Simple Swaps To Cut Carbs and Calories
Let me start this first by saying that some carbs in your diet are completely fine, but most of us are consuming WAY too many carbs without even realizing it. We tend to overeat carbs because it’s easy to do so – they don’t keep us as full as fat and protein. Unfortunately, this overload of carbs and calories leads to weight gain, blood sugar issues, and various chronic diseases.
Read below to learn simple swaps to decrease carbs and calories in your diet:
Instead of rice…
All forms of rice are high in carbs and calories, and are low in fiber, low in protein, and low in fat. What happens when you eat something high in carbs and low in everything else? You eat more and more because it takes longer to get full and satisfied.
Use cauliflower rice!
You can either make cauliflower rice at home by finely chopping cauliflower or by using a blender, or go the easy route and buy already riced cauliflower from the grocery store. Cauliflower rice has that same crunch as regular rice and acts as a great base for meals – without the calories and carbs.
Instead of pasta…
It’s no secret that pasta is very dense in carbs and calories – one cup has at least 40 grams of carbs and over 200 calories! And this is without sauce or anything else added to it, plus most individuals eat double or triple the serving size – talk about a food coma!
Use butternut squash!
Butternut squash noodles still give you that texture of pasta but without all of the carbs and calories! One cup of squash noodles has around 80 calories and 15 grams of net carbs. Many restaurants now offer butternut squash rather than pasta noodles or you can make it at home yourself.
Instead of pancake flour…
Flour for making pancakes tends to be high in calories, high in carbs, and low in nutritional value.
Replace the flour with a mashed banana! Bananas have some carbs, but they also have fiber, vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal health.
Instead of jams and jellies…
Jams and jellies are normally made of sugar, syrup, artificial flavoring and colorings – you’re better off with just plain sugar in this case!
Mash up some berries and use this instead! Berries have enough sweetness on their own and don’t need all of the sugars and syrups added to make them taste good.
Instead of toast
Toast tends to be high in carbs and low in fiber.
Use sweet potato
Thinly sliced baked sweet potato not only tastes delicious, but also cuts down on carbs and gives you more fiber.
Instead of tortilla
Tortillas tend to be the highest in terms of calories and carbs – you’re better off with bread if you had to choose between the two!
The best part of a burrito or taco is the filling, so skip the tortilla shell and use a lettuce leaf instead!
Instead of chips
Think about how chips are so easy to overeat, it’s because they are high in carbs and calories, and low in fiber and nutrition.
Use sliced veggies
Sliced veggies like carrots still give you that crunch but are much lower in calories and carbs and high in nutritional value.
Instead of mashed potatoes
White potatoes are packed with carbs and low in fiber.
Use mashed cauliflower
You won’t be able to tell the difference! An easy way to make mashed cauliflower is to steam cauliflower until it is soft, then mash yourself or use a blender. Super simple and delicious without all of the calories and carbs.
Not only are the above foods going to help to cut carbs and empty calories from your diet, but they are also a great way to add more nutrients into your diet!
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab
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