There are many reasons why people go on a low-carb diet. Some want to cut weight, while others want a healthier lifestyle by reducing sugar intake. Whatever your reasons, there are many ways to cut down on carbs and still satisfy your food cravings. Here are seven low-carb food swap ideas to get you started on your food journey.
Cheese Chips for Crackers
If you’re feeling peckish and want to avoid the extra carbs from traditional crackers, consider preparing cheese chips at home. They have the same crunch without the extra calories and are a neat snack idea for guests and kids.
This crispy snack idea is also easy to prepare. All you need are two ingredients — cheddar and parmesan cheese. Mix both cheeses in a bowl, arrange them in mounds on a non-stick pan, and throw them in the oven for 8–10 minutes until toasted. You have a crispy and tasty low-carb snack to enjoy in minutes.
Zucchini Noodles for Pasta
Can you make a low-carb pasta dish? You sure can with zucchini noodles. You can buy ready-made ones at supermarkets and other veggie pasta substitutes like butternut squash and beet noodles. They cook like traditional noodles and offer a creative twist to your pasta dishes.
Consider cooking garlic shrimp pasta with zucchini noodles — it’s tasty, easy to prepare, and low in carbs. It’s a quick and delicious meal idea for lunch, dinner, and a good afternoon snack. This dish is especially helpful if you want to lose weight while eating gluten-free since you’ll use unprocessed ingredients.
Spaghetti Squash for Pasta
There are lots of ways to go low-carb and still satisfy your cravings. If you don’t like zucchini, spaghetti squash is another great option that closely emulates the look of regular spaghetti. Exchange your traditional pasta for spaghetti squash, add some garlic, meatballs, olive oil, and tomatoes, and you’re all set.
You just need to be creative with your options when cutting down on carbs. What you want to sacrifice is calories, not your cravings.
Pepperoni Slices for Chips
It’s easy to develop cravings for the salty crunch of potato chips. When you find yourself hankering for this tasty snack, simply swap the starch for something equally savory, like baked pepperoni slices. This way, you can cut carbs while getting the same crunch and saltiness of traditional potato chips.
If you’re planning to go keto — a low-carb diet where you get calories from protein and fat — then this is a great dish to add to your menu. It’s a perfect snack alternative if you track calories or just want to avoid eating processed foods. Even better, you get an added kick of flavor from the pepperoni. This meat is a great source of protein, making it ideal for dieting, so feel free to snack on some whenever cravings strike.
Lettuce Leaves for Sandwiches
Bread is a difficult food to avoid when going on a low-carb diet. The reason is simple — it’s just too good to pass up. The good news is lettuce leaves are a good alternative, especially if you want to add some satisfying crunch to your sandwich.
Lettuce is a lighter and healthier option for these on-the-go snacks. Think of ham or bacon sandwiches with your favorite dressing or spread. You can add some tomatoes to get a tastier, more colorful wrap.
Chopped Cauliflower for Rice
For some, rice is a daily food staple they just can’t shake. You can still get full while cutting down on carbs by choosing chopped cauliflower as a rice substitute. This is easy to incorporate into your meal plans as you can get it pre-made at supermarkets.
If you like a more hands-on approach, you can make your own by chopping cauliflower into tiny pieces or using a food processor. Either way, this is a great carb-cutting option as there are only 5 grams of carbs in a cup compared to 45 in a cup of white rice.
Carrots for French Fries
It’s challenging to pass up on everyone’s favorite fried food, but it’s possible. Use carrots instead of potatoes next time you’re craving some french fries. It’s a sweet, low-carb alternative that will give your side dishes a colorful twist.
Remember to use thin slices of carrots and bake them to achieve that perfect balance of crunch and crisp. Of course, be generous with seasonings or make a dip on the side for an extra kick of flavor.
Have Your Low-Carb Treat and Eat It Too
The human body needs carbs to function, so follow your dietician’s recommendations before considering a low-carb diet. There are many ideas to consider if you want to cut weight and still enjoy eating — you just need to be open to various options and try which ones work for you.