8 Carb Substitutes You Didn't Know You Needed
Carbohydrates are a necessary component of any diet, but as you may discover, replacing them with carb substitutes can bring huge dietary rewards.
When it comes to your meal management, why not just keep things simple?
â€œSimple" meaning natural, fresh and healthy - but that's not to say you should get rid of your carbs! They play an important part in a healthy diet. Between 45 and 65 percent of our daily calories should come from carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, nuts, and seeds.
For a truly balanced diet, we need carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Carbs are the body's main source of energy, keeping us active, awake, and stabilizing our blood-sugar levels. However, it is shown that low-carb diets are proven to be extremely effective in losing body fat. Take a stroll through our guide to explore unique carb maneuvers and learn what foods you can use as carb substitutes.
Ditch It: Spaghetti Noodles
Switch It: Squash Noodles
Spaghetti noodles have carbs and fat written all over them. Sure, they are good once in a while, but they are filling and not especially nutritional. Squash, on the other hand, is low in both salt and fat, and contains antioxidants and vitamins, unlike spaghetti pasta. Simply cut a squash in half and remove the seeds. Then boil or bake until it is tender, and use a fork to scrape the squash into strands. You might just be amazed with the results!
Ditch It: Mashed Potatoes
Switch It: Mashed Cauliflower
Potatoes are heavy in starch and high in carbs. Cauliflower happens to be one of the most popular carb substitutes for all potatoes in general, as it is a nourishing and dietary vegetable containing much less of a carb-count than potatoes. You will need to steam the cauliflower, and break it down in a blender or food processor. Throw in your desired additions, such as butter, spices, or cheese and it will still be less fattening than standard mashed potatoes.
Ditch It: Rice
Switch It: Quinoa
Quinoa is a powerful food famous in the vegan world. It contains heavy protein (1 cup equaling 8g), much fiber, and more magnesium and calcium than both white and brown rice. Quinoa also has a lower fat content than rice, and it can take the place of rice in anything you eat! Among carb substitutes, we think quinoa is a prizewinner.
Ditch It: Hamburger Buns
Switch It: Portobello Mushrooms
The only thing hamburger buns contribute to are the buns on your body. Seriously, cut them out of your diet! They are a waste of fat and carbohydrates. At least use thin/flat bread when you can, or even better, use Portobello mushrooms as carb substitutes for the buns. We're always told to eat our mushrooms, because they have many macronutrients, a high amount of fiber, potassium, B vitamins, and around 30 calories. You can't beat the health in mushrooms. You may just have to acquire the taste, though.
Ditch It: Pasta Noodles
Switch It: Carrot Pasta
Using a vegetable peeler, slice the carrots into ribbons, and if you desire, you can sautÃ© them with mushroom, pepper, tomato, and delicious basil. Cooked carrot ribbons will feed you way less calories and carbohydrates than pasta noodles will.
Ditch It: Bagels
Switch It: Apple Bagels
Count bagel bread as dead in your dieting plan. Whether it's plain, salted, or cranberry-raisin, bagels are a carb-full treat. Trade it with something healthy yet sweet, like a Granny Smith or Fuji apple. If you're a fan of apples, you know they go with just about any topping, but they are best with other fruits, peanut butter, or cream cheese. Use sliced apples as carb substitutes for your future bagels and you will have a breakfast full of vitamins.
Ditch It: Tortilla Wraps
Switch It: Spinach Wraps
Tortilla wraps are composed of flour, cornstarch, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and little protein. Spinach is a definite recommendation for carb substitutes because it bypasses the useless components of tortilla wraps. Spinach contains vitamin K, which maintains bone health, antioxidants, which serve as anti-inflammatories, and a whole list of other vitamins and minerals. With only 41 calories and such significant nutritional value, spinach is needed in any healthy diet.
Ditch It: Crackers
Switch It: Cucumber Slices
Lastly, forget about crackers, along with the rest of those packaged and processed chip bags. They are all unhealthy and full of carbs! They will also have you hungry for more in an hour. Cucumbers contain less than half the amount of calories and carbohydrates than one serving of crackers. Do we need to say more? Spice up your snack bites by using cucumber slices as carb substitutes and that will be another advantage to your nutrition and meal management.
Just remember to be carb-conscious. Though carbs keep us energized, the energy carbs supply us does not compare to protein. We see carbs as being temporarily satisfying, which is why we pay more attention to protein intake. Be smart about your own meal management system, and above all, be prepared for what the day demands of you. Instead of filling your stomach with empty carbs, fill your sports duffle bag, gym tote, or gym backpack with a good amount of protein or protein supplements, and small amounts of carbs/fat to keep you on track all day long!