Do low-carb diets have you worried that you will no longer get that satisfaction you normally get from eating food? Not to worry. Low-carb diets might seem a bit scary at first, but it is still possible to enjoy some of those carby classics without suffering from a post chow-down carb coma. Switching out the starch for whole natural foods will help decrease your sugar in-take and increase your fiber intake. In fact, lower carb diets are linked to more weight loss, and better overall body composition – more lean muscle and less fat compared to diets of higher carbs with the same caloric intake. So ask yourself, what would you rather be – skinny fat or muscular and lean?
Here are 5 quick carb switches to take your diet from carb heavy to carb light!
SWITCH #1: Pasta for Squash
Squash is not only low on the glycemic index and full of fiber, it also comes in a wide variety options that can easily substitute for pasta in some of your favorite dishes. Like lasagna? Use thinly cut sheets of zucchini between meat and sauce. Enjoy spaghetti? Bake a spaghetti squash for 40 minutes in the oven, cool and scoop. Once it’s cooked, spaghetti squash becomes stringy – just like spaghetti pasta!
SWITCH #2: Potato for Cauliflower
Once cauliflower is cooked, it can be mashed in a similar way to a potato – either by hand or by food processor. And it mashes up with a similar consistency to potatoes but with much less carbs. One cup of cauliflower delivers just 5 g of carbs and 2 g of fiber, compared to one potato that provides 17 g of carbs! Cauliflower also delivers a healthy dose of indole-3-carbinol, a natural estrogen reducer that can help keep your male hormones balanced.
SWITCH #3: Potato for Squash or Sweet Potato
Potatoes can be found in many recipes, but the good news, there is more than one alternative that can offer up fewer calories, carbs and more fiber. Fans of stews or hearty soups can try chopped up squash like butternut, acorn or zucchini instead of potato. Like Sheppard’s pie? Top it with smashed sweet potato instead of mashed white potato.
SWITCH #4: Wraps For Lettuce
You might think that eating a beef burger on lettuce is just not macho enough, but eating refined carbs like flour will not help your abs appear any sooner. Instead of buns or wraps, use lettuces like ice burger or romaine as a boat for your meat sandwich. Cored out cucumbers, baked sweet potatoes and zucchinis can also do a great job. Too much work and too messy? Make a salad instead.
SWITCH #5: Flour for Cauliflower
Cauliflower doesn’t only replace potatoes; it can also make a good replacement for dishes that call for flour. Mashed and drained cauliflower can make a good base for a flat bread crust or even a pancake. Add egg whites, flax seed and a bit of coconut oil to bind cauliflower together. Flatten into a plan and bake on low until moisture is removed, and light brown. Want to make a pancake instead? Add shredded coconut, shredded carrot or sweet potato, cinnamon, stevia to this recipe, portion and cook in a non-stick pan.