The Ultimate Guide to Low Carb Pasta for Diabetics 2023


Introduction of Low Carb Pasta for Diabetics

Pasta is one of life’s simple pleasures. Who doesn’t love a big bowl of spaghetti topped with savory marinara sauce? However, for the over 37 million Americans living with diabetes, indulging in traditional high-carb pasta dishes can be challenging.

Fortunately, with a little creativity and the right low carb pasta alternatives, you can still enjoy delicious pasta dishes while managing your blood sugar levels. This ultimate guide will explore the relationship between diabetes and carbs, the benefits of low carb pasta, and provide you with a variety of diabetes-friendly pasta options and recipes to try.

Understanding Carbohydrates and Diabetes

To understand the importance of low carb pasta for diabetics, it helps to first look at the connection between carbohydrates and diabetes. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in the body and directly impact blood sugar levels.

For people with diabetes, either the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process the glucose properly (type 1 diabetes) or the cells have become resistant to insulin (type 2 diabetes). In both cases, eating too many carbohydrates in one sitting can cause dangerous blood sugar spikes.

Therefore, along with medication and activity, managing carbohydrate intake is key for maintaining steady blood sugar levels. This is where low carb pasta comes in – it provides the taste and texture of regular pasta with a diabetes-friendly nutritional profile.

Benefits of Low Carb Pasta for Diabetics

carb free pasta

Here are some of the top reasons for diabetics to incorporate low carb pasta into their meal plans:

  • Improves blood sugar control – With significantly fewer carbs and a lower glycemic index, low carb pasta is less likely to cause spikes and crashes.
  • Aids weight loss or maintenance – Since obesity worsens diabetes, a low carb diet can help with losing extra pounds or sustaining a healthy weight.
  • Provides nutrients like fiber and protein – Low carb pasta alternatives are often packed with fiber and protein to help you stay fuller longer.
  • Adds variety to your diet – Options like zoodles and cauliflower rice make it easy to enjoy “pasta” dishes without the carbs.
  • Still satisfies pasta cravings – The taste and texture of low carb pastas closely mimic traditional wheat pasta.
  • Types of Low Carb Pasta for Diabetics

From veggie noodles to grain-free options, here are some of the most popular types of diabetes-friendly low carb pasta:

Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)

One of the easiest low carb “pastas” is zucchini spiraled into noodles, also called zoodles. With only 3 grams net carbs per cup, zoodles make the perfect pasta substitute. They contain vitamin C, potassium, and manganese.

Cauliflower Rice

Riced cauliflower forms the base of delicious low carb “pasta” dishes. With 5 grams of carbs per cup, cauliflower rice is low calorie, low carb, and high in vitamin C and fiber. It’s neutral in flavor so takes on any sauce or seasoning.

Spaghetti Squash

The delicate, stringy flesh of spaghetti squash can be scraped into pasta-like strands. A one-cup serving contains 10 grams of carbs and is rich in vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. It has a mild and slightly sweet flavor.

Shirataki Noodles

Almost zero carbs makes shirataki noodles ideal for diabetes meal planning. The translucent noodles are crafted from glucomannan fiber from the konjac plant. They absorb the flavors of sauces and seasonings well.

Chickpea Pasta

For a higher protein, higher fiber alternative try chickpea-based pasta. With around 5-10 grams net carbs per serving, chickpea pasta is also vegan, gluten-free and low glycemic. The texture is grainy.

Hearts of Palm Pasta

Using only two ingredients – hearts of palm and water – this pasta alternative contains just 4 grams of carbs per serving. The tagliatelle style strands wringed from steamed hearts of palm mimic wheat pasta’s taste and texture.

Edamame Noodles

Another veggie-based low carb pasta is edamame noodles with only 3 grams of digestible carbs per serving. Made from shelled edamame, a soybean packed with plant-based protein, these noodles are also gluten-free.

Tips for Cooking Low Carb Pasta for Diabetics

Low Carb Pasta for Diabetics

Changing up your usual pasta prep methods can help maximize the taste and texture of low carb varieties. Here are some useful tips:

  • Don’t overcook – Keep veggie noodles like zoodles al dente to avoid mushiness.
  • Salt the water – Adding salt boosts flavor for options like chickpea or edamame pasta.
  • Cook in batches – Shirataki noodles need to be rinsed and drained in batches before cooking.
  • Toss sauces in – Mixing zoodles and squash strands with flavorful sauces coats them nicely.
  • Add protein – Chicken, shrimp, or tofu give low carb pasta dishes a protein punch.
  • Use smaller amounts – Portion controls help carb counts stay low.
  • Get creative – Cauliflower rice makes a good stand-in for risottos, stir fries, and fried rice too.
  • Delicious Low Carb Pasta Recipes for Diabetics

Now let’s look at some mouthwatering low carb pasta recipe ideas you can whip up:

Zucchini Pesto Noodles


  • 2 medium zucchini, spiralized into noodles
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the zoodles and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Remove from heat and add the pesto. Toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle with Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Avocado Cauliflower Rice


  • 4 cups riced cauliflower
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: In a skillet, cook diced chicken in olive oil for 5-6 minutes until browned and cooked through. Add cauliflower rice and cook 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the avocado, lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

Shrimp Scampi Shirataki Noodles

low carb spaghetti noodles


  • 2 pkgs shirataki noodles, rinsed and drained
  • 12 oz medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: In a skillet, melt the butter and cook garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp and cook 2-3 more minutes until pink. Add drained shirataki noodles, chicken broth and lemon juice. Cook for 4-5 more minutes, then mix in parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara


  • 1 small spaghetti squash, roasted and strands removed
  • 3 strips turkey bacon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Heat a skillet with oil over medium heat. Add roasted spaghetti squash strands and turkey bacon crumbles and cook for 2 minutes. Beat the eggs with parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the squash and bacon and scramble until eggs are cooked, about 2-3 minutes.

The World of Low Carb Pasta for Diabetics

With the rise of innovative low carb pasta alternatives like zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, shirataki noodles, and chickpea pasta, diabetics can still enjoy the comfort and flavors of pasta dishes without spiking blood sugar.

By paying attention to carbohydrate counts, incorporating nutritious ingredients like veggies and proteins, and experimenting with diabetic-friendly recipes, you can make pasta a delicious part of your meal plan. Just remember to check with your doctor about diet recommendations specific to your diabetes treatment plan.

So pull out your spiralizer, whip up a batch of cauliflower rice, and get ready to make your favorite pasta night diabetes-friendly! Low carb options have improved by leaps and bounds, so you don’t have to give up this staple comfort food completely. With a little planning and creativity in the kitchen, you can savor healthier pasta dishes that become a cornerstone of your balanced diabetic diet.

About the author

Noom is a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach with a passion for helping others achieve their health and fitness goals. After struggling with her own weight loss journey, she decided to make it her mission to provide practical, supportive advice to others looking to make positive changes.

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