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Give This a Try: High-Protein, Low-Carb Pasta

We’re old enough to remember when pasta salad was considered a health food. Now it’s got a bad rap. Research shows that pasta isn’t the worst thing in the world. For example, this study and others suggest that it’s fine in the context of an otherwise low-glycemic, healthy diet. But many other studies show that refined carbohydrates like pasta are associated with higher body fat, greater weight gain, and higher levels of inflammation blood markers. This likely happens because pasta has little protein or fiber, spikes blood sugar and adds calories without filling us up, leading to overeating in the long run.

But we all love noodles and pasta sauce, so is there a way we can have our noodles and thrive as well?

Yes, we can.

What’s low-carb pasta made out of?

Each brand has a totally different formula. Some try to get as close to the real thing and use a mix of proteins and fibers to get there, while others opt for a totally different approach and use vegetables like hearts of palm. Regardless, a serving of low-carb pasta has between 4-24 grams of carbohydrate, between 2-16 grams of fiber (for a total of between 0-4 grams of net carbs), and between 1-22 grams of protein. However, a normal serving of pasta has 42 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber (for a total of 39 grams of net carbs), and 7 grams of protein.

Low-carb pastas are more expensive than normal pastas and often have some trade-off with texture, taste, and GI issues (bloating). We’ve found four low-carb pastas that have the fewest trade-offs, and we threw in roasted spaghetti squash--a whole food vegetable--for the sake of comparison. They’re all dramatically better when it comes to net carbs, and some are far superior when it comes to protein and fiber as well.

Consider giving these low-carb pastas a try. Here’s a quick overview, with links to Amazon for purchase*. Because we have no affiliation with any of these companies, we’ll just go in alphabetical order:


Great Low Carb Bread Company

Macronutrients per serving: 12g protein | 7g net carbs | 18 g fiber

Main protein type: Pea protein

Main fiber type: Oat fiber

Pro/Con: Makes a great mac & cheese, but all that fiber can lead to bloating  

Best type: Penne

Cost: $1.88 per serving


Carba-nada

Macronutrients per serving: 15g protein | 17g net carbs | 7g fiber

Main protein type: Wheat gluten

Main fiber type: Wheat fiber

Pro/Con: Closest to real pasta, but has a ton of gluten if you're looking to limit gluten or have a family member with sensitivities

Best type: Plain egg

Cost: $0.76 per serving


LuLu Pasta

Macronutrients per serving: 22g protein | 5g net carbs | 16g fiber

Main protein type: Lupin protein

Main fiber type: Lupin flour

Pro/Con: Surprisingly good texture, holds up well with a variety of pasta sauces, but it's pricey and too much will cause bloating

Best type: Penne or orzo

Cost: $2.50 per serving


Natural Heaven

Macronutrients perserving: 1g protein | 2g net carbs | 2g fiber

Main protein type: Heart of palm

Main fiber type: Heart of palm

Pro/Con: It's a whole food vegetable with a great nutrition profile, but

Best flavor: Angel hair

Cost: $2.00 per serving


Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Macronutrients per serving: 1g protein | 5g net carbs | 2g fiber

Main protein type: Squash!

Main fiber type: Squash!

Pro/Con: A whole food that tastes great roasted; takes over an hour from start to finish to get to the table

Best flavor: Roasted

Cost: $1.00 per slice

Give This a Try: High-Protein, Low-Carb Pasta

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Give This a Try: High-Protein, Low-Carb Pasta

Kids and parents alike love pasta. But there are downsides to eating too many refined grains like pasta. Give these low-carb pasta alternatives a try to super-boost a dinner this week!

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Key takeaways

1

2

3

Low hassle, high nutrition

Fierce Food: Easy

Fierce Food: Easy

50/50 mixes of powerful veggies and starchy favorites

Fierce Food: Balance

Fierce Food: Balance

Maximize nutrients, minimize sugar and starch

Fierce Food: Power

Fierce Food: Power

Ingredients

Kitchen Equipment

Ingredient Replacement

View replacement list (PDF)

Reading time:

4 minutes

We’re old enough to remember when pasta salad was considered a health food. Now it’s got a bad rap. Research shows that pasta isn’t the worst thing in the world. For example, this study and others suggest that it’s fine in the context of an otherwise low-glycemic, healthy diet. But many other studies show that refined carbohydrates like pasta are associated with higher body fat, greater weight gain, and higher levels of inflammation blood markers. This likely happens because pasta has little protein or fiber, spikes blood sugar and adds calories without filling us up, leading to overeating in the long run.

But we all love noodles and pasta sauce, so is there a way we can have our noodles and thrive as well?

