It is very normal to have those days when you just want to snuggle on your couch with a good bowl of noodles and good broth or sauce. It is, in fact, so easy to whip out your noodles in your pantry and make a quick dish out of it.
Noodles are the ideal food and just the essential ingredient that must always be present in your shelves. Wanting to skip rice? Cook your noodles. Wanting to have a good snack? Cook your noodles.
Noodles are sometimes confused as pastas. Though they’re not entirely different, they still have significant differences that can tell them apart. The two differ when it comes to the ingredients and the processes they underwent. For noodles, they’re usually made with flour milled from common wheat or from a raw ingredient like seaweed or beans.
On the other hand, pastas are made with an ingredient coarser than the typical flour.
Noodles itself have different variants and they can all differ from texture, cooking process, purpose, and even the nutritional content. Take note that noodles alone can be healthy, but the ingredients that you cook along with it makes it more worthwhile.
If you’re monitoring your food intake, it is very important to know all the food you’re going to be putting in your gut. This includes the nitty-gritty aspect like your type of noodle. Here, I’ve listed the top 5 healthy noodles that could be fit in your diet.
Best Healthy Noodles To Eat Compared and Reviewed
|Top||LIVIVA Low Calorie Keto-Certified Organic Shirataki Spaghetti Noodles||LIVIVA||Check Price on Amazon|
|Kelp Noodles||Gold Mine Natural Food Co.||Check Price on Amazon|
|Mung Bean Noodles||Explore Cuisine||Check Price on Amazon|
|Soba Noodles||Hime||Check Price on Amazon|
|Edamame Noodles||Explore Cuisine||Check Price on Amazon|
#1 - Shirataki Spaghetti Noodles
Yam flour is believed to be good for weight loss. It has a high fiber content that can really help you with your gut health. This can help manage diabetes as well because of its low glycemic index. Moreover, it boosts immunity naturally, improves eye health, and more.
These Japanese noodles are a direct translation of “white waterfall” because of its appearance, which they’re pretty known for, other than being almost calorie-less. This also works wonders as an alternative, hence this is usually used for pasta swap.
If you order noodles from an asian restaurant, you might have already mindlessly encountered these noodles. They are thin, translucent, and gelatinous. They also have a white and glossy appearance.
Just like any other noodles, Shirataki noodles come in variance. There are Shirataki noodles for fettuccine and there also Shirataki noodles for your spaghetti craves.
If you’re on a low-carb diet, or you’re closely monitoring your carbohydrates, then Shirataki noodles could be your holy grail. Not only that, but when you’re a home chef who’s looking for some versatile noodles, this could be your answer too.
I know, these noodles are definitely too good to be true! They roughly have 6g of carbs and are usually 0-15 calories per package. If you’re on a Keto diet, this could as well be your new best friend.
#2 - Kelp Noodles
If you’re on a strict diet, you can trust your Kelp noodles to help you with your journey. This is basically gluten-free, has zero grams of fat, no sugar, and fewer than 10 carbs per serving.
Because of its iodine content, it poses different health benefits. This is said to improve your thyroid health, improve weight loss, improve heart health, and also reduce inflammation.
If you’re planning to cook Pad Thai or the famous Vietnamese Pho, Kelp noodles can be your go-to partner for that delicious recipe. You can really trust this asian noodles for your asian noodle dishes.
If you’re only beginning to cook, you don’t have to worry about exploring your Kelp because it is relatively easy to incorporate in your dish. These noodles usually require no cooking! So, you can just make your broth, give these noodles a good rinse, and toss the two together.
These noodles, just like most noodles (and pastas), are versatile. You can use them for your salads, soups, broths, and sauced dishes.
You can use your Kelp to substitute for your whole-grain pasta or brown rice because they’re basically vegan-friendly. However, since they’re pretty low in fiber, it can significantly reduce your fiber intake.
#3 - Mung Bean Noodles
Deriving from a whole food, mung bean noodles are also considered healthy and a good choice of nutritious noodles. They are dehydrated and strung together from a mung bean starch, making them a good alternative to traditional noodles that contain gluten.
They are also known as the glass or cellophane noodles because of their transparent appearance. And when they’re cooked, they come out firm like cooked wheat noodles.
You usually see these noodles as the main noodles used in stir fries and Chinese noodle dishes. They can also be a good alternative to semolina wheat pasta because of their texture.
