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Health and Fitness News

The Great Carb Swap

Going low carb? Swap out high carb foods for these healthier alternatives.

By now you’ve heard about low-carb diets for years. Regardless of what else you’ve heard, you know have a high success rate for weight loss. So you’ve decided to give it a try.

Low-carb diets work for a simple reason. When you’re not eating carbohydrates for energy, your body begins to burn fat, and you lose weight. The great part is that even a slight reduction in your carb intake can have a positive impact on your weight.

The only problem is you like carbs. So cutting them from your daily diet will be no easy task. If you want to cut down on your carbs, you’ll need some help. As you plan meals, here are a few simple food swaps to help cut carbs and reach your weight-loss goals.

Lettuce Wrap

You may be used to eating sandwiches or wraps for lunch, but if you’re cutting carbs, the bread and tortillas have to go. Instead, make a wrap using a large lettuce leaf. This one swap will save you at least 12 grams of carbs. Fill your wrap with deli meat, cheese, and veggies. Tuna, egg, or chicken salad are also great fillings.

Cauliflower Rice

White rice is a common part of many people’s diets. Stir frys, casseroles, curries, and soups are often filled with rice. As you probably know, white rice is carb heavy. Swap out white rice for cauliflower rice and you’ll slash your carb intake by two-thirds. With cauliflower, you’re also getting more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Look for cauliflower rice in the freezer section of your grocery store or make your own using a food processor.

Zucchini Noodles

Want to go low carb but don’t know if you can give up pasta? Try zucchini noodles in place of your traditional linguine or spaghetti noodles. With only four grams of carbs per serving compared to 35 grams, zucchini pasta allows you to enjoy your pasta without overdoing the carbs. Zucchini noodles aren’t just low in carbohydrates. They’re also gluten-free and filled with nutrients as well. With the right appliance you can even make zucchini noodles yourself. Don’t have the right appliance? Find them in the freezer or produce department at the grocery store.

Plain Yogurt

Yogurt provides plenty of calcium, protein, and probiotics. Unfortunately, most yogurts are also filled with added sugar and carbs. Choose plain low-fat yogurt and add your own fruit for sweetness and save more than 30 grams of carbs. If you don’t care for the taste of plain yogurt, look for yogurt varieties with reduced amounts of added sugar.

Mashed Cauliflower

You love mashed potatoes. Who doesn’t? Sadly, it’s hard to justify their 32 grams of carbohydrates on a low-carb diet. Next time you crave a side of creamy mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower instead. You’ll only swallow 10 grams of carbs and possibly find a new favorite food.

Seltzer

Soda is one indulgence you should give up whether or not you go low carb. Regular soft drinks are extremely high in carbs and added sugar. One 12-ounce can contains 40 grams of carbs, twice your daily recommended amount of sugar, and zero nutrients. A low-carb substitute for soda is seltzer. This carbonated water contains zero carbs and zero calories. If desired, add a little juice for sweetness.

Veggie Sticks

Looking for a low-carb snack and wish you had something to enjoy with your dips, cheese, and sauces? Instead of chips or crackers, use veggies sticks or cucumber slices. Baby carrots, sliced peppers, or celery sticks are great for dipping.