My idea of a great Saturday is doing the groceries – no I’m not kidding.
I love strolling down the isles of my local supermarket and checking out all the great new low-carb products.
I count myself pretty lucky to be living with diabetes at a time when there are so many alternative options available and pasta is just one example.
Navigating the world of low-carb options, however, can be quite daunting and many products are exclusive to one supermarket.
So, if you want to pick and choose, you’ll often have to do some leg-work to compare products.
In this post, I’ve taken the leg-work out in this one-stop-shop post. Keep reading as I take you through some of the low-carb pasta options which will leave you craving a nice spag-bole!
What to look out for
Low-carb pastas are not all created equal. Brands will often vary in the ingredients used, the total carbs per serve, the flavour and texture, price and accessibility.
It’s always a good idea to read the nutritional label on the back of the packet to make sure you know just how much carbohydrate is contained in each serve.
This means you can better-manage your serving size and insulin dose (if you’re on insulin) and take the guessing out of it.
Some pasta brands are not that much lower in carbohydrate than traditional wheat versions, so don’t go eating an entire plate full.
What are the choices?
There are lots of brands of low-carb pasta on the market, so here are some to consider when you’re out on your next grocery shopping adventure.
Herman Brot Lower Carb Pasta
This is a staple in my house and my favourite option if I’m making a spaghetti bolognese.
It’s marketed as lower carb, but it’s actually one of the lowest carb options on the market at only 5 g per 100 g!
Made from wheat protein, soy protein, rice protein and other ingredients, it’s 39.4 g of protein per serve and low GI at a rating of 22.
It’s super quick to cook; taking less time to cook than normal wheat pasta, which is great if you’re really hungry!
Unlike traditional pasta, however, it’s only available from health food stores, or online and is around $6.50 a bag.
This product only comes in a long spaghetti option so it can be somewhat limiting in terms of what dishes you can use it for.
To find out more about this brand, check out Herman Brot Lower Carb Pasta .
Pulse Pasta has been all the rage recently, featuring on many cooking shows as an alternative to traditional pasta.
Pulses are a legume and in Australia, there are six major pulse groups grown, including chickpea, fava/broad bean, field pea, lentil, lupin and mung bean.
Health benefits of pulses include being high in protein, lower in carbohydrate, low in GI and high in fibre. For more info about pulses, check out, Pulse Australia.
There are several brands of pulse pasta on the market including San Remo which is available at Woolworths for about $3.60 per pack.
The range includes pasta made from peas, lentils, chickpeas and Borlotti beans. Keep reading to check out other pulse pasta options.
The San Remo range includes chickpea spirals, pulse penne option, green pea penne, red lentil spirals and pulse spaghetti pasta.
Per serve, the San Remo range has approximately 46 – 58 g of carbs per 100 g and 23 g of protein. Traditional wheat pasta has anywhere from 70-75 g of carbs per 100 g.
The Vetta ‘Smart Pasta’ range including high protein low carb spirals and high protein low carb penne.
Wheat gluten and oat bran have been added to naturally boost the protein and fibre content and reduce the overall carbohydrates.
At around 50.5 g of carbohydrate per 100 g, this range has 25% less carbs than regular pasta, so you do still need to watch your serving size.
This range is only available from Coles and retails for about $2 per pack.
Additional Vetta products are available at other leading supermarkets, but penne is only available at Coles.
For more information about this range, visit, Vetta pasta.
Explore Cuisine has a large range of pulse pastas.
The range includes organic red lentil penne and spaghetti, organic green lentil penne, organic chickpea fusilli and spaghetti, organic edamame and mung bean fettuccine and also has organic edamame and mung bean lasagne sheets!
While the range is great, it is only available at health food stores or online at Explore Cuisine and can be slightly pricey at $6.50 a packet.
In terms of carbohydrate, it’s a bit on the higher side compared with other brands, anywhere from 35.7 – 63.8 g per 100 g.
I found that while the texture was nice, I did have to be careful not to overcook this pasta as it became quite frail very quickly.
Eco Organics has a range of low carb pastas in a variety of flavours and shapes including mung bean fettuccine, black bean spaghetti, chick pea fettuccine, adzuki bean spaghetti and edamame spaghetti.
Total carbs are approximately 23 g per 100 g, with 42 g of protein and 18 g fibre.
The great thing is, the Eco Organics range of pasta is available from Costco, so you can get a ‘variety 3 pack’ for $10.59, otherwise one packet from a health food store can cost around $6.50.
Konjac noodles come in a range of types including fettuccine, noodles and even Konjac rice.
What is konjac you might ask? Konjac is grown in China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and southeast Asia for its corms, which are starchy and are often used to make flour and jelly.
Because of its starchy nature, konjac products are quite gelatinous in texture.
So while they are great for Asian dishes such as luksa and curries, they are not suited to Italian dishes such as Bolognese.
In terms of nutritional value, 100 g of konjac noodles has zero protein, zero fat, zero sugar, zero carbs and 4 g fibre.
Stay tuned as I bring you some yummy pasta recipes in my next post!