This is high in plant-based protein, iron, and zinc. Hence, this can help boost your immune system due to its zinc content. Moreover, this is also absent of gluten, and contains 160 calories, 39.3g of carbs, 0.076g of protein, and 0.019 grams of fat.
Since this is made from mung bean, a good plant source of dietary iron, these noodles are a good source of your iron intake. Per cup, you roughly acquire five percent of your daily iron needs. So if you are at risk of iron deficiency, this can help you boost your iron.
If you are following a calorie-restricted diet, you might want to stray away from your mung bean noodles. However, if you’re on your weight gain journey, then these noodles may be helpful and can assist you with your journey.
#4 - Soba Noodles
Soba Noodles are pretty much used and well-known in Japanese cuisine. These authentic noodles are made from 100% buckwheat flour which have multiple benefits to your body. However, there are brands that add other flour, which decreases the authenticity of the noodles.
Soba noodles are a good source of Manganese. Basically, in one serving of soba noodles, you acquire 0.5mg of the mineral manganese. This is important for bone health, glucose metabolism, and wound healing.
This is also a good source of thiamin. Thiamin is also known as vitamin B-1, which is needed for healthy cell growth and function and as well as energy metabolism.
These noodles are also high in protein, high in soluble fiber, low in fat, and free of gluten. So if you’re in a strict diet that practices a gluten-free lifestyle, then this might be just for you.
In Japanese cuisine, they are served either as hot or cold. They are also often served with a dipping sauce like ginger or peanut. You can also see soba noodles in your Japanese broth.
Just like any noodles, these noodles are pretty versatile. They can be served in a broth or they can be served as a cold dish. You can also use your soba noodles for your salads too!
#5 - Edamame Noodles
Made from Edamame beans, these Edamame noodles are unsurprisingly one of the top healthy noodles in the culinary world. They are definitely high in protein—somewhat the same amount of protein as you chicken breast!
This may not be the ideal noodles for those who are watching their weight, though. One serving of edamame noodles contains 210 calories, 22g carbs, 25g protein, and 11g fiber.
If you’re planning to eat clean, without any hesitations and food restrictions, then this could be your perfect match. Edamame noodles are rich in vitamins as well as fiber. Since these are made of Edamame, they’re significantly richer in folate than mature soybeans.
Don’t worry about the preparation of your noodles. This is pretty simple to prepare like you would regular pasta. Just take note that since this has already a pretty high calorie content, you might want to avoid adding more sugary ingredients.
If you’re looking for a good alternative for your pasta dishes like spaghetti, then this is a good option. You don’t only get to eat your spaghetti healthily, but it also somewhat tastes the same!
My Top Choice
Key Considerations When Looking For Healthy Noodles To Eat
When buying noodles, it is important to take note that there are varying types of noodles in the market. They do not only differ with the kind itself, but they also differ with how they are packaged and prepared.
More often than not, you can buy fresh and authentic noodles in your local markets instead of your grocery stores. Grocery stores often sell these noodles in a package and some brands might be even deceiving you with its authenticity.
When talking about noodles, authenticity is very important. Unlike pastas, these are actually made from natural ingredients, hence, counterfeit products can totally change the nutrient content of your noodles.
The calorie and carbohydrate content are often affected when you buy non-authentic noodles. This is pretty crucial most especially when you’re following a strict diet or when you have health conditions that could be affected by these false percentages.
Going to the local market is easier than done. I understand that going to a local market can be quite challenging most especially when you don’t know what to look for. Hence, you might want to take a look into this checklist to know which to purchase.
When you look at the label of your noodles, you might be able to immediately spot the nutritious content of your noodles. However, if you are buying from a local market, there are greater chances that these are not stated in the packaging.
If you can’t find the nutritional information in the packaging, you might as well research the noodles that you’ve bought. It is quite easy to look for information regarding your noodles because these are made from natural ingredients.
When you’re an athlete who’s also practicing clean eating without disrupting your usual nutrient intake, you can look into these healthy noodles as alternatives. These noodles aren’t just easy to partner with your dishes, but they’re also packed with nutrients.
Though they are made with fresh ingredients, they are still filled with health benefits and nutrients. In fact, these fresh ingredients even make them healthier!
There are healthy noodles that are high in calorie content. Though they aren’t as high as pastas, they’re still enough to supply you with the energy your body requires.
So if you’re looking for a high calorie content, then you might want to look into Edamame noodles. With a calorie count of 210, it is relatively higher than the other noodles, but it’s definitely lower than your pastas.
