I think every person with diabetes has a food that they just love, but is quite simply no good for their blood sugar. Some people love cookies, some love chips, but for me, nothing beats a big, steamy, hefty bowl of pasta. I absolutely love noodles, but with 44grams of carb per serving, they’re hardly easy on the ole BG. Pasta has always been a weakness for me, so I only indulge in it occasionally. And when I do, there’s usually a truckload of insulin and whole lot of guilt involved, taking half the fun out of it anyways.
I’ve tried all sorts of noodles – whole wheat, low-carb, you name it, but most traditional styles still hit my system pretty hard. Pastas that claim their high fiber count result in fewer net carbs seem to work initially, but I find my blood sugar spikes through the roof hours after eating them as the carbs eventually break down. I’ve also tried substituting things like sliced zucchini in place of lasagna noodles. It’s tasty, but it’s just not the same as the comforting texture of pasta.
Enter No Oodle noodles. I found these little guys at a local market near my house, and judging from their website, they’re only in specialty stores or online for purchase right now. These noodles are made from just a few ingredients – “yam flour” and water basically- and their nutrition label reads no calories and only ONE gram of carbohydrate per serving. Huh? Noodles with nary a calorie and barely a carb? I had to try these.
No Oodle noodles basically look like glass noodles that you might find in some Asian restaurants – long, thin, clear strands, and they come packed in water in a bag that says it contains five servings. My first surprise with the noodles came when I opened the bag and I was greeted with a strong seafood scent, Had they gone bad? I wondered. Nope – turns out that’s normal for processed yam products. How on earth yams could ever produce a fish smell is beyond me, but I drained the noodles and ignored the smell. I threw them in a wok, added cubed chicken, soy sauce, and a little spicy seasoning. I wokked the ingredients together until everything was nice and hot and the soy sauce had cooked off a little. Then I poured the whole deal into a bowl, and sat down to give it s try.
To my surprise, these noodles weren’t half bad. They taste a lot like glass noodles, but with a little more “bounce” in each bite, if that makes sense. I don’t think I’d sub these noodles in my favorite mac and cheese recipe, but for a wok dish with lots of sauce, I actually found them quite tasty! They satisfied like noodles do, and most importantly, hours later, they had passed the blood sugar test. I took only one unit of insulin for my entire dinner and watched the DexCom keep calm and steady around 120mg/dL for hours after the meal. So although they aren’t the perfect pasta substitute, they’re not a bad alternative, and I’ll definitely use them again for those nights when a bowl of spaghetti squash with marinara sauce just won’t cut it! I might try them next with a little curry sauce or a low-carb Thai peanut sauce, or maybe in a home-made Pho dish. Something new and they’re pretty fun!