Humans need carbohydrates to survive. Yet, we don’t need them in the huge quantities that we’re accustomed to.
This overindulgence in carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates, is the reason why 34 million American citizens suffer from diabetes today.
Nowadays, people view low-carb diets as a way to combat both these health issues as well as prevent weight gain.
If you’re interested in following this type of diet, here’s how to cut back on carbs without compromising on taste.
Say Goodbye to Bread
White bread’s a weakness for most people. While this convenient food is readily available and easy to eat, it’s also high in carbs and very little else.
Even nutritious bread, like rye bread, contains around 15 g of carbs per slice and little fiber.
Whole grain bread also contains many useful minerals and vitamins, but you can get these health benefits from other low-carb foods too. Vegetables, nuts, and seeds are good alternatives to bread.
Nowadays there’s a wide range of vegetable-based bread available too. Try sweet potato bread, cauliflower bread, or lettuce leaves in place of wraps.
Cut Out the Sugary Drinks
Soda and alcohol are the best examples of high carb drinks around but fruit juice is also high in a type of sugar called fructose.
Rather opt for iced tea or club soda with a slice of orange or lemon. These drinks are just as refreshing as their high-sugar counterparts.
How to Cut Back on Carbs for Breakfast
Breakfast is the one area where we’re conditioned to load up with carbs. Most traditional breakfast foods are high in carbs.
Toast, pastries, pancakes, and waffles are the obvious culprits, but even small amounts of healthy foods like granola are often high in carbohydrates.
The answer lies in eggs. Each egg contains only 1 gram of carbs, yet they’re full of high-quality protein which helps you feel satisfied for hours.
In this way, an egg breakfast helps you avoid adding to the problem by preventing carb cravings throughout the day.
Boiling or poaching is the best way to enjoy the benefits of eggs without adding any fats to the equation.
Opt for Low-Carb Snacks
It’s difficult to stay away from snacks at parties or while relaxing in front of the TV.
The good news is that you don’t have to without when you’re dedicated to eating food with low carbs.
Ditch the chips and popcorn, and choose some of these high-fiber tasty alternatives instead:
- Macadamia nuts
Be sure to keep ample supplies of these snack foods on hand to help you resist high-carb snacks when the craving strikes.
Use Sugar Alternatives
If you can’t go without sweetness in your warm beverages, there are plenty of alternatives to sugar.
Honey might seem like a good option but, like fruit, it’s full of fructose and glucose, which are carbs.
You can try some of these commercially-available alternatives instead:
- Erythritol is a type of sugar alcohol that not only raises blood sugar in the same way sugar does, but it also kills bacteria and could help prevent cavities
- Stevia’s a product of the stevia plant from South America and can help lower blood sugar while increasing insulin sensitivity
- Xylitol is another sugar alcohol which combats tooth decay, reduces insulin resistance, and guards against obesity
Remember, it’s best to wean yourself off sweeteners totally but these alternatives can help you make the break.
Find Alternatives to Milk
Believe it or not, milk and all dairy products also contain sugar in the form of lactose. A small splash of milk in your coffee or tea won’t do much harm, but drinking it by the glass is a no-no.
Coconut and almond milk are good alternatives and often come pre-prepared with added vitamins and minerals for a healthy kick. These drinks contain very small amounts of carbs, but they’re mostly comprised of water.
Check the labels when buying coconut or almond milk. Some varieties have added sugar.
Greek yogurt and cheese are good low-carb dairy products with all the health benefits of milk.
What About Eating Out?
When you’re following a low-carb diet, you don’t need to forego meals out or convenient deliveries either. To get an idea of what’s available out there, check it out.
Some restaurants also offer low-carb options, but it’s easy to choose menu items containing food with little carbs too.
Most meat dishes come with a side of starchy carbohydrates, like French fries. Ask your server to bring vegetables instead. If your meal comes with vegetables and starch, ask for an extra vegetable serving instead of potato or rice.
Alternatively, order a side salad and choose a dish with no starch on the side.
Avoid gravy and sauces, they’re usually high in sugar, cream, and fat.
Avoid High-Carb Vegetables
While vegetables are generally a food with few carbs, there are a few you should avoid while you’re on a low-carb diet.
Potatoes, rice, corn, squash, and peas are high in carbs. Instead, stick to vegetables like peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage, and green beans.
Vegetables are a vital source of minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants so you should never cut them out of your diet totally.
Get Started on Your Low-Carb Journey
After a while, being conscious of how to cut back on carbs becomes second-nature. Take this article as a starting point in your learning curve towards a healthier, low-carb way of life.
There’s no reason to skimp on flavor, regardless of the diet you’re following.
Read some of our other posts for all the best advice on incorporating delicious, healthy eating into your life no matter what.