Yes, we can.

What’s low-carb pasta made out of?

Each brand has a totally different formula. Some try to get as close to the real thing and use a mix of proteins and fibers to get there, while others opt for a totally different approach and use vegetables like hearts of palm. Regardless, a serving of low-carb pasta has between 4-24 grams of carbohydrate, between 2-16 grams of fiber (for a total of between 0-4 grams of net carbs), and between 1-22 grams of protein. However, a normal serving of pasta has 42 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber (for a total of 39 grams of net carbs), and 7 grams of protein.

Low-carb pastas are more expensive than normal pastas and often have some trade-off with texture, taste, and GI issues (bloating). We’ve found four low-carb pastas that have the fewest trade-offs, and we threw in roasted spaghetti squash--a whole food vegetable--for the sake of comparison. They’re all dramatically better when it comes to net carbs, and some are far superior when it comes to protein and fiber as well.

Consider giving these low-carb pastas a try. Here’s a quick overview, with links to Amazon for purchase*. Because we have no affiliation with any of these companies, we’ll just go in alphabetical order:


Great Low Carb Bread Company

Macronutrients per serving: 12g protein | 7g net carbs | 18 g fiber

Main protein type: Pea protein

Main fiber type: Oat fiber

Pro/Con: Makes a great mac & cheese, but all that fiber can lead to bloating  

Best type: Penne

Cost: $1.88 per serving


Carba-nada

Macronutrients per serving: 15g protein | 17g net carbs | 7g fiber

Main protein type: Wheat gluten

Main fiber type: Wheat fiber

Pro/Con: Closest to real pasta, but has a ton of gluten if you're looking to limit gluten or have a family member with sensitivities

Best type: Plain egg

Cost: $0.76 per serving


LuLu Pasta

Macronutrients per serving: 22g protein | 5g net carbs | 16g fiber

Main protein type: Lupin protein

Main fiber type: Lupin flour

Pro/Con: Surprisingly good texture, holds up well with a variety of pasta sauces, but it's pricey and too much will cause bloating

Best type: Penne or orzo

Cost: $2.50 per serving


Natural Heaven

Macronutrients perserving: 1g protein | 2g net carbs | 2g fiber

Main protein type: Heart of palm

Main fiber type: Heart of palm

Pro/Con: It's a whole food vegetable with a great nutrition profile, but

Best flavor: Angel hair

Cost: $2.00 per serving


Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Macronutrients per serving: 1g protein | 5g net carbs | 2g fiber

Main protein type: Squash!

Main fiber type: Squash!

Pro/Con: A whole food that tastes great roasted; takes over an hour from start to finish to get to the table

Best flavor: Roasted

Cost: $1.00 per slice

We’re old enough to remember when pasta salad was considered a health food. Now it’s got a bad rap. Research shows that pasta isn’t the worst thing in the world. For example, this study and others suggest that it’s fine in the context of an otherwise low-glycemic, healthy diet. But many other studies show that refined carbohydrates like pasta are associated with higher body fat, greater weight gain, and higher levels of inflammation blood markers. This likely happens because pasta has little protein or fiber, spikes blood sugar and adds calories without filling us up, leading to overeating in the long run.

But we all love noodles and pasta sauce, so is there a way we can have our noodles and thrive as well?

Yes, we can.

What’s low-carb pasta made out of?

Each brand has a totally different formula. Some try to get as close to the real thing and use a mix of proteins and fibers to get there, while others opt for a totally different approach and use vegetables like hearts of palm. Regardless, a serving of low-carb pasta has between 4-24 grams of carbohydrate, between 2-16 grams of fiber (for a total of between 0-4 grams of net carbs), and between 1-22 grams of protein. However, a normal serving of pasta has 42 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber (for a total of 39 grams of net carbs), and 7 grams of protein.

Low-carb pastas are more expensive than normal pastas and often have some trade-off with texture, taste, and GI issues (bloating). We’ve found four low-carb pastas that have the fewest trade-offs, and we threw in roasted spaghetti squash--a whole food vegetable--for the sake of comparison. They’re all dramatically better when it comes to net carbs, and some are far superior when it comes to protein and fiber as well.

