How to Substitute Carbs Without Being Miserable
Our resident nutritionist shares ways to cut back on carbs without feeling hangry and deprived.
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.
Stack your sammies between apple slices, cucumber boats or broiled portobello mushroom caps.
Recipe: Breadless Italian Sub Sandwich (pictured above)
Rice for "Riced" Veggies
Riced vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato and beets can be used in place of rice in stir fry, burritos and casseroles.
Recipe: Healthy Cauliflower Rice
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
Cooked sweet potatoes with gluten-free almond flour make a crispy foundation for your favorite toppings.
Recipe: Sweet Potato Pizza Crust
Leaves for Wraps
Tuck taste fillings into crunchy leaves of lettuce instead of flour tortillas and save hundreds of calories.
Recipe: Turkey Lettuce Wraps