Sticking to a healthy diet can be challenging, mainly when so many options exist. But don't worry; we have you covered in this list of the best low-carb substitutes for any diet. From vegetables and fruits to meats and dairy, these substitutes will help you stay on track, eating fewer carbs without entirely changing your way of eating.
What is a low-carb diet?
A low-carb diet is a diet that restricts the number of carbohydrates you consume. Since carbohydrates are the most important consideration for managing insulin and glucose, a low-carb way of eating is the go-to strategy for losing weight in our modern carb-rich food environment. Since most of us are eating too many carbs, finding ways to substitute carb-heavy foods for low-carb foods is an effective strategy to control our carb intake.
We must accept that our eating strategy must always consider how many carbohydrates we eat. Even if weight loss isn't your goal, a high-carb diet promotes inflammation and reduces lifespan.
It's something only some people should do. So we all need to watch our carb intake. Having a list of low-carb recipes and substitutions is a great way to control carb intake without obsessing over it.
The Top Low-carb substitutions
Following a low-carb diet, you must know what substitutions you can make for your favorite foods. Here are some low-carb substitutes for common foods:
- Replacing bread with keto alternatives like almond or coconut flour options.
- Replace pasta with zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice.
- Replacing sugar with stevia or other sugar substitutes.
- Replacing processed food with fresh homemade ingredients over store-bought stuff.
Other common low-carb substitutions
Following a low-carb diet, you'll need to find substitutions for your favorite foods. Some of the most common low-carb substitutes include:
- Cauliflower rice: Many people substitute cauliflower rice for rice since it has a similar texture and is virtually no carbs. Just be sure to adjust the number of spices or seasonings you use since cauliflower rice tends to be bland.
- Meat: Anytime you can replace any other food with meat, do so. Since beef is zero-carb, substitute food will decrease your carb intake.
- Nut butter is an excellent replacement for cheese or other creamy recipe ingredients. They're also high in healthy fats and calories, so use them sparingly if following a low-carb diet.
- Low-Carb Veggies: A variety of low-carb veggies can easily take the place of high-carb options like potatoes or pasta. Try substituting cauliflower for mashed potatoes, zucchini for spaghetti noodles, and broccoli for macaroni and cheese. Some of the best low-carbohydrate vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and cabbage. These vegetables are high in fiber and nutrients and are relatively low in calories.
- Eggs are a classic low-carb food. They also contain essential amino and fatty acids, making them one of nature's most perfect foods.
- Low-carb dairy. Cheese and cream are great, low-carb options that add texture and flavor to your meals. Sour cream can make almost anything taste better.
Low-carb baked goods. There are surprisingly many low-carb baked goods options you can enjoy. They take a little bit of extra prep and planning—and some trial and error—but you can find delicious ways to cut the carbs in cakes, cookies, pies, and biscuits.
If you're looking for a classic cookie, try making almond flour or sugar-free sugar cookie. Almond flour is an excellent substitute for regular flour in many recipes, and sugar-free sugar cookies are also a tasty way to reduce sugar intake.
Pies can be made using almost any filling you desire. Some popular choices include pumpkin pie, peach pie, and blueberry pie. All you need is ground flaxseed or chia seeds for the crust and your favorite filling ingredients (such as sweetener, butter, and milk.
Biscuits can be made using almost any type of flour. You can even make gluten-free biscuits using almond or coconut flour.
- Taco shells: Substitute with coconut wraps or make a taco bowl.
- Soup: Try making a low-carb version of bouillon or chicken noodle soup using broth and canned vegetables.
- Low-carb, gluten-free spaghetti with meat sauce
Every healthy diet has to watch carbs. So having a go-to list of approved substitutions will ensure long-term success.