How to Substitute Carbs Without Being Miserable

Our resident nutritionist shares ways to cut back on carbs without feeling hangry and deprived.

Food Network Kitchen's Breadless Italian Sub Sandwich For Bunless/Breadless Sandwiches As seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Carbohydrate-rich foods remain in the cross hairs of dieters. And anyone who has felt pangs of carb withdrawal will tell you, it can be a miserable experience. Whether you’re suffering from a case of carb-phobia or simply trying to cut back, here are some swaps to help you feel less hangry. 

What Counts as a Carb?

An often-misunderstood nutrient, carbs are more than just bagels and pizza. Grains like wheat, oats, barley and rice — whether eaten in their intact state or ground into flours to make cereals, breads and pasta — also count as carbs. Whole grain options like brown rice and 100% whole grain breads offer more vitamins, minerals and digestion-slowing fiber.

Carbs also include fruits, vegetables and high sugar-foods like cakes, cookies, candy, soda and other sugary drinks. Fear of carbs often drives people to give up breads, pasta and cereals, but a smarter way to cut carbs might be to say so long to high-sugar foods. If less grain-based carbs are what you want to slash, here are 5 satisfying swaps for the foods on your carb-y hit list. 

Bye-Bye Bread

Stack your sammies between apple slices, cucumber boats or broiled portobello mushroom caps.

Recipe: Breadless Italian Sub Sandwich (pictured above)

Rice for "Riced" Veggies 

FNK HEALTHY CAULIFLOWER RICE, Food Network Kitchen, Cauliflower, Olive Oil, Onion, Parsley, Lemon,FNK HEALTHY CAULIFLOWER RICE, Food Network Kitchen, Cauliflower, Olive Oil, Onion, Parsley, Lemon

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Riced vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato and beets can be used in place of rice in stir fry, burritos and casseroles.

Spiralized Veggies for Pasta

Everyone has had a zoodles by now but try tossing your favorite sauce with ribbons of carrots, beets and asparagus. 

Potato for Pizza Dough

Geoffrey Zakarian makes Sweet Potato Crust, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Cooked sweet potatoes with gluten-free almond flour make a crispy foundation for your favorite toppings.  

Leaves for Wraps 

Melissa-dArabian-Turkey-Lettuce-Wraps

Melissa-dArabian-Turkey-Lettuce-Wraps

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tuck taste fillings into crunchy leaves of lettuce instead of flour tortillas and save hundreds of calories.

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