Easy ways to cut back on carbs and eat low-carb meals
Cutting back on carbohydrates might seem impossible since so many foods have them. But it’s actually not as difficult as you might think. There are plenty of alternative foods you can eat that are low-carb, high-protein, and very satisfying. Just remember to avoid sugars, bread, and other starchy foods, and find delicious low-carb meals that you can enjoy instead. Here are a few tips to get you started:
AVOID POP & OTHER SUGARY DRINKS
Sugar is just downright bad for you, so opt for drinks with no refined sugar, such as sparkling water and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Unfortunately, fruit juices—such as orange and apple juices—are also high in sugar, so avoid these too.
CUT DOWN ON BREAD
We know bread can be tough to avoid, but the truth is: it’s high in carbs. To replace bread in low-carb meals, have a larger serving of non-starchy vegetables, salad, or other low-carb foods. Enjoy classics like pizza by making cauliflower crust and burgers by using Portobello mushrooms as buns.
OPT FOR LOW-CARB SNACKS
High-protein snacks—such as nuts—will satisfy your hunger and for longer than high-carb snacks such as chips, crackers, pretzels, etc. So when you’re feeling a bit hungry in the afternoon, opt for some almonds or a small bowl of cottage cheese instead of reaching for the chips.
EAT EGGS FOR BREAKFAST
Eggs are high in protein, low in carbs, and very versatile, making them a great breakfast food compared to high-carb cereals. Cereals, such as granolas, often have plenty of sugar too which is always good to avoid.
USE SAFE SUGAR-FREE SWEETENERS
If you need to sweeten your drinks or foods, look for safe sugar-free sweeteners such as Erythritol, Stevia, or Xylitol. These sweeteners taste like sugar but do not have the harmful effects of sugar, such as tooth decay, high blood sugar, and obesity.
REPLACE HIGH-CARB SIDES WITH LOW-CARB VEGETABLES
Whether you’re dining out or cooking a meal at home, avoid the high-carb side dishes that are common with meals—such as bread, potatoes, and pasta. Instead, opt for non-starchy vegetables for your side dishes.
COOK WITH LOW-CARB FLOURS
Avoid baking and cooking with wheat flour and opt for low-carb flours from nuts, such as coconut and almond flours. Another benefit to these alternatives is that low-carb flours are also generally gluten free.
AVOID COW’S MILK
Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk, which causes milk to be high in carbs. If you drink plenty of milk, substitute it with unsweetened original almond or coconut milk for a low-carb alternative.
REDUCE STARCHY VEGETABLES
Starchy vegetables—potatoes, yams, corn, carrots, peas—tend to have more sugar and carbs, so it’s important to reduce your intake of these and opt for non-starchy vegetables.
GO FOR LOW-CARB DAIRY
Plain Greek yogurt and cheeses are low-carb dairy foods that will keep your appetite satisfied for longer. Avoid fruit-flavored yogurts since they often contain sugar.
EAT HIGH-PROTEIN FOODS
Along with cheese, eggs, and nuts, meat, poultry, and fish are also high in protein and low in carbs, so eat these foods for a healthy balanced diet.
COOK WITH HEALTHY FATS
Grapeseed oil and extra-virgin olive oil are the healthiest fats to use for food preparation, so use these instead of butter and other oils.
READ FOOD LABELS
When buying food, read the labels to determine the sugar and carbohydrates content. The more fresh food you eat, the fewer labels you’ll have to read, so opt for more fresh food and less processed high-carb food.
By following these tips and finding low-carb meals to cook, you can easily cut back carbs and enjoy a healthy low-carb diet.