5 Smart Carb Swaps
Eating healthy takes more than just counting calories and reducing fat intake. Carbohydrates also play a central role in how lean our bodies are, and eating too many of them can make losing weight feel like a fruitless battle. The good news is there are some simple substitutes that are so tasty, you’ll hardly miss those carbs. Here are five delicious snacks and sides along with some better-for-you carb swaps that will help you eat better without having to sacrifice flavor.
Swap BBQ Baked Beans with Black Beans
What’s good about this dish is that beans are chock-full of fiber, which will keep you fuller longer and help curb those cravings. Unfortunately, because BBQ sauce contains about 13 grams of sugar that means you’ll also be consuming 32 grams of carbohydrates. As a healthier alternative, try black beans with sautéed bell peppers, fresh cilantro, a hint of lime and some jalapeno to give it a little extra kick. This will reduce the carbs while also adding more fiber.
Swap Mashed Potatoes with Mashed Cauliflower
Since potatoes are technically a vegetable, they’re not completely bad for you, but because they’re starchy, they’re not the best choice. Removing the skin and mashing them further reduces their fiber by 2 grams. As a healthier, heartier alternative, try mashed cauliflower. The taste and texture are almost identical to potatoes, but without all the extra carbs. Try our packaged and prepared options that offer different flavors making it super quick and easy to switch.
Swap Caramel Dip with Peanut Butter
Apples are also a great source of fiber, plus they contain 25 grams of balanced carbs (i.e. the good ones). But if you’re dipping them into caramel sauce, even if it’s low-fat, you’ll be bumping up those numbers by an additional 26 grams of carbs because – you guessed it – it’s mostly sugar. Instead, try swapping out that caramel for 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. It’ll drop those extra carbs and add more grams of filling protein. And it’s yummy!
Swap Salad Dressings with Vinaigrettes
If you’re eating salad, you’re already getting ahead of the game since salad provides a good amount of dietary fiber and a number of different essential vitamins and minerals that are good for your body. Where you have to be careful is in your choice of dressing. Sweet options, like raspberry vinaigrettes contain around 7 grams of carbs for every 2 tablespoons. Keep in mind that most dressings labeled as light or fat-free also add sugar to improve taste, which means they’re also higher in carbs. Opt instead for dressings that are oil and vinegar-based. There’s no carbs and you’ll get plenty of heart-healthy fats.
Swap Rice Pilaf with Riced Broccoli
This popular side dish might be tasty, but it’s also loaded with carbs. In fact, just one cup can contain more than 40 grams. If you’re looking for flavor without all the extra carbohydrates, a riced vegetable product might be just the trick. For example, one cup of our Riced Broccoli contains only 30 calories and is not only much lower in carbs, but also provides more dietary fiber than rice pilaf. So it’s a win-win!
If you’re trying to eat better, whether it’s to lose weight or just get healthier, one of the easiest and most effective ways to start seeing results is to reduce your carbohydrate intake. As you can see by the five examples above, with a little creativity and a few tweaks here and there, you can still enjoy delicious snacks and sides without the added carbs weighing you down.