Getting started with a low carb diet can be intimidating. You might be worried that you’ll feel deprived or hungry without the carbs. Cutting carbs is easy and a low carb diet is better at controlling hunger than a high carb diet.
In this post, I share 5 food swaps from breakfast to dessert that will effortlessly and deliciously cut more than 100 carbs out of your day.
Summary 5 Low Carb Food Swaps
- Trade Cereal for Eggs (save 25.5g carbs).
- Swap a Sandwich for a Salad (save 25.1g carbs).
- Substitute Potato Chips for Raw Almonds (save 9.2g carbs).
- Exchange Pasta for Meat and Veggies (save 48.5g carbs).
- Replace Ice Cream with Full-Fat Yogurt (save 7.1g carbs).
5 Low Carb Food Swaps That Cut 100 Carbs a Day [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- Low-carb food swaps that will decrease your daily carb intake.
- How the Standard American Diet compares to a low-carb diet.
- Where to find additional resources for a low-carb diet.
Low Carb Food Swaps
I am going to compare typical low carb foods to typical high carb foods. Each of the food swaps is comparable in calories. Let’s start with breakfast.
Low Carb Breakfast Swap
A lot of people choose to eat cereal in the morning. A cup of Cheerios with a ½ cup of skim milk has 147 calories and 26.6 grams of carbs. If you swap that breakfast for two eggs, you’ll consume about the same number of calories, but only 1.1 grams of carbs.
Right from the start of the day, you are saving yourself more than 25 carbs and consuming more healthy fat and protein, which is going to help you stay satisfied longer.
Breakfast Nutrition Facts
Low Carb Lunch Swap
If we take a look at lunch, we can compare a sandwich to a salad. Using a 6-inch Subway restaurant turkey and veggie sub with no mayonnaise as an example, we see that it provides about 334 calories and 43.7 grams of carbs.
If we swap that for a salad that contains about 4 cups of greens, half of a small apple, feta cheese, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and an oil and vinegar dressing we again save ourselves more than 25 carbs.
Lunch Nutrition Facts
Low Carb Snack Swap
Let’s move into the afternoon. Let’s say that you saved the one-ounce bag of potato chips from Subway to have as an afternoon snack. They contain 150 calories and 15.3 grams of carbohydrates.
Swap those chips for an ounce of almonds and you get about the same number of calories but save more than nine grams of carbs.
Again the added protein, fat, and fiber in the nuts will cut hunger for hours to come, whereas when we get to the bottom of a bag of potato chips, most of us are wishing there were more.
Snack Nutrition Facts
Low Carb Dinner Swap
If we look at dinner, a typical dinner for the Standard American Diet is spaghetti and meatballs. This is a carb-heavy meal.
Even if you have a small dinner made up of just one cup of pasta, half a cup of sauce, and three meatballs, you’ll get more than 58 grams of carbohydrates.
If we swap that for a low-carb dinner with meat or fish and vegetables, we cut carbs dramatically, yet still have a hearty meal.
For instance, a serving of sausage and sauerkraut contains about the same number of calories but cuts the carbs down to just over 10 grams.
Dinner Nutrition Facts
Low Carb Dessert Swap
Lastly, a standard American dessert is ice cream, which is a very calorie-dense and nutrient-poor treat.
If we compare one cup of plain vanilla ice cream with one cup of full-fat yogurt with chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and blueberries mixed in, we save ourselves many carbs and boost the nutrition of the dessert by a mile.
The cup of ice cream contains 34 grams of carbohydrates. The yogurt contains fewer calories and cuts your carb intake by more than seven grams.
Not only that, but the yogurt with seeds and berries provides a ton more micronutrients, fiber, and protein. Those additional nutrients will make you feel full and make it easy to avoid late-night snacking.
Dessert Nutrition Facts
Low Carb Diet vs High Carb Diet
If you eat the Standard American Diet foods that consist of cereal, a sandwich, chips, pasta, and a scoop of ice cream, you will have consumed about 1,400 calories and 178 grams of carbohydrates.
If you make the five swaps mentioned in this post, you consume about the same number of calories, but less than 66 grams of carbs. That is a savings of 112.5 carbs in a single day.
Low-Carb Food List [Download]
That low carb level will keep your blood sugar steady and your insulin levels low, which is a state that encourages your body to burn fat.
There are a lot of advantages to reducing the carbohydrate content of your diet. I hope this post shows you that a low-carb diet can be delicious and satisfying.
If you’d like to learn more about which foods are low carb, I have a list of 100 low-carb foods that you can download below:
About the Author
Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.