While the ketogenic diet does allow for its fair share of indulgences — yes, chocolate and cheese are allowed! — there are other things people can’t help but desperately miss on their ketosis journey. In other words: pasta.
Let’s back up here. In case you’ve never heard of the keto diet, it’s a low-sugar, low-carbohydrate method of eating with the end goal of putting the body into a state of ketosis. When ketosis is achieved, the body stops turning to sugar for energy and starts burning fat instead. Ketosis can lead to a number of health benefits, from weight loss to a boost in brain function.
So if ketosis is your goal, you sadly can’t dig into a giant plate of pasta for dinner. One piece of good news, though, is that doctors typically recommend that people do the keto diet in cycles rather than adopting it as a lifestyle. Keto can be a great way to kickstart weight loss, but it can be hard on the body long-term. In other words, you can have pasta again someday.
Another piece of good news is that there are some delicious keto-friendly noodle substitutes at most major grocery stores. Kelp noodles, for example, are made without flour or starch but have a noodle-like consistency thanks to the extract left over from steamed edible kelp. Shirataki noodles, also known as Miracle Noodles, are another great option: They’re made from konjac, a plant that grows in Asia. Other great noodle substitutes that require a bit more preparation include zucchini noodles (aka “zoodles”), homemade gnocchi and even avocado-based noodles.
Intrigued yet? Good. Because the truth is, with a few delicious noodle substitutes, you’ll barely miss traditional, carb-heavy pasta. Here are 11 keto pasta dishes to cook up right now.