Low-carb diets have definitely gained a lot of attention as of late, especially with the rise of the keto diet. Fortunately, there are plenty of tasty foods that are also low in carbs.
Here are some low-carb alternatives for higher-carb foods, according to registered dietitians.
Add cheese crisps to your shopping list.
“Cheese crisps can be a low-carb alternative to crackers made with grains,” said registered dietitian Summer Yule, MS, RDN.
Give cauliflower rice a try.
- Nataliya Arzamasova/Shutterstock
“Cauliflower rice is a great low-carb, nutrient-dense substitute for rice when you are looking to save some calories,” registered dietitian Sara De Luca, RD, CPT told INSIDER.
You can find it pre-made in the frozen aisle at the grocery store or you can make your own with a food processor, she added.
Swap pasta for zucchini noodles.
“For the feeling of a pasta dinner without the refined carbohydrates, I definitely recommend zucchini noodles,” registered dietitian Kelsey Peoples, MS, RDN, told INSIDER. Zucchini, in particular, is incredibly low-carb and is high in minerals like potassium.
Get creative with cocoa powder.
- Flickr/Jackie Sobon
“If you are craving chocolate, sometimes a little cocoa powder can hit the spot,” Peoples told INSIDER. She suggests misting walnuts or almonds with olive oil and then coating them with unsweetened cocoa powder for a sweet treat.
Try jicama or parsnip fries.
“Roast jicama or parsnips to replace fries,” registered dietitian Alicia Galvin Smith, MEd, RD, LD, CLT, IFNCP told INSIDER.
She suggests slicing jicama or parsnips into strips, tossing them with oil, seasoning them with salt, cayenne, pepper, and cumin, and then roasting them until crispy.
Zucchini chips are a great snack.
“Instead of snacking on high-carb potato chips, try making zucchini chips instead,” said registered dietitian Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RD. They crisp up without being fried, which means they typically have fewer calories and saturated fat than fried potato chips.
Whip up hash browns with yellow summer squash.
“Try substituting grated yellow summer squash for your usual shredded potato,” said Fillenworth. Plus, it’s fairly low-carb at less than five grams of net carb per squash.
You can mix shredded squash with egg and form the mixture into crispy hash brown-like patties.
Use pistachios as croutons.
- Casey Fleser/Flickr
“Nearly 90% of the fats found in pistachios are the better-for-you mono and polyunsaturated type,” nutritionist Rania Batayneh, MPH told INSIDER.
Pistachios are a great substitute for higher carb croutons on a salad, she added, as they provide a good source of plant protein and fiber that can help keep you fuller longer.
Stick with high-fiber carbohydrates.
“Oftentimes, people consume large portions of pasta, rice, or cereal because these types of carbohydrates are easily overeaten,” said registered dietitian Jillian Kubala, MS, RD.
High-fiber carbohydrate sources like veggies and beans fill you up more quickly, reducing the chances of overeating, she suggested.
Add low-carb vegetables to your diet.
“For those who want to try reducing the overall amount of carbohydrates in their diet, try filling up on fiber-rich, low-carbohydrate veggies,” Kubala told INSIDER.
Kubala suggests vegetables such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and leafy greens.
Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.