On the ketogenic diet the goal is to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. What about glass noodles, are they keto-friendly or not?
Glass noodles, also known as cellophane noodles, are a type of noodles made from starch (from potatoes, sweet potatoes, mung beans, etc.) and water.
This food has its specific dishes but in essence, it can be used similar to other types of noodles.
The net amount of carbs, which comes down to total carbs minus carbs from fiber, in cooked glass noodles is around 20.6 grams per 100 grams.
While it depends on the rest of your diet, for most people glass noodles are not keto-friendly. Even in small amounts, this food takes up a lot of your daily carbohydrate intake.
Luckily there are a few substitutes for glass noodles that are not entirely the same but better for staying in ketosis.
When is a food keto-friendly
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into ketosis, a state where it starts mainly burning fat as a fuel (1). This comes down to more or less getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.
For most people this comes down to eating around 20g – 50g of carbohydrates a day.
In reality, this number is different depending on a lot of factors. For example, people who exercise a lot may be able to consume more carbohydrates before getting kicked out of ketosis.
That being said that daily amount can be a good general guideline.
It is also common to exclude fiber from this amount since it doesn’t get absorbed into your body the same way as regular carbohydrates.
Carbs in glass noodles
100 grams of cooked glass noodles contains the following amounts of carbs (2):
- Total carbs: 20.7 grams
- Of which fiber: 0.1 grams
- Net carbs: 20.6 grams
Combined with the other foods in your diet the 20.6 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of cooked glass noodles is likely enough to kick you out of ketosis.
One cup of cooked glass noodles is about 190 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:
- Total carbs: 39.3 grams
- Of which fiber: 0.2 grams
- Net carbs: 39.1 grams
The number of net carbs in 1 cup of cooked glass noodles, 39.1 grams, is even harder to fit into a ketogenic diet. You will likely not stay in ketosis when consuming these amounts of glass noodles.
Carbs in glass noodles vs regular (egg) noodles
So glass noodles are generally not keto-friendly. Another question is how they compare to other popular types of noodles like egg noodles.
100 grams of cooked egg noodles contains about 25.2 grams of carbs in total and 1.2 grams of fiber (3). This comes down to 24 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
While glass noodles are generally not keto-friendly, they are generally lower in net carbs than cooked egg noodles.
Other nutrients in glass noodles
Other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals also still matter on the ketogenic diet.
100 grams of cooked glass noodles contains the following nutrients (2):
- Calories: 84
- Protein: 0.04 grams
- Carbs: 20.7 grams
- Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0.1 grams
- Fat: 0.01 grams
- Choline: 4% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Selenium: 3% of the DV
- Iron: 2% of the DV
- Thiamin: 2% of the DV
- Copper: 1% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.
Glass noodles are relatively high in net carbs and not that high in valuable nutrients per 100 grams compared to many other foods. From a nutrition-only perspective, this is definitely not a good food choice for the ketogenic diet.
How to avoid eating too many glass noodles
By now it is clear that to be able to fit glass noodles in your keto diet, you will have to exercise some serious portion control. Preparing a big bowl of glass noodles and hoping that you don’t eat too many is not the ideal way to do this.
You can avoid eating too many glass noodles with some of the following tips:
- Plan ahead, how many grams of glass noodles will you eat?
- Prepare the planned amount, put it in a bowl, and leave the rest out of sight
- Don’t eat during other activities like watching TV
- Consider not buying glass noodles if you crave them too much
If you notice you get out of ketosis you may need to reduce the quantity of glass noodles you eat.
Substitutes for glass noodles on keto
Glass noodles are not the only replacement for regular noodles on the ketogenic diet. There are a nice amount of options that are better when it comes to the net number of carbohydrates.
- Zucchini noodles: 2.2 grams of net carbs
- Cucumber noodles: 3.1 grams of net carbs
- Beet noodles: 6.8 grams of net carbs
- Carrot noodles: 6.8 grams of net carbs
- Butternut noodles: 9.7 grams of net carbs
These are obviously not the exact same in terms of taste and texture but they could satisfy your noodle cravings to some extent while staying keto.
Keep in mind that even with these examples, you may have to limit the amount you eat to stay in ketosis.
What is your goal with keto?
Even a small amount of glass noodles added to certain daily diets can potentially put you just over the net carbs border, out of ketosis. Depending on the goal you have with keto this may or may not be a problem.
If your goal is to stay strictly in ketosis 24/7 you want to be careful about your carbohydrate intake.
If your goal is to lose weight and become healthier, glass noodles can be a decent food option even if they potentially put you at a carbohydrate level slightly above your ketosis level.