Eating fewer carbs does not mean giving up everything you love. A few easy changes can make a big difference in how much you consume. Instead of choosing carb sources loaded with sugar, fat, and calories, opt for more nutrient-dense alternatives filled with fiber, heart-healthy fats, and whole grains. You’ll be surprised at much you love the alternatives below and how delicious eating low-carb can be.
1. BBQ Baked Beans
GOOD: Beans are full of fiber.
BAD: Lots of sugar in the sauce—13g for a total of 32g carbs.
BETTER: Black beans with sautéed red bell pepper, jalapeño, lime, and fresh cilantro. 10g fewer carbs and an additional 1.5g fiber.
2. Salad Dressings
GOOD: You’re eating salad!
BAD: Dressing choices, such as honey mustard (one of my favorites!!) and raspberry vinaigrette contain roughly 7g refined carbs per 2 tablespoons, all from sugar. And most light or fat-free dressings add sugar to make up for fat.
BETTER: Opt for oil and vinegar-based dressings instead; you’ll get zero carbs and lots of heart-healthy fats.
3. Apples with Low-Fat Caramel Dip
GOOD: You’re eating apples—25g balanced carbs and 4g fiber.
BAD: That caramel sauce has 26g carbs in just 2 tablespoons, all from sugar.
BETTER: Swap caramel for 1 tablespoon peanut butter. You’ll add 4g filling protein.
4. Cracker Jacks
GOOD: Whole grains and nuts.
BAD: The caramel adds 30g refined-sugar carbs per cup.
BETTER: Lightly salted oil-popped popcorn and nuts.
5. Mashed Taters
GOOD: More veggies.
BAD: No skin = 2g less fiber.
BETTER: Mashed butternut squash has just 47 calories, 12g carbs, and 4g fiber per ½ cup. Add a teaspoon of butter for 34 calories and 2.4g sat fat.
Not bad alternatives! And if you want to take your health goals to the next step, check out the challenge.
Nutrition challenge: If half of your daily grain intake is not 100% whole grain, I challenge you to “up-your-ante!” If this is old news to you, then what challenge will you take on?
Adapted from: Sidney Fry, MS, RD
Nutrition Daily Nugget 🍏
Get your kids in the kitchen! They’ll be more excited about eating healthy foods when they’ve been involved. Give them age-appropriate tasks and keep a step-stool handy.
Daily Inspiration Nugget