Low carb diets like keto are incredibly popular at the moment, and it’s not hard to see why. By cutting out starchy foods like pasta, rice and potatoes, studies have suggested that people can lose weight and can even reduce their risk of developing diabetes. The issue, though, is that these carb-dense foods are just so good. So how can you limit your carbs without limiting the meals you can enjoy? Simple: try one of these delicious low carb alternatives instead.
We’ve all heard the warnings about ‘white’ carbs. White rice, for example, is digested quickly and is therefore guilty of leaving you feeling hungry right after eating. For a more satiating alternative, consider trying this rice substitute. Cauliflower rice is delicious, healthy and insanely easy to make. Just use a cheese grater or food processor to chop a head of cauliflower into grains, pat off any excess moisture with a paper towel and then sauté it in one tablespoon of oil for about 5–8 minutes. Enjoy!
Or should we say, “swedes” rice? Other than in the U.S., most countries refer to this root vegetable-cabbage hybrid as such. Rutabagas is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C—all for only nine grams of carbohydrates 100 grams! It can be used as a substitute for potatoes or rice, making it an ideal soup and stew component. Try adding rutabaga to some of our favorite soup recipes.
We love Tilapia pasta dishes and we wouldn’t want keto dieters to miss out. Zoodles (or zucchini noodles) are a great way to enjoy your favorite pasta dishes, sans the carbs. But don’t let the adorable name deceive you! This pasta alternative is the real deal. With a spiralizer or peeler, strip a large zucchini into thin strips and then saute them in olive oil and salt over medium heat for 4–6 minutes. Easy! So, next time you’re craving our Green Goddess Pasta with Pesto Tilapia, try subbing in some zoodles instead. The dish is already rich in green veggies anyway, so it pair perfectly.
Spaghetti is even in its name! This member of the squash familiar gets its name because when you cook it until tender, you can easily pull it into spaghetti-like strands. Spaghetti squash contains only 42 calories and 10 carbs per one cup serving, and contains almost 10% of your required vitamin C intake. What more could you want?
Green Bean Fries
French fry fanatics rejoice! It is indeed still possible to follow a low carb diet and enjoy a side of fries with that. Take, for example, green bean fries. Coat green beans in olive oil, sprinkle with salt, bake for 30–40 minutes at 400°F/200°C (or until browned) and add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for an awe-inspiring alternative to potato fries. Try baked Tilapia with a side of bean fries for a fish and chips dish with a healthy twist.
Okay, okay, “broccoli fries” are really just crispy baked broccoli. But doesn’t “broccoli fries” sound so much more appetizing? And it tastes good both warm and cold. Try them alongside a dish of crispy breaded Tilapia. Both the Tilapia strips and the broccoli will taste amazing dipped in a homemade garlic mayo.
Carbs, like anything else, are okay in moderation, but these six alternatives will make you forget all about their starchy namesakes.
For more tips on the good, the bad and the ugly of carb consumption, check out The Healthy Fish Guide to Carbs.
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