11 Low Carb Whole Food Swaps

Have you already tried everything and find your biggest problem with dieting comes from all the weird food you’re supposed to eat? 

Bad tasting low cal foods might seem like a great idea to anyone who’s never bitten into one!

Don’t feel like you have to cheat, but instead try some of these easy low carb swaps so you won’t even think about what you’re missing.

1) Quinoa Instead of Your Breakfast

Quinoa is quickly becoming something of a fad, but it you usually only ever see it served for dinner. 

If you’re the type to start your morning with either hot cereal or grits, then you might want to consider cooking some in water and enjoying a sudden reduction in carbs you’ll never notice.

You can stir in cinnamon or crushed nuts if you’re trying to go the keto route and need an extra boost. It also packs plenty of vitamins that you’ll need if you plan on going to the gym later in the day. 

According to a Harvard study, quinoa is rich in all of the following (1):

  • Folate
  • B1
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese

2) Riced Cauliflower for White Rice

Do you like to have rice or pretty much any other grain with dinner? Just like quinoa, riced cauliflower has become something of a fad, and that means you can take advantage of it.

Unlike rice, though, cauliflower tastes pretty good straight without any butter so you can cut the carbs and get rid of a little extra fat out of your diet as well. 

It can even replace mashed potatoes without sacrificing anything in the way of flavor!

3) The Bacon & Eggs Dinner Swap

For a while, doctors were promoting granola at dinner as weird as that sounds. You might have already made the commitment to eat heavier earlier in the day and then lighter as time goes on. 

In either case, you can actually swap out many foods for a traditional helping of bacon and eggs.

Who wouldn’t want that instead of some fad diet food? It might be hard to believe, but USDA numbers show that a serving has one single gram of carbs in it (2).

4) Replace Your Old Yogurt with Natural Yogurt

Do any kind of bodybuilding or ever try a probiotic diet? You probably already have a preferred type of yogurt in that case. Try switching it out for a natural one, and then add some berries if you’d like.

Consumer-grade yogurt is just full of added sugar! There might be some other health benefits, too. According to Harvard Medical School professor Andrew Chan, data suggests that natural yogurt can help to reduce the risk of cancer (3).

5) Nuts & Seeds Instead of Croutons

Croutons are tiny so you probably don’t give them any thought. They’re associated with salads, which are good for you. That means they must be too, right?

Unfortunately, the carbs in them add up pretty quickly. Add peanuts or sunflower seeds to your salad next time and you might be able to squeeze a few extra carbs out of your diet without even realizing it.

6) Try Sweet Potato Toast Instead of Bread

Unless you’ve tried to go completely gluten free, you’ve probably never found an alternative to bread that actually works. Things like so-called cloud bread and the like don’t necessarily have too many fans.

Sweet potato bread is, as the name suggests, pretty sweet but without giving you too much in the way of carbs. It’s pretty good toasted, and many people have now switched over to making sandwiches out of it. 

You can even find lower carb tubers if you don’t mind shopping around.

Science expert Joe Cohen recommends white, purple and Japanese sweet potatoes, which are all rich in fiber (4). They’re also pretty low in fat.

One Mind Over Munch episode even came up with some cool ideas for lower carb meals based around sweet potato toast:

You might also want to try taking a page out of Detoxinista’s book and follow her video on how to make this handy meal ahead of time:

7) Swap in Almond Flour Pancakes

In some areas, flapjacks are just as popular for dinner or lunch as they are for breakfast. Chances are if you’re like most people, you’ve started to eat plenty of these since they’re easy to get frozen. 

Almond flour pancakes are easy to make, and some companies are now making convenience versions as well.

Best of all, they take a huge chunk of carbs out of your diet. Yummy Inspirations even put syrup on theirs on YouTube and yet still had carbs to spare:

8) Lettuce Leaf Taco Hack

You probably cut up lettuce and put it on your tacos, so why not use a single big piece of lettuce in place of a tortilla? This little hack has become so popular that it’s showing up in restaurants coast to coast as a sort of non-diet food!

Allrecipes recommended using romaine lettuce in their video:

You can use whatever kind you’d normally shred on tacos, however!

9) Make Your own Mayonnaise

While mayonnaise has taken a lot of heat from workout warriors for years, it’s something a lot of people find it real hard to get rid of. 

Part of the problem comes from the fact that even light mayonnaise comes with added sugars. 

Making your own mayonnaise or buying homemade mayo is a great way to cut these out. Even full-fat mayonnaise made the traditional way has 0g of carbs according to the FDA (5).

10) Reduce Carbs by Eating Chocolate

You’ve probably heard of replacing sugar with stevia to reduce carbs, but have you ever heard of trying ganache? 

Few people would think that what’s basically chocolate frosting is a low-carb food, but take a moment to consider that it offers 3g of carbs per serving versus a whopping 20g in most other types of frosting.

11) Dump Sugary Drinks

This is the one thing you probably hear the most all the time, but may have the hardest time giving up. If you’re serious about your diet, then you should have done this already. 

It’s also one of the least expensive, considering water is functionally free in many cases. 

Dietitian Joe Leech has written that this little diet hack can reduce headaches and might even stave off kidney stones, so there’s no reason not to give it a try (6).


(1) https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/quinoa/ 

(2) https://www.sparkpeople.com/calories-in.asp?food=bacon+and+eggs# 

(3) https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2019/06/19/Eating-yogurt-may-reduce-risk-of-colon-cancer-in-men-study-says/3281560946480/ 

(4) https://selfhacked.com/blog/white-sweet-potato/ 

(5) http://health.fzl99.com/mayonnaise-nutrition-label/ 

(6) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water#section4              

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