Why You Should Consider Adding Zoodles To Your Diet

Zoodles — noodles made using strips or spirals of zucchini — might be the easiest, tastiest way to drop your caloric intake while increasing your daily vegetable, fiber, and vitamin A intake (via Healthline). Whether you're swapping out your rice pasta in a pad thai dish, your pasta in spaghetti and meatballs, or just sautéing a cup of zoodles as a simple side dish or base for chicken or fish, zoodles could be the diet makeover you've been missing.

At only 17 calories per cup of cooked zucchini, it's easy to see how swapping pasta for the squash could help you lower your total caloric and carbohydrate intake. Compare that to a cup of regular spaghetti noodles, which is a whopping 220 calories per serving (via Healthline). Even if you swap out half of your pasta for zucchini noodles and blend the two, you'll still save over 100 calories with each cup while adding fiber to your dish — a great way to feel full faster. 

Zucchini is high in antioxidants and helps control blood sugar levels, which can help you avoid cravings, and can even improve heart health. If you are on a low-carb diet, you're in luck: You can indulge in a cup of zucchini noodles and only add 3 grams of carbohydrate to your daily intake. So if you're trying a keto diet and craving a big bowl of pasta with meatballs, start spiralizing!

What's the best way to make zoodles?

For the tastiest zoodles, start by chopping the ends off of your zucchini before running it through a spiralizer device (like this one we found on Amazon). If you don't have one or don't want to clutter your kitchen with another gadget, use a vegetable peeler to create long, thin strips instead. You can use the noodles raw if you're looking for an added crunch in a cold salad, or you can opt to sauté them with some olive oil until soft, or boil them like pasta for three minutes (via Brit+Co). If you want to pre-spiralize your zoodles, they can be stored raw in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Once you have your zoodle base, you can dress it up however you want, treating it like your favorite pasta, rice, or salad bowl. Keep it simple and just add a pesto sauce to the top, add even more fiber and micronutrients by putting more vegetables into the pan with it for a satisfying stir-fry, or top with the protein of your choice, like fish, chicken, shrimp, or meatballs.