Are Glass Noodles Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Noodles come in many types and sizes that are often high in carbs. Find out whether glass noodles are an exception that is keto-friendly.

Glass noodles, also known as cellophane noodles, are made from starch (from potatoes, sweet potatoes, mung beans, etc.) and water.

In turn, cooked glass noodles are relatively high in carbohydrates with around 20.6 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per 100 grams.

While you may sometimes be able to fit in small amounts, it is fair to say that glass noodles are generally not keto-friendly.

Luckily there are a few keto-friendly substitutes for glass noodles. These are not entirely the same in taste and texture but more helpful if you want to stay in ketosis.

Carbs in glass noodles

If you want to follow a ketogenic diet you want to check the amounts of carbohydrates in foods like glass noodles. This will help you figure out your portion sizes.

100 grams of one example of cooked glass noodles contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 20.7 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.1 grams
  • Net carbs: 20.6 grams

Individual recipes and brands can vary but glass noodles will almost always be this high in carbs. In turn, they are typically not considered to be keto-friendly.

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

As you can expect, consuming bigger portions of glass noodles will also mean you are eating more carbs. There will not be many people who can eat this amount of carbohydrates and stay in ketosis.

Other nutrients in glass noodles

From the carbohydrate amounts above, it becomes clear that you would have to eat tiny portions of glass noodles to stay in ketosis.

In some cases, it can be worth implementing small amounts of high-carb foods on keto if they contain enough of other valuable nutrients.

To figure out whether this applies to glass noodles too, you want to look at the proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals in this food.

100 grams of cooked glass noodles contain the following nutrients (1):

  • 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 very low in other nutrients compared to most foods.

From a nutrition-only perspective, glass noodles are definitely not a good food choice for the ketogenic diet.

Carbs in glass noodles vs regular (egg) noodles

By now it should be clear that 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 contain about 25.2 grams of carbs in total and 1.2 grams of fiber (2). This comes down to 24 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.

Glass noodles are still not that keto-friendly but it is true that they are generally lower in net carbs than cooked egg noodles.

Why glass noodles could be keto-friendly in tiny amounts

Quickly going over the ketogenic diet fundamentals can help you understand why you would theoretically be able to implement tiny amounts of glass noodles if you really like them.

Any way of eating where you get and stay in ketosis can be considered to be a ketogenic diet. Ketosis is a state where you mainly use fat as fuel (3).

To get to this point, you need to limit your carbohydrate enough. Exactly what enough is depends on details like your body weight, body composition, activity levels, etc.

That being said, there are some imperfect general guidelines to give you somewhat of an idea of how many grams of glass noodles and other carbs you can eat.

A typical recommendation is to get 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates to stay in ketosis.

This will likely mean eating around 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates (excluding fiber) a day for you.

If you consider that you want to eat other foods too, almost any reasonable amount of glass noodles can kick you out of ketosis.

Substitutes for glass noodles on keto

More standard types of noodles like glass noodles are typically not keto-friendly.

To resolve this issue to some extent, many low-carb diet recipes implement vegetable noodles. These are definitely not the exact same in taste and texture but they may be enough to satisfy your noodle cravings on keto.

The numbers next to the glass noodle substitutes are the amounts of net carbs per 100 grams (4, 5, 6, 7, 8):

  • 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

Keep in mind that these noodles still contain decent amounts of carbohydrates. That means you may still need to limit how many grams you eat to stay in ketosis.

How to avoid eating too many glass noodles on keto

So if you absolutely want to eat glass noodles while staying in ketosis, you will have to keep your portions very small.

Just preparing a big bowl of glass noodles with your favorite ingredients, herbs, and spices will not be a good idea if you want to follow a ketogenic diet.

Some of the tips below can help you control your portions of glass noodles:

  • Before you start cooking, estimate how many grams of glass noodles you can eat
  • Weigh out this amount of glass noodles and put the remaining ones somewhere else
  • Don’t eat unlimited amounts of glass noodles while doing other things like watching a movie
  • Buy smaller portions of glass noodles or none at all if you can’t resist them

The amount of glass noodles you eat is likely the first thing you want to lower if you notice that you still get kicked out of ketosis.

Why are you following a ketogenic diet?

By now you should understand that even tiny amounts of glass noodles will likely kick you out of ketosis. Whether or not this is an issue and to what extent depends on your reasons for following a ketogenic diet.

There are people who need/want to stay in strict ketosis every minute of the day. These individuals likely want to stay away from glass noodles.

On the other hand, while glass noodles are not necessarily perfect for these goals either, they could still deserve a spot in the diets of people who want to lose weight and get healthier.

Ketogenic diets can be helpful for these goals but there are often others ways to achieve them.

Are glass noodles low-carb?

Glass noodles contain around 20.7 grams of carbs (including 0.1 grams of fiber). This means they are generally considered to be high in carbs, not low-carb.

How many net carbs are there in glass noodles?

100 grams of glass noodles contain around 20.6 grams of net carbs.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.