Pastas are known for being high in iron—and so are some types of noodles. When you’re looking into noodles as your pasta’s alternative, then you also have to make sure that you’re gaining similar nutrients that pastas contain.
Iron takes an important role for your blood production. They’re concerned with the red blood cells in your blood that carry the oxygen.
Iron can be found in your pastas and also meats. However, for people practicing the vegan lifestyle, this can be difficult to acquire because they’re avoiding animal-derived foods like meats and pastas.
To compensate for the absence of iron in a vegan diet, they usually intake plant sources of iron. Hence, beans and legumes like Mung Bean can be on a vegan’s plate. So, if this is your worry, you can now look into Mung Bean noodles as your alternative for some of your dishes.
When you’re on a low-carb diet, you of course have to look for the noodles that offer the slighted carbohydrates. Yes, they do exist! Unlike pastas, some noodles are freshly and naturally made that you can sense minimal to zero sugary taste.
You don’t have to fear the taste when buying your low-carb noodles, though. As bland as they may be, the taste really matters on how you prepare your dish.
This gives you more space to think about what dish to partner with your noodles. In short, your noodles are most likely to adjust to your dish, rather than the other way around because of how tasteless they are!
If you are looking into buying a low-carb noodle, then Shirataki Noodles are definitely for you. They’re not only low carb, but they also have low calorie content.
The vegan lifestyle demands more natural nutrients and less animal-derived ingredients. Because of this, following veganism could be really difficult, especially when you badly want to eat pastas, but you can’t because of the ingredients pastas usually are made of.
Since animal-derived ingredients are a big no from the vegans. Fresh pastas are automatically out of the menu because its dough is simply made from eggs and flour. So, how will you be able to eat your pastas?
The answer is Kelp noodles. Since kelp noodles are made of edible brown seaweed, you don’t have to worry about any animal source.
It is already a fact that we buy these asian noodles for our asian recipes. But, did you know that these can as well be an alternative for your pastas?
This might be the answer for some vegans who want to eat pasta dishes, but don’t exactly have the pasta that are both fresh and aren’t made of egg and flour. Truly, these noodles don’t just complete your asian dish, but they’re also a good alternative.
Your traditional pasta can now be replaced by an excellent low-carb, low-sugar alternative. You might want to check into Soba Noodles if you want a good alternative for your homemade spaghetti.
Frequently Asked Questions About Healthy Noodles
Question: What to look out for when buying fresh noodles?
Answer: Avoid packages that have moisture droplets. They tend to make your noodles mushy and can lower the quality. Also take note of the color of the noodles. If they’re not evenly colored, you might want to put them back on the shelves.
Question: How to store my fresh noodles?
Answer: You can refrigerate your fresh noodles. If there’s an expiration date, use it before the due date. If you’ve already opened the packaging, transfer them in a tightly covered container to avoid wastage.
Question: Will noodles make me gain weight?
Answer: Healthy noodles like Shirataki Noodles, Soba Noodles, and more, you can be assured that you won’t really gain weight because of the low carbs and low calorie count. However, if you’re going to cook your noodles with foods that are pretty high in calories and carbohydrates (like creamy sauces), then you sure will gain some.
The world of culinary arts really did take a different turn now that we have good and backed-up research that can prove the nutritional content of our foods. And since there have been a good number of existing eating lifestyles, we can now cater to each with ease.
Restrictive eating lifestyles like veganism no longer have to worry about skipping their pasta meals because alternatives like noodles are now in the market. Moreover, we can now as well identify which noodle to use for our asian meals.
There is not much to look for when buying your healthy noodles. This is because they’re already acclaimed as healthy and you just really have to look for the brand that you prefer.
Take note though that just because they’re healthy, they aren’t automatically suitable for your eating or dietary lifestyle, if ever you’re in a strict one. Hence, proper research is still required.
If you’re a real pecker for noodles, then check out the previous review we also did on the must-try instant japanese ramen packs! If you’re looking for healthier ways to eat, check out our post on eating clean: proven ways to improve your diet.
Regardless, don’t forget to prioritize the joy of eating noodles rather than focusing on which to avoid. After all, noodles are believed by Asians to be there to give you a good and long life!
Paul is an aspiring amateur chef from Sydney, Australia. Paul comes from Vietnam and has a passion for Asian food. He has visited Asia including Vietnam, China, Thailand, and Singapore and hopes to inspire others with his passion for food.