These days, there are a million different diets out there. A majority of those diets claim that too many carbs are bad, but what they really mean is that too many carbs will make you fat. These diets are right for the most part; extra carbs will be stored as fat, but keep in mind that you do need some carbs for energy. Regardless of which diet you follow, watching your carb intake is very important if you are trying to lose weight or maintain it. This especially important for vegetarians and vegans because many replace the calories from protein with carbs. Luckily, there are many healthy (and delicious) substitutions you can make to avoid a carb overload. Here is my healthy living guide of substitutes for carbs.
1. THE CARB: Spaghetti
SUBSTITUTION: Spaghetti Squash
This is one of my personal favorites. I love spaghetti squash with garlic, olive oil, chopped tomato and basil. Click here for instructions on how to cook spaghetti squash.
2. THE CARB: White Bread
SUBSTITUTION: Lettuce or Cabbage
Whole wheat bread or pita bread is a healthy alternative, however if you are tying to cut carbs, use lettuce or cabbage. Lettuce works great with sandwiches or burgers and it’s 100% skinny approved.
*Always check the ingredients of the bread you buy. Some gluten-free breads have a lot of carbs and many low-carb breads have questionable ingredients.
3. THE CARB: Rice
Quinoa is considered a grain (it’s actually a seed) that originates from the Andes in South America. It is low-fat, gluten-free, and packed with protein. Quinoa is a vegetarian’s dream.
Quick Tip: I cook my quinoa just like rice, in the rice cooker.
4. THE CARB: Cereal
SUBSTITUTION: Low sugar, whole grain, cereal, or oatmeal
These substitutions are not always low carb, but it is much healthier to avoid processed, sugary cereals. Also just because a cereal is organic, does not mean it’s good for you. Always check cereal ingredients before you buy. Healthy Home blog has a few recipes on how to make healthy cereal from scratch.
5. THE CARB: Flour Tortilla
SUBSTITUTION: Corn Tortilla
Corn tortillas have fewer carbs, fat, and calories than flour tortillas.
6. THE CARB: Pizza
SUBSTITUTION: Cauliflower Crust Pizza
This may sound weird at first, but trust me, it is so good. My whole family loves it. Check out my recipe for Cauliflower crust pizza! So yummy!
7. THE CARB: Crackers or chips
SUBSTITUTION: Brown rice cakes, kale chips, crunchy veggies
Check out this recipe from Refinery29 for different variations of kale chips you can make at home.
8. THE CARB: Pancakes
SUBSTITUTION: Oatmeal and cottage cheese pancakes
The South Beach Diet is well-known for this recipe: Mix together half a cup of old-fashioned oatmeal, a quarter cup of low-fat cottage cheese, two eggs, and a dash each of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Process in a blender until smooth. Cook the mixture like a regular pancake.
9. THE CARB: Lasagna
This is such a great idea: Use zucchini strips instead of the pasta in lasagna! Check out this recipe from SkinnyTaste. To make it vegetarian, simply skip the meat or replace with your choice of veggies.