Do you have trouble finding low-carb substitutes that actually taste good? As science continues to progress, we are learning as a society that items that are higher in fat like eggs, whole milk and butter, are whole foods that are actually okay to eat these whole foods again. Robust, clinical studies show us that eating more sugar and starches puts people at risk for weight gain and nutrition-related health issues, such as diabetes. Low-carb can be better overall in the fight against diabetes.
I have adopted several low-carb substitutes in my health and fitness journey. I don’t get into the super “out there” or extreme subs (a bun made out of bacon? I don’t think that’s going to be good for anyone. Here are 10 healthy low-carb substitutes that actually taste good!
10 Healthy Low-Carb Substitutes that Actually Taste Good
Lettuce for buns, wraps, and tortillas
Try eating a hamburger or a hot dog sometime with piece of lettuce instead of a traditional bun, and see if you don’t end up having a whole new eating experience! I always knew I liked hamburgers, but I have gotten to where I like hamburgers so much better now that I can savor the meat and cheese with pickles and other veggies without the bun. You can still pick it up and eat a lettuce-wrapped sandwich, but I prefer to eat it with a fork and knife. That means I eat my burger, hot dog, taco, sandwich, etc. more slowly, so I’m not as quick to grab for seconds! Lettuce wraps are great for tacos, sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, fish, and more!
Pickles for buns/bread
If you like pickles as much as I do, you will love eating Pickle-Qs! Scoop out one side of a whole dill pickle and stuff full of your favorite meat. I LOVE pickles and BBQ together, so I like to make Pickle-Q sandwiches stuffed with BBQ and cheese. It’s portable like a hot dog and tasty like a BBQ sandwich, without the added carbs and sugar! You could also try hollowing out a cucumber and filling with turkey, ham, cream cheese, etc. for a low-carb lunch!
Cauliflower for potatoes
This may be TMI, but when I have PMS, I have these overwhelming cravings for carbs, especially macaroni-n-cheese or mashed potatoes. It’s all I won’t, and I feel sick until I get them! (And then I feel sick after I get them.) I think I have about got these cravings licked, however, thanks to cauliflower! Now when the comfort food cravings start kicking in, I make either a batch of loaded mashed cauliflower or a pot of loaded cauliflower soup! It totally hits the spot without adding to that bloated feeling you get during that time (sorry guys reading this…part of life and all).
Cauliflower is like the low-carb mascot. It has a mild flavor and takes on the flavor of whatever dish you’re making. Once upon a time I didn’t even like cauliflower; now I keep bags of cauliflower in my freezer at all times! Even though I adopted mashed and riced cauliflower early on, I couldn’t imagine how making a cauliflower pizza crust could possibly be good. However, it is actually really tasty and not that difficult to make! There’s one part where you have to squeeze the daylights out of it to get all the moisture out, but other than that it’s easy and not anymore laborious than making any other kind of pizza dough.
Cauliflower and Broccoli for Rice
If I had to have a “signature dish”, it would be my chicken spinach rice casserole. Every time I make it differently, and every time it somehow comes out better than the last one. I have slowly started cutting back on the actual brown or black Japonica rice I used to use and have started adding in more cauliflower and broccoli rice. How does one make broccoli or cauliflower rice? Just throw it in the food processor and pulse! It’s so easy…easier than regular rice to make. It’s also amazing in Indian food…something about cauliflower and curry taste so great together that I would rather have cauliflower rice with Indian food than regular rice now, anyway. You don’t lose any flavor, since rice has no flavor anyway, and you cut back on sugar and carbs while increasing your vitamin C, K, B6, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, etc.!
Spaghetti Squash for Noodles
If you have not tried spaghetti squash yet, what are you waiting for? It’s a great way to eat dishes that normally call for pasta without adding to your daily sugar and carb intake. It really is nature’s low-carb spaghetti. Cut in half longways, scoop out the seeds (which you can toast and eat), and bake for about 45 minutes at 350 F. Then, you just take a fork and scoop out the insides. It’s kind of really fun, actually.
I still haven’t gotten onto the zucchini noodle bandwagon yet (my attempts have been pretty disastrous), but zucchinis make great healthy low-carb substitutes for corn tortillas! Zucchini boat enchiladas are amazing, and we make ours so spicy you don’t notice corn tortillas aren’t in there anyway, haha! I have also heard that zucchinis make a really great replacement for lasagna noodles–I definitely need to give that one a try!
Water for soda, juice, and sweet tea
There are so many benefits to drinking water, and I think it’s been drilled into everyone’s heads how bad soda and sugary drinks are for us. And yet, we continue to drink them! Don’t drink your calories–switch to water and watch your body change! If you need some help making the switch, join the Jebbica’s World Aquatober challenge on Facebook!
Nuts instead of chips
I admit–I am a munchy food eater! I like to mindlessly snack, especially if chips are involved. Nuts are are rich in essential nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants, so if you’re going to get the munchies, with nuts you at least will get some good nutritional value!
What are some of your favorite tasty low-carb substitutions? Let us know in the comments section below!