One of the toughest foods for many on a weight loss journey to give up is their pasta. Many of us who have lived on tight budgets have made spaghetti such a large part of our subsistence that it is hard to even begin to imagine a life without it. However, eating a spaghetti dinner, or one consisting of any other pastas can cause a huge downfall in our weight management, especially for the carb addicted.
What’s not to love? Pasta is full of simple carbs and is such an excellent carrier of tomato, cream and cheese sauces which are often also loaded up with added sugars. These delicious meals are easy on our budgets and also create an instant endorphin rush as we eat them. Meals high in simple carbohydrates are quite enjoyable, but are the devil for one trying to lose weight. After all, who eats just one serving of spaghetti? I never could…
Having family members who cannot stand the thought of giving up pasta in order to lose weight has been a catalyst for me to find a type that is suitable by not being high in simple carbohydrates. This seems to be an almost impossible task, despite the many which are marketed as lower carb, rice pasta, gluten free pasta, along with others made from black beans and lentils. I have scoured the shelves in all of my local grocery stores to no avail, and then began a search upon the internet to see if there is anything out there to fill the bill of a truly low carb pasta. Enter Pasta Zero.
What is Pasta Zero ?
This food product doesn’t contain any wheat, making it gluten-free. The low calorie spaghetti is made from the root of the konjac plant, which is sometimes called a konnyaku potato. It’s a soluble fiber food that’s packed with calcium, fiber and folic acid. This gluten-free spaghetti also doesn’t contain any fat, egg or dairy. It’s just 15 calories per serving and has a slightly firmer texture than traditional wheat pasta. This pack of noodles pairs deliciously with your favorite pesto, red or white sauces. Each 8 oz Bag of Nasoya Pasta Zero Shirataki Spaghetti is easy to prepare. Simply heat, serve and enjoy. Have this spaghetti along with side dishes and meat for a fulfilling meal. It’s vegan and can be stocked in a cabinet until needed.
Ingredients: WATER, KONJAC FLOUR, CHICKPEA FLOUR, POTATO STARCH, CALCIUM HYDROXIDE, REDUCED IRON.
As you can see from the nutritional information, despite Pasta Zero being very low in carbs and calories, it is not any different than any other pasta as there is almost no nutritional value to the product. The only nutritional plus is there are 3 grams of fiber per serving. Other than that, this product is a nutritionally empty vessel to carry your pasta sauce of choice. While this product is maybe a better choice than regular pasta being as it is not full of simple carbs, I simply do not advocate eating any foods that are lacking nutritional values.
When you first open a bag of Pasta Zero, you will notice a mild earthy smell. I have read reviews where it was reported the odor was a bit fishy, but that was not my experience. Once I drained and rinsed the product as per the instructions, I tasted it plain, without sauce. I found the flavor to be mild and somewhat earthy, but it was not too bad. I then transferred the pasta to a pan and heated it with a tomato basil pasta sauce and plated it. The product looked like any other spaghetti in appearance, some might not know the difference if they are not paying close attention.Once heated, I thought the earthy flavor came through with a bit more prominence, but is was not anything over powering. I honestly cannot think of anything I have ever eaten to compare the flavor too. It tastes different than anything I have ever consumed.
We all have different tastes when it comes to what we like and dislike. You may love this product, you might hate it. I was kind of indifferent in that I would eat it if it was prepared for me by a friend, but I would never go out of my way to buy it again. At $2.28 for a 8 ounce package, the price is steep when compared to regular pasta, yet still cheap per serving when you can have a plate of it with your favorite sauce for under $5.00 If you feel you must have pasta in your life, I would say Pasta Zero is worth trying at least once. While I did not care for it too much, one of my family members thought is was pretty good despite being chewy in texture. Taste is all subjective to the individual.
House Foods Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti is almost identical to Pasta Zero with only minor differences. It is made from a blend of tofu and konnyaku (or konjac), an Asian yam, Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti contains 20 calories and only 6g of carbs for the whole package.
Ingredients: water, soybeans, yam flour, calcium hydroxide, glucono delta lactone, calcium sulfate.
Upon opening this product packaging, I found the odor to be no different that that of Pasta Zero. Slightly earthy, but not overwhelming as I had been lead to believe from some of the reviews I have read. I had read that these types of noodles are better with Asian sauces over tomato or cream based sauces and since I had a good spicy peanut sauce recipe in my head, that is how I prepared it.
I found this product to look like regular spaghetti much like Pasta Zero, and the texture had the same chewiness too. The difference was in the flavor. The earthy flavor was a bit much for my personal taste. After consuming about half of what I prepared, I chucked the rest in my garbage disposal. I could eat this to be polite if someone served it to me, but I’m not sure I could pretend to enjoy it. Again, taste is subjective to each individual, you might love them. I found the flavor to be the same as that of Pasta Zero, only it was stronger. The price point was about the same as Pasta Zero at about $2.50 a package. While this is an inexpensive meal choice, to me the cheapness is also reflected in the lack of good nutritional value. I personally believe in making every bite of my food count towards making a positive contribution to my nutritional needs. I find this product to be lacking in this area. While I’m not bursting at the seams to buy either product again, I would recommend going with the Pasta Zero over House Foods brand. But hey, you might just think the opposite.
Remember this about pasta, it releases endorphins in your body which make you feel better in the moment. These two products are not going to do this. If you just have to have pasta in your life but know you need to cut it out in order to control your weight, I would make a comparison to non-alcoholic beer to a serious beer drinker. While an O’Douls might taste kind of good, it will just be enough to get a serious drinker to put it down and go get the alcoholic version which are much better in taste and how they make you feel. Fake pasta is the non-alcoholic beer version of pasta, it is the decaffeinated cup of coffee in the morning that brings no satisfaction to a coffee drinker. You may very well think differently, these are just my opinions. If there was no one who actually liked these products, they would not be found on the shelves of your local grocery store.