Noodles – Paleo or Faileo?


Right, this was a big thing for me to try and get over. I love Far Eastern cookery, I think I own as many Asian cook books as I do text books (which is a lot!). What attracted me to this style of cookery is that it is fast to cook, it’s fresh, healthy and, most importantly, it tastes amazing, indeed looking through several cookbooks now there are loads of recipes that are paleo already and that I know taste terrific.

The biggest bugbear of mine is noodles, personally I love them and knowing I couldn’t have them in paleo just didn’t sit right with me. I am forever searching for ways to make food that I know and love into paleo with minimal effort and minimal fuss.

It seems that I’m not the only one who is asking about noodles and paleo. I came across a Q&A session on Paleo Plan about shirataki noodles. I have eaten them before and cooked with them and personally loved them though they are not for everyone (apparently). The gist of the article says that these noodles aren’t paleo according to the original diet laid out by Cordain or Wolf but then again neither was sweet potato and look how that’s taken off now (though I’m sure the paleo purists will look down their noses at sweet potato).

CAUTION: Some packs will be mixed with tofu to ‘add flavour’, obviously these are not paleo and should be avoided. Always read what you buy, they like to sneak non-paleo items into food where they can!

For those who have never heard of/used these noodles before they are made from the root of a Japanese plant and are basically just water and fibre; this can’t be a bad thing. You may see them advertised as yam noodles thought strictly speaking they’re not from a traditional ‘yam’. They often come in a bag of water which must not be used to cook with and the beauty is that these noodles soak up the flavour of anything you put with them. I will post up some recipes in the future with these amazing noodles and try them for yourself and see how goo they are.

I know there are lots of paleo recipes using spaghetti squash in place of spaghetti to make ‘pasta and meatballs ala paleo’ but that doesn’t quite cut it with me. The fact is that these noodles aren’t going to be eaten every day and won’t be a predominant feature in the meal so what’s the harm? They have fibre in them (which for a high protein diet is much needed though I know you can get it from the vegetables, I’m just defending the noodle corner here), they are not made from rice or starchy flour and to be quite honest life is too short. Food should be enjoyed and pleasurable at all times and I feel that these noodles should have a place at the paleo table, just not on a daily basis.


7 responses to “Noodles – Paleo or Faileo?

  1. My boyfriend is a personal trainer and burns a lot of calories so he has rice, white rice as we read that on a gluten free diet white is more favourable. I think if you stick to having protein and get with something like these noodles then you are adjusting the diet to suit you – if you start eating 3 meals a day where you just eat noodles then that defeats the purpose? My boyfriend would happily not eat rice but then I would be feeding him a lot more protein and frankly we just can’t afford it – rice has been around as a natural-USB substance for years and is probably in the category of potatoes and sweet potato but hey this is a diet that has to work round today’s lifestyle. I think if you can have gluten free pastas etc then this noodle sounds great- wish we could get it here is Scotland- I might have to go to Chinese market to see if I can source it!

    • Oh completely, I wouldn’t be eating these everyday, they’re expensive for one thing. I’m still looking into white rice…evidence seems mixed on whether it’s good or bad, so far it seems it’s “bad” in terms of paleo but there are many things worse.

      It’s strange I actually ordered these noodles online from a great website called Japanese Kitchen (, they came in the post, secured and were delicious. One bag is definitely enough for two people or for two single meals, I’m sure they’d deliver to Scotland.

  2. A couple of alternates to processed food noodles: Spaghetti squash! It has some good fiber, great source of quality calories and some decent nutrients to keep it wholesome, and it’s completely whole-food! Also, if you haven’t yet, you should try “Zucchini Noodles” which are just zucchini, sliced long and thin, and then shaved in to long, thin “noodles”. They’re also completely whole-food, and great to eat with an Italian pasta sauce, or any other noodle dish. And if you’re going to add them to soup, just dehydrate them for a bit in the oven first.
    Hope you enjoy my suggestions!

    • I agree whole food would be better than processed but Spaghetti squash isn’t readily available all year round and I was looking for an alternative. I definitely like the sound of Zucchini Noodles though! Guessing you just make these from scratch as in they’re not something you can buy ready done?

      Great suggestion, thanks!

      • Yeah I love Zucchini Noodles – and yes, I always make them from scratch. They’re so easy, I can’t imagine wanting to buy them!
        You slice the zucchini 2-3 times (depending on the thickness noodle you want, and the size of the zucchini) the long way, so you have 3-4 long “strips” of zucchini. Then, with a peeler, just peel the length of the zucchini “strips”, leaving you with Zucchini Noodles! They’re quick, easy, and delicious – and since they’re completely unprocessed, they’re great for you too!

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