5 Smart Substitutions to Lower Your Weekly Carb Intake – including recipe links!!!
In response to my homework prompt I received on my last appointment visit, I have decided to do a little exploration into the world of food substitutes and alternatives. As you may already be aware, my favorite food group has always been “Carbs.” Needless to say, being on a low-carb diet has proven somewhat of a challenge for me. But never fear carb cravers – there’s many options healthy options and alternatives to curb the carb count of some of my old favorite carb laden meals.
With my Italian background, my family and I have always loved to celebrate get together and holiday events with pasta. It has always been a go-to meal for my husband and I on the weeknights because it is so simple and easy to make. Most pasta sold in the supermarket however is loaded with carbs that can quickly derail your low-carb diet. Beware, while Dreamfield’s is a brand of pasta that claims it is low-carb, if you check the back of the box, you will find out technically it is not!
A better alternative, in my opinion, is called Carba-Nada with only 24g net carb per serving! Hallelujah! The trick to eating a healthy meal of pasta is load in the protein and veggies. Don’t make your plate piled only with noodles and sauce.
Try this super delicious recipe from the Carba-Nada website:
Typically high in carbs due to the amount of flour needed to make them, Pancakes are unfortunately one of those breakfast items that I think you should treat yourself to only once in awhile. But they can’t be an everyday indulgence. Using almond flour instead of regular flour or even wheat flour is a surefire way to cut back on the carbs.
Almond vs. Wheat Flour
100g of almond flour = 20g carb (approx.)
100g of wheat flour = 73g of carbs (approx.)
I found my favorite lower carb pancake recipe on All Recipes with only 243 calories and 10g of carbs per serving!
Macaroni & Cheese
Let’s be honest, sometimes you just need that cheesy goodness to warm your belly. The key with treating yourself to mac and cheese is portion control. There are a lot of “faux” recipes out there, but I don’t think you can replicate the true deliciousness of mac and cheese any other way than using noodles. However, as with pasta, you can add veggies and protein and sub cream for half/half or milk to cut down on amount of fat and “beef-up” your recipe with hearty and nutritious ingredients.
I found a recipe that that calls for a whole pound of squash. With 31g carbs & 260 calories per serving you will have to limit your portion intake! But just an example that carbs in moderation can be done, even when eating your favorite comfort foods.
You could say mashed potatoes are somewhat of my weakness. There is just something about it that I can’t ever seem to get enough of. Did you know cauliflower can be a great partial substitute for your favorite mashed potato recipe?? (I didn’t until Dr. Christy told me!).
Rather than completely swapping potatoes out, here’s a recipe goes half and half and combines it with greek yogurt and garlic for flavor. Note to carb & calorie watchers: This recipe has huge portion sizes so I would recommend only half a cup with 14 net carbs and 84 calories. Yum!
There are just a few ways to reduce your cab intake. But even when eating carbs I always remind myself of the following so my carb control doesn’t get ‘out of control:
- What’s my total carb intake? For the day.. for the week.
- Always supplement with veggies and protein (don’t just eat the Mac N Cheese)
- Track it & Factor it Into Your Week
- It’s not one day that kills your waistline… it’s a series of bad days :)
These are just an example of some of the low carb alternatives and substitutes I have found but there are tons more out there. If you have your own favorite low-carb recipe substitute, please email to LiveLight so I can try it.