What low carb substitutes replace high carb foods?
Eating a low carb diet sounds great! Lets go! But, wait. Before you start reading labels like your life depends on it (and it might), lets go over some options to replace what you are used to eating already.
There are actually plenty of options out there, but you have to understand what food labels really mean and you may have to figure out how to cook at least a little bit depending on what types of foods you are used to eating regularly.
Bread kills! Okay, maybe not kills, but bread is pretty much nothing but carbs. However, there are some smarter choices within the bread isle if you just can’t go without bread. We dropped sliced bread out of our daily food intake along with most buns.
You can look for the high fiber count breads which help, but you’ll still find the carbs are high in most pre-made breads. When counting carbs, you can subtract the fiber count from the whole carb count.
Tortillas come in low-carb options and with a couple of different brands. We use these a lot for breakfast wraps and Mexican style dinners.
The most impact we’ve found when countering the bread cravings is to make our own using non-wheat based flours like cheese, almond meal and cauliflower recipes.
Pasta is another biggy when it comes to high carb foods that taste great! Does this mean that you can never eat a bowl of spaghetti again? Well no, one great substitution for spaghetti noodles is to use spaghetti squash.
We’ve done this a few times kids love the noodles covered in the meat sauce! Certain types of Asian noodles are low carb. Again, read the labels and look for Shirataki and tofu noodles, but beware that they just don’t have the same texture and sometimes can smell funky.
If you are just cutting back on carbs and allowing yourself more than 20g you can still eat pasta occasionally. Just cook it until it is al dente as this reduces the glycemic level in the pasta, which is what makes your blood sugar levels increase. We use a brand called Dreamfields which has had some difficulties on the market with their claim that they have a low carb pasta. But, for us, it works and is still like the regular pasta we all love so much.
Most cereals are also loaded with carbs and one cup will often be more than your daily allowance! You will need to be extremely careful when choosing a low carb cereal. Read the labels and watch the sugar levels. Look for cereals like All Bran and certain boxes of Special K which are lower carb than others. If you are just starting out on your low carb diet then avoiding cereal altogether is your best bet. We don’t even buy it anymore.
Certain online stores are more likely to carry low carb cereals along with flours. So if you don’t mind shopping on line this is a good way to buy all kinds of low carb products.
Even though potatoes are a vegetable, they are responsible for creating high spikes in your blood sugar level. One of the most popular substitutions for potatoes is using cauliflower and cutting it small or mashing it up! Turnips and rutabagas can also be substituted for potatoes, plus they have a high fibre count.
Cookies, Crackers and Sweets
Regular crackers are high in carbs, luckily there are more varieties of lower carb crackers on the market today. It is just a matter of reading the labels when you are out grocery shopping. We make crackers out of cheese. Yep, they are good too! Just cut up slices of your favorite cheese and bake on parchment paper for 10 – 20 minutes, depending on the type of cheese. Add your own spices if you want.
If you enjoy baking then you will need to change the flour that you bake with. Switch from regular cake and pastry flour to flours containing flax meal and almond meal. These can be substituted into your recipes and provide you with a lower carb count. An important note about pre-made no-sugar-added baked goods. Most of them still have an incredibly high carb count which is no good! They usually have the same type of wheat based flour that converts to sugar in your body and creates the same issues that regular sugar does.
When it comes to jams, jellies and sauces look for those that are sugar free. Peanut butter is actually a great choice and is wonderful for spreading onto celery sticks and low fat tortillas for a quick snack or lunch.
Unfortunately, when it comes to sugary products they are all loaded with carbs. You will want to look for brands that have low carb and sugar free products. When out shopping look in the diabetic or gluten-free section for some possibilities. But be careful as not all gluten free products are low carb.
With some careful research, especially when out shopping, you will in time find substitutions for your favorite foods. At first don’t worry about baking goods. Just get into the habit of eating lower carb choices.