Healthy Alternatives To Carbs
Eating healthy is a tricky situation. If you want to live on this Earth as long as you possibly can, being mindful of what you eat is essential. You don’t have to give up sugary desserts or greasy foods entirely. Enjoying those every now and then is an honest and wonderful part of being alive. That said, everything should be enjoyed in moderation. Foods full of carbohydrates especially. At the end of the day, these types of food aren’t bad. They just aren’t what you should be having all the time.
But that then brings up an important question. What do you eat when you can’t eat carbs? What healthy alternatives are out there? And which ones still taste good? Well, here is a beginner’s list of ideas for you to play with and enjoy eating.
To start, we have to look at lentils. Lentils are a legume, like beans, that are high in protein. You can eat them in their original form or you can have them as a pasta, a rice, and much more. Lentils also come with MANY great benefits and nutrients such as being high in fiber, being gluten-free, and taking longer to digest in pasta. That last note means that you can stay full longer than if you eat a bunch of heavy pasta.
That said, lentils aren’t that much of a shift from regular pasta. This is because lentils typically have 37 grams of carbohydrates (200 calories). Meanwhile, wheat pasta has 44 grams (210 calories). So, let's move on to other options.
2. Sweet Potato
Next, we can swap out potatoes with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are delicious and yet less caloric than regular potatoes. On top of that, they come with a bunch of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you want to try sweet potatoes out, try baking them, mashing them, or baking them in wedges to make thick sweet potato fries. Trust us that sweet potatoes taste great with some extra flavor provided by salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
The next option is zucchini! Here’s another option for a pasta alternative. Cut up zucchini into thin ribbons and serve it as a pasta replacement. It’ll add an extra flavor without substituting any substance to the meal. Just make sure to cook it properly so you don’t end up with crunchy ribbons. You could do this in a pasta dish where you’d use thin stripes like angel hair or spaghetti or you can even make lasagna noodles out of zucchini.
4. Cauliflower Or Broccoli Rice
Next, we have Cauliflower. Cauliflower can be great as a replacement for rice, which is VERY high in carbohydrates. Cauliflower rice is quick and easy to make and it is just as filling as regular rice. Even if you just swapped it out with regular rice sometimes, you can enjoy a new sense of variety in your meals. And you know what could add to that variety? Mixing your meals up with broccoli rice too. Both options are delicious and equally quick to make. Plus, they are big in fiber and packed with nutrients. On top of that, they add color to your plate.
Also, let’s quickly throw in cauliflower pizza dough. If you don’t want all the carbs from regular pizza dough, go to the market and crab a dough using a cauliflower base. If not, you can make your own dough by blending or finely chopping cauliflower before combining it with cheese and egg. From there, top your pizza with the sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice.
Ever heard of a lettuce wrap? Well, you should invest in some. Get iceberg or romaine lettuce. Either can save up to 37 grams of net carbs. Wrap your lettuce of choice over meats like chicken, vegetables like peppers, cheeses, and more. You can imitate a burrito, a wrap, a burger, and more using this method of food.
Next, we have to consider Kale for our list of carbohydrate replacements. Kale is a wonderful vegetable to get acquainted with. One great idea to enjoy with kale is to enjoy them in chip form. They can be a nice change from potato chips. You can then enjoy them as a snack or a side to a bigger meal.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Meanwhile, tear up your kale into bite-sized pieces. Then wash, toss, and dry your kale. From there, drizzle your kale in olive oil and sprinkle seasoning of your choice. Salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika are great options. Place your kale in the oven on a baking sheet and cook them for 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Nut Flours
Next, try flours made from nuts. This could be almond flour, acorn flour, hazelnut flour, or coconut flour. All are great options. These flours are low in carbohydrates but still pack the right substance and support for your flour-based foods like pizza, fried chicken, pancakes, cookies, and more.
8. Portobello Mushrooms
Lastly, we have Portobello mushrooms. Portobello mushrooms are great for enjoying just as they are, but they can also be a great alternative to carbohydrates. Specifically, there is a big trend for using these mushrooms as a replacement for hamburger buns. If you want to be just a little bit more healthy and eco-conscious, or if you just want to try something different, try using Portobello mushrooms for your burger sandwiches.
To do this, brush the mushrooms with olive oil and salt. Then, roast them in your oven for 8 to ten minutes. When you take them out, check them for softness. You want to the softness of a burger bun, remember? After that, you can add whatever extras you’d like such as sesame seeds or sauces of your choice.