Is Gnocchi Healthy or Unhealthy?

is gnocchi bad for you

It’s tough to make healthy eating decisions all the time.

We’re busy, and unhealthy food typically takes less time to prepare.

When it’s store-bought, pasta is easy to prepare. But as you may know, pasta is pretty high in carbs and low in other nutrients.

But what about gnocchi? Is gnocchi healthy?

Here, we’ll discuss…

  • Is gnocchi good for you?
  • Is gnocchi healthier than pasta?
  • Is gnocchi Keto-friendly?
  • Is gnocchi Whole 30 compliant?

And more.

Let’s dive in.

What is gnocchi?

Gnocchi is a type of pasta made of flour, eggs, and mashed potatoes. Although gnocchi’s ingredients closely match pasta, many people consider it to be a type of dumpling. 

Gnocchi is also distinctly known for its rolled shape.

So if it is a traditional pasta, is gnocchi bad for you?

Is gnocchi good for you?

Gnocchi, like most pasta, is high in carbohydrates and low in protein and other nutrients. So although gnocchi may have a typically plant-based filling (potatoes), it’s not a food that you should eat every day.

Whenever you buy gnocchi, be sure to check the ingredients: many producers sneak in unhealthy ingredients.

Gnocchi can also be high in sodium. If you are carefully monitoring your sodium intake, gnocchi may not be a healthy choice for you. That being said, if you make gnocchi at home, you can control the amount of salt.

All in all, traditional, store-bought gnocchi isn’t particularly healthy, especially if paired with store-bought pasta sauces that are typically high in sugar and calories.

You should enjoy gnocchi every once in a while, but we don’t recommend making gnocchi a staple of your diet.

Click here to view one of the most popular gnocchi brands online.

Is cauliflower gnocchi healthy?

Although it’s also high in sodium, store-bought cauliflower gnocchi does offer more health benefits than traditional gnocchi.

Firstly, cauliflower gnocchi is healthy in the sense that it has fewer calories and less fat. Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi, in particular, successfully minimizes calories.

Since its ingredients are only cauliflower, cassava flour, potato starch, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt, Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi cuts down on most of the ingredients that add to traditional gnocchi’s calorie count.

Secondly, cauliflower gnocchi is gluten-free and dairy-free, making it a healthier choice for folks with dietary restrictions.

Thirdly, since its primary ingredient is cauliflower, you can enjoy cauliflower gnocchi knowing that you are consuming a serving of vegetables, too. That’s always a plus!

Is gnocchi healthier than pasta?

Gnocchi can be healthier than pasta.

Since gnocchi has less flour than regular pasta, gnocchi is a healthier choice for gluten-free folks or people trying to reduce their wheat intake.

That being said, both gnocchi and pasta are high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients. Potatoes offer more nutrients than flour, but the end result is mostly similar. 

Is sweet potato gnocchi healthy?

We know that potato-filled gnocchi isn’t always the healthiest choice. But what about sweet potato gnocchi? Is sweet potato gnocchi healthy?

Sweet potatoes offer many health benefits. Sweet potatoes are…

  1. High in nutrients,
  2. Great for your digestive health,
  3. Good for brain function, and more.

But just like other healthy ingredients, sweet potatoes can be combined with other unhealthy ingredients like excessive sodium, refined flour, and other processed additives.

Sweet potato gnocchi can be healthy, but always check the ingredients before purchasing.

Is all gnocchi gluten-free?

Since it contains flour, traditional gnocchi is not gluten-free.

However, if you buy or make gnocchi with flour alternatives like cassava flour, chickpea flour, almond flour, or others, gnocchi can be gluten-free.

Potatoes are also gluten-free. Even with this information, always check the ingredients when buying gnocchi.

Is gnocchi Keto-friendly?

Traditional gnocchi, like all traditional pasta, is not Keto-friendly. Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet, and traditional gnocchi is essentially the opposite.

However, if you buy or make gnocchi with alternative flours, you can significantly reduce the number of carbs in gnocchi. 

Is gnocchi Whole 30 friendly?

Unfortunately, since it has wheat flour, traditional gnocchi is not Whole 30 compliant.

However, if gnocchi is made from cauliflower or alternative flours (chickpea, almond, etc.), gnocchi can be Whole 30 friendly. Potatoes are Whole 30 compliant, so the filling isn’t an issue. 

Essentially, as long as it doesn’t have wheat flour or dairy, gnocchi can fit within your Whole 30 diet.

Is gnocchi vegan?

We’ve covered Whole 30 and Keto, but what about the vegan diet? Is gnocchi vegan?

Since one of gnocchi’s ingredients is eggs, traditional gnocchi is not vegan. However, just like with Whole 30 and Keto, gnocchi can be prepared to be compliant with a vegan diet.

Cauliflower gnocchi is a recommended substitute for vegans. 

What are other options similar to gnocchi that I should try?

Traditional gnocchi, like all pasta, is high in carbs and low in nutrients.

If you’re looking to satisfy a pasta craving, consume more nutrients, and reduce your carb intake, there are many healthy and tasty alternatives to pasta.

Many grocery stores stock pasta made from alternative flours. If you’re trying to reduce your consumption of wheat or gluten, this type of pasta is a great choice.

You can also buy or make vegetable-based noodles, like zoodles (zucchini noodles) or noodles made from squash, beets, or other vegetables.

When sauteed and served with your favorite sauce, vegetable noodles can be nutrient-rich and delicious.

If you’re in a gnocchi-only mood, cauliflower gnocchi is an excellent alternative to traditional gnocchi. Like we’ve mentioned, from cauliflower gnocchi, you get a serving of vegetables and fewer calories while you’re at it.

You can also make pasta or gnocchi. Even if you use traditional ingredients, having more control of the salt and flour-potato ratio allows you to make gnocchi that’s healthier than store-bought options. As always, you can substitute a flour-alternative as well.

Regardless of which healthy option you choose, it’s always best to make your sauce. Store-bought pasta sauce cause can be high in sugar and calories.

For example, one serving of Prego pasta sauce (each can has five servings) has around 10 grams of added sugar.

10 grams of sugar is about one-third of your recommended daily intake! By preparing your sauce, you can eliminate these unhealthy and unnecessary ingredients.

What’s the healthiest option for me?

The healthiest option varies for each individual, but one thing is for sure: eat gnocchi in moderation.

To live your healthiest life, always try to consume a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods, keep your calorie-count within the recommended amount, and consume as many whole foods as possible.

Since gnocchi isn’t high in nutrients and is often processed (if store-bought), it shouldn’t be a food you eat regularly.

Like we’ve mentioned, there are plenty of alternatives to gnocchi that can satisfy a craving and lend themselves to your healthy lifestyle.

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