Consider giving these low-carb pastas a try. Here’s a quick overview, with links to Amazon for purchase*. Because we have no affiliation with any of these companies, we’ll just go in alphabetical order:


Great Low Carb Bread Company

Macronutrients per serving: 12g protein | 7g net carbs | 18 g fiber

Main protein type: Pea protein

Main fiber type: Oat fiber

Pro/Con: Makes a great mac & cheese, but all that fiber can lead to bloating  

Best type: Penne

Cost: $1.88 per serving


Carba-nada

Macronutrients per serving: 15g protein | 17g net carbs | 7g fiber

Main protein type: Wheat gluten

Main fiber type: Wheat fiber

Pro/Con: Closest to real pasta, but has a ton of gluten if you're looking to limit gluten or have a family member with sensitivities

Best type: Plain egg

Cost: $0.76 per serving


LuLu Pasta

Macronutrients per serving: 22g protein | 5g net carbs | 16g fiber

Main protein type: Lupin protein

Main fiber type: Lupin flour

Pro/Con: Surprisingly good texture, holds up well with a variety of pasta sauces, but it's pricey and too much will cause bloating

Best type: Penne or orzo

Cost: $2.50 per serving


Natural Heaven

Macronutrients perserving: 1g protein | 2g net carbs | 2g fiber

Main protein type: Heart of palm

Main fiber type: Heart of palm

Pro/Con: It's a whole food vegetable with a great nutrition profile, but

Best flavor: Angel hair

Cost: $2.00 per serving


Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Macronutrients per serving: 1g protein | 5g net carbs | 2g fiber

Main protein type: Squash!

Main fiber type: Squash!

Pro/Con: A whole food that tastes great roasted; takes over an hour from start to finish to get to the table

Best flavor: Roasted

Cost: $1.00 per slice

We’re old enough to remember when pasta salad was considered a health food. Now it’s got a bad rap. Research shows that pasta isn’t the worst thing in the world. For example, this study and others suggest that it’s fine in the context of an otherwise low-glycemic, healthy diet. But many other studies show that refined carbohydrates like pasta are associated with higher body fat, greater weight gain, and higher levels of inflammation blood markers. This likely happens because pasta has little protein or fiber, spikes blood sugar and adds calories without filling us up, leading to overeating in the long run.

But we all love noodles and pasta sauce, so is there a way we can have our noodles and thrive as well?

Yes, we can.

What’s low-carb pasta made out of?

Each brand has a totally different formula. Some try to get as close to the real thing and use a mix of proteins and fibers to get there, while others opt for a totally different approach and use vegetables like hearts of palm. Regardless, a serving of low-carb pasta has between 4-24 grams of carbohydrate, between 2-16 grams of fiber (for a total of between 0-4 grams of net carbs), and between 1-22 grams of protein. However, a normal serving of pasta has 42 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber (for a total of 39 grams of net carbs), and 7 grams of protein.

Low-carb pastas are more expensive than normal pastas and often have some trade-off with texture, taste, and GI issues (bloating). We’ve found four low-carb pastas that have the fewest trade-offs, and we threw in roasted spaghetti squash--a whole food vegetable--for the sake of comparison. They’re all dramatically better when it comes to net carbs, and some are far superior when it comes to protein and fiber as well.

Consider giving these low-carb pastas a try. Here’s a quick overview, with links to Amazon for purchase*. Because we have no affiliation with any of these companies, we’ll just go in alphabetical order:


Great Low Carb Bread Company

Macronutrients per serving: 12g protein | 7g net carbs | 18 g fiber

Main protein type: Pea protein

Main fiber type: Oat fiber

Pro/Con: Makes a great mac & cheese, but all that fiber can lead to bloating  

Best type: Penne

Cost: $1.88 per serving


Carba-nada

Macronutrients per serving: 15g protein | 17g net carbs | 7g fiber

Main protein type: Wheat gluten

Main fiber type: Wheat fiber

Pro/Con: Closest to real pasta, but has a ton of gluten if you're looking to limit gluten or have a family member with sensitivities

Best type: Plain egg

Cost: $0.76 per serving


LuLu Pasta

Macronutrients per serving: 22g protein | 5g net carbs | 16g fiber

Main protein type: Lupin protein

Main fiber type: Lupin flour

Pro/Con: Surprisingly good texture, holds up well with a variety of pasta sauces, but it's pricey and too much will cause bloating

Best type: Penne or orzo

Cost: $2.50 per serving


Natural Heaven

Macronutrients perserving: 1g protein | 2g net carbs | 2g fiber

Main protein type: Heart of palm

Main fiber type: Heart of palm

Pro/Con: It's a whole food vegetable with a great nutrition profile, but

Best flavor: Angel hair

Cost: $2.00 per serving


Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Macronutrients per serving: 1g protein | 5g net carbs | 2g fiber

Main protein type: Squash!

Main fiber type: Squash!

Pro/Con: A whole food that tastes great roasted; takes over an hour from start to finish to get to the table

Best flavor: Roasted

Cost: $1.00 per slice

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