Ways to Reduce Carbs in Recipes

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated August 24, 2015)

Carbs are one of the big diet foci of today. Everyone is talking about carbs and how bad they are and what you can do to reduce them. Good grief—it's everywhere! So if carbs are a concern of yours, then how can you reduce them?

There's unfortunately not a magic wand anywhere that can reduce your carbs for you, but there are a few other methods you can use to reduce the carbs in your already existing recipes that aren't hard and will help you out with the low-carb diet you're looking for!

The first thing to do is to figure out what ingredients you can substitute in your recipes. Swap out regular milk for non-fat milk, butter for margarine (where possible), and regular sugars for Splenda. When shopping, keep an eye out for the "light" sweeteners and the specially labeled "low (or no) carb" products. These can, however, get expensive so be selective and wise in your carb cutting. Here are a few ways for you to reduce your carb intake without really losing the favorite parts of your diet.

  • For bread, if you can, buy the special low-carb kind, but if you don't want to do that, then go for more whole grain items or flax meal.
  • You can use spaghetti squash or shirataki noodles for most pasta substitutes.
  • Low-carb cereals are harder to come by, but you can usually count on all-bran cereals to do the trick for you.
  • Potatoes are harder to substitute for, but if you really need that potato-like satisfaction, there are a few options available to you. One option some people use is mashing up cauliflower. This wouldn't be my preferred choice, but if mashed cauliflower sounds tasty to you, then go for it! You can also use celery root for your very basic potato needs.
  • For snacks and crackers, you'll have to just go with whatever low-carb option is in the store.
  • Beans usually contain a fair amount of carbohydrates, but soybeans contain less than average.
  • Flour is a little harder to transform into low-carb, but there are other kinds of flour (like nut and seed) that can work, but you will need to find some alternate recipes.

So, making your already existing diet more low carb definitely isn't impossible. It will take some work and nutrition research on your part, but if low carbs are the way for you then it will be worth it!

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