Hayley Harris RD
It can seem like your low-carb diet tends to limit your food choices to a couple of boring meals, but it doesn’t have to! By swapping out a few high carb foods like bread and pasta for lower carb alternatives, you open up a whole array of new possibilities. What’s even better, these swaps are all vegetables, so we aren’t just cutting carbs, we are actually increasing your access to beneficial nutrients like vitamins minerals, and antioxidants! Check out these easy, and delicious swaps below!
Lettuce for Pitas: It may be the oldest trick in the book, but replacing your sandwich wrap with a large, crunchy piece of lettuce is a satisfying way to still eat a sandwich! This trick not only saves you around 40 grams of carbohydrate, but close to 300 calories as well! Try stuffing butter lettuce, red leaf lettuce, romaine or kale with all your favorite sandwich toppings (hello avocado) to get the most nutrients! A fun trick for smaller pieces of lettuce (like romaine hearts) is to fill them with your favorite toppings like a “boat” and enjoy like an appetizer!
Zucchini for Noodles: Lightly steamed zucchini can be a perfect replacement for chewy noodles. Simply top with olive oil, freshly grated parmesan cheese and your favorite herbs. Don’t worry if you don’t have a spiralizer! You can also slice zucchini very thin and use in place of lasagna noodles in a saucy vegetable lasagna! While a cup of cooked noodles is around 40 grams of carbohydrate, 1 cup of chopped zucchini is only 4! As a bonus, zucchini has high amounts of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and many B vitamins that can help you feel more energized, a better choice than processed noodles any day!
Sweet Potatoes for Toast: Save 25 grams of carbohydrate by replacing 1 piece of toast with 2 pieces of thinly sliced sweet potato. Simply wash the potato, slice lengthwise, and toast in a toaster oven until soft (about 10-12 minutes) flipping halfway through. Top with your favorite toast toppings like tuna salad, a fried egg, or feed your sweet tooth with a natural peanut butter spread and a few dark chocolate chips!
Cauliflower Bits for Rice: Still white, chewy, and delicious, this might be the perfect solution to being able to enjoy stir fry, curry, and favorite rice side dishes on a low carb diet. Simply chop and steam the cauliflower pieces for a few minutes (you can do this in a microwave for convenience) then add to anything that calls for cooked rice! This hack saves you over 35 grams of carbohydrate and 180 calories.
Don’t let yourself get in a funk by thinking of all the things are trying to avoid, instead think of all the nutrition you can add! Low-carb eating doesn’t have to be boring, in fact, by replacing these boring carbohydrate-rich foods with delicious, colorful vegetables, you are actually making meals more enticing!