Egg noodles are commonly used in dishes such as stir-fries, chicken noodle soups, and buttered noodles, making them a key ingredient in various cuisines.
Created from wheat flour and eggs, they’re turned into dough, shaped into thin strips, and then boiled.
But, even though egg noodles are tasty, some might question their health value.
This article delves into the nutritional aspects of egg noodles and discusses their pros and cons.
Egg noodles’ benefits
Egg noodles’ nutritional content is similar to regular pasta’s but slightly lower in calories, carbs, and protein.
They’re also often enriched, meaning certain vitamins and minerals have been added, increasing their nutritional value.
One cup (160 grams) of cooked, enriched egg noodles contains:
- Calories: 221
- Protein: 7 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Carbs: 40 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Selenium: 70% of the daily value
- Thiamine: 39% of the daily value
- Folate: 55% of the daily value
- Manganese: 22% of the daily value
- Niacin: 21% of the daily value
- Copper: 17% of the daily value
- Riboflavin: 17% of the daily value
- Iron: 13% of the daily value
- Zinc: 10% of the daily value
Enriched egg noodles are exceptionally high in selenium, a mineral that plays a crucial role in immune function.
They also contain several B vitamins like thiamine, folate, niacin, and riboflavin, all of which are involved in energy production, DNA repair, and brain health.
Furthermore, enriched egg noodles are a good source of manganese, an essential nutrient that acts as an antioxidant to protect against oxidative stress and cell damage.
Summary: Egg noodles are enriched and contain vital nutrients like selenium, manganese, and B vitamins.
Potential downsides of egg noodles
Egg noodles deliver key nutrients but are associated with several potential downsides.
Egg noodles contain approximately 221 calories per cooked cup (160 grams).
This is slightly higher than other types of pasta, like penne, which contains around 168 calories per cup (107 grams).
Egg noodles are denser, so you get more noodles in a 1-cup portion.
While egg noodles can definitely fit into a healthy diet, it’s essential to be mindful of the toppings that you choose, especially if you’re working toward a weight loss goal.
This is because egg noodles are often combined with other high-calorie ingredients like butter and cheese, which may contribute to weight gain if consumed in high amounts.
On the other hand, pairing egg noodles with ingredients that are low in calories and high in protein or fiber may be beneficial, as this can help keep you feeling fuller for longer to support weight loss.
Egg noodles are high in carbs
Egg noodles have a moderate glycemic index, which is a measure used to estimate the extent to which specific foods increase your blood sugar levels.
They typically have a higher glycemic index than pasta, although this can vary depending on the specific type of pasta and cooking method used.
For example, boiled wheat egg noodles have a glycemic index of 57, while the glycemic index of spaghetti can range from 42–58.
Egg noodles are also relatively high in carbohydrates, with over 40 grams each cup (160 grams).
Studies show that following high-carb diets that contain a higher proportion of low-fiber starches could be linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Their carb content makes them inappropriate for very low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet.
Suggested read: The ketogenic diet: A detailed beginner's guide to keto
Egg noodles contain gluten
Egg noodles are made using wheat flour, which contains gluten, a group of proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye.
Although gluten is not an issue for most people, some may need to limit their intake.
For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, in particular, consuming gluten-containing foods can cause symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, stomach pain, and unintentional weight loss.
A gluten-free diet is recommended to prevent adverse side effects for those who cannot tolerate gluten.
Suggested read: The gluten-free diet: A beginner's guide with meal plan
Summary: Egg noodles provide a good amount of calories and carbs per serving. They also have a moderate glycemic index and contain gluten.
Can you eat egg noodles on a healthy diet?
Egg noodles can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a well-rounded diet.
Still, it’s essential to consider which foods you pair them with to maximize the dish’s nutritional value and minimize its adverse health effects.
For example, toppings like butter, cheese, and cream-based sauces can quickly ramp up the calorie content, which could lead to weight gain.
Opting for nutrient-dense ingredients that are high in protein or fiber can be a better option if you’re watching your weight or hoping to support healthy blood sugar levels while squeezing some extra vitamins and minerals into your diet.
Try pairing your egg noodles with protein-rich foods like chicken, fish, tofu, and fiber-filled veggies to get the most bang for your nutritional buck.
Additionally, watch your portion sizes and try to stick to around 1 cup (160 grams) of cooked egg noodles per serving. Bulking up your egg noodles with vegetables and protein can help you feel more satisfied with your meal without going overboard on pasta.
Summary: Choosing healthy toppings and monitoring your portion sizes can help ensure that egg noodles fit into a well-balanced diet.
Egg noodles are a favorite in many kitchens because of their adaptability and delicious taste.
They often come fortified with vitamins and minerals, providing nutrients such as manganese, selenium, and B vitamins.
But, they’re carb-rich, have gluten, and might lead to weight gain if eaten excessively.
So, while egg noodles can be part of a balanced meal, it’s crucial to monitor how much you eat and carefully select the ingredients you combine them with.