While the keto diet does permit a few indulgences like cheese, chocolate, and lots of healthy fat, there are some things that many people really miss when on a ketosis journey. One of these food items includes starchy meals such as pasta.
For those that do not know about the ketogenic diet, it is a low-carbohydrate, low-sugar way of eating. The end goal involves getting your body into “a state of ketosis”. In ketosis, your body will stop using sugar as a source of energy, and start to burn fat instead. Ketosis can result in many health benefits, including boosting brain function, energy levels, and weight loss.
If you love carbohydrates, you may be wondering if there are any keto pasta alternatives that you can eat on this diet. Here is a list of keto pasta options you can use when you get a craving for this popular carbohydrate.
1. Shirataki Noodles
Made from konjac yam (the fibrous part of the plant), this variation of keto pasta is low in carbs and calories. This means you can safely eat a pouch without having to worry about your “state of ketosis”. Many people that follow the ketogenic diet often admit that they crave the texture of different types of pasta. This type of keto pasta assists with hitting the spot, although they are slightly more slippery when compared to traditional pasta.
It is important that you rinse these noodles very well before you add them to a meal since they have a slightly fishy odor. Rinsing them well helps to reduce the smell. You can eat this keto pasta with your favorite keto-friendly sauce such as pine nuts and basil pesto, or Alfredo sauce, or a Thai peanut sauce, topped with shredded basil if you want something more hearty. Shirataki noodles are also easy to find in just about any grocery or health store.
2. Black Bean Pasta
Many of the “keto pasta” alternatives like rice or lentil pasta still contain too many carbohydrates if you are following the keto diet. But a 2 ingredient pasta made from water and black beans is one of the exceptions. Black beans do contain carbs, yet they are also very high-in-fiber, making the net carbohydrates low. When trying this style of keto pasta try to keep your portions small. This is the type of keto pasta that works well with curries and different types of meat dishes.
3. Palmini Pasta
This product is made from palm hearts, and each serving only contains 4 grams of carbohydrates and 20 calories. If you are able to follow the recommended serving size, this is one of the best satisfying options, since it feels very similar to many of your favorite carb comfort foods, especially when you start craving other things than just fat and protein.
These are zucchini-based keto pasta that work well with one of the low-carb sauces or added to a spicy Thai stir fry. It is important to control your portions when using this type of vegetable. For example, one big zucchini already contains around 7 grams of carbohydrates, which is high if you are following the keto diet and you need to stay below 20 grams a day.
While you can use a spiralizer if you wish, you will save a lot of time and effort by choosing premade Zoodles from a supermarket or Trader Joe’s.
5. Kelp Pasta
Another popular keto pasta includes kelp pasta which is made from fresh seaweed. These noodles are low in calories and low in fat. Kelp pasta is also rich in vitamin K, iron, and calcium. These noodles are also very high in fiber. Kelp noodles add great texture to a variety of cold dishes. You may want to try them in a sliced beef, Vietnamese salad, topped with fresh herbs.
These noodles are easy to find in most health food stores and Asian groceries. One of the popular brands includes Sea Tangle Noodle Company that you can find on popular sites such as Amazon.
6. Non-Starchy Vegetable Pastas
There are also many vegetables that you can make “pasta” from, such as yellow squash, zucchini, kohlrabi, celeriac, eggplant, and cucumber. You can either use a spiralizer or a mandolin if you are looking for a lasagna-type noodle. If you own a spiralizer you can make your own keto pasta.
Spaghetti squash is also a low carb option that is perfect to make lasagna type or spaghetti type dishes. Spaghetti squash is also one of the easiest ways to get more vegetables into your diet while enjoying the texture and taste of “spaghetti”.
This may be one of the more starchy vegetables, but it is low in calories, fat, and sodium, but at the same time high in many nutrients that are good for you. Spaghetti squash is also much lower in carbs when compared to traditional pasta, with around 7 grams of carbs in a single cup serving.
This is also one of the vegetable-based pasta types that are easier to make. All you need to do is cut the vegetable in half, pour over some olive oil, and then either cook it in your microwave or roast it in your oven. Once the squash is cooked through, all you need to do is use a fork to shred the vegetable into your very own “spaghetti noodles”. From here you can saute the keto pasta “noodles” with fresh herbs, tomato sauce, and garlic, or add in some ground beef or sausage, for the perfectly rounded meal.