion, constipation, and even gas.
Because people are more aware of their food intake nowadays, they want foods with fewer calories and carbohydrates. Given the popularity of gluten-free and ketogenic diets, people turn to healthier, low-carb foods. Some people don’t even subscribe to those diets; rather, they simply want to feel less bloated and healthier.
Why Pasta Is Not Low-Carb Friendly:
The boxed pasta that people purchase at the grocery store is a completely different food product than the pasta people ate in Italy centuries ago. The original combination of ingredients was durum wheat flour mixed with eggs or water. Even traditional pasta like that contains about 30 grams of carbs per 100 grams. The boxed, enriched, processed pasta of today contains about 37 grams or more carbs per 100 grams.
Pasta is a perfect food, and you can still enjoy it, so long as you choose healthier, low-carb alternatives. You don’t have to give up your pasta cravings! If you follow a low-carb diet or simply want to avoid bloating, the following pasta alternatives are for you.
This is quite an amazing squash, because it shreds into spaghetti-like noodles after cooking. The important rule is to not overcook it because it will turn out mushy. It contains a diverse mix of vitamins and minerals, and the carb content is about 20% of what a typical bowl of pasta contains. For tips on how to cook the perfect spaghetti squash, please click here.
Black Bean Pasta:
Made from black beans, this pasta alternative is available in most grocery stores. Because people on the ketogenic diet can enjoy legumes, this black bean pasta is an excellent option. In fact, the net carb content is 5 grams. And while black beans are lower in fat, they do contain a lot of protein (about 25 grams per serving, according to the box).
Hearts Of Palm Noodles:
This is one of the craziest things you’ve ever heard about, right? Who knew that hearts of palm could be transformed into noodles?! The flavor of the noodles is slightly nutty and some consider it to be similar to artichokes. This makes these noodles pair well with lemon-based or pesto sauces. A great brand to purchase is Palmini, but you may not have luck finding them in your average grocery store. You may need to order them online, or purchase in a health food store.
Oh, we love us some spiralized vegetable noodles here at Dherbs. You can easily turn a zucchini into vegetable noodles with a spiralizer. There are other vegetable noodles, but this is a very low-carb option. If you don’t want to go through the effort, many supermarkets have zucchini noodles for sale. Vegetable noodles are typically 3-10 times lower in carbs than a regular box of pasta, and they offer more vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They don’t require much cooking time either!
Almond Flour Pasta:
The preparation of almond flour pasta and regular wheat or white flour pasta is very similar. The only difference is that almond flour pasta contains a lot less carbs. Almond flour pasta only contains about 1.6 grams of carbs and 1.6 grams of dietary fiber. That means the net carb content is zero. Compare that to the 76 grams of total carbs from enriched pasta! Additionally, almonds contain beneficial nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, healthy fats, and manganese.
There’s nothing like a healthy bowl of lentils. Now imagine those lentils in noodle form smothered in a delectable sauce! That’s right, folks, lentil noodles are a thing and they are rich in protein and fiber. Most lentil pastas are red because they use red lentils, and common forms include penne and rotini. They are excellent low-carb noodles that are readily available in most grocery stores.