15 Lower-Carb Whole Food Swaps

Sabrina Tillman
by Sabrina Tillman
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15 Lower-Carb Whole Food Swaps

If you’re looking for ways to cut down on carbs without switching to pricey (and processed) low-carb alternatives, try some of these nutrient-rich whole food suggestions.

lower carb swaps


Check out these additional suggestions for lowering your carb intake:

Infographic designed by Tierra Wilson.

About the Author

Sabrina Tillman
Sabrina Tillman

Sabrina Tillman is the managing editor for MyFitnessPal. She’s a dedicated runner, Pilates enthusiast and homecook whose knack for creating dishes on the fly (as well as food her son will actually eat) with whatever ingredients are in the house earned her the nickname “Kitchen MacGyver” by her husband. If she can find any spare time, she enjoys chasing her son, reading, attempting to bake, and napping.


19 responses to “15 Lower-Carb Whole Food Swaps”

  1. Great infographic! I use many of these alternatives and recommend them to my weight loss / healthy living clients.

  2. Avatar Brandi Marie Keith says:

    All the options are definitely healthier as far as being whole foods and not refined, but I would have liked to see the calories and fiber too, just to get a whole picture.

    • Avatar gordondev says:

      For the most part, the calories are lower. The big exception are the ones that use nuts as a substitute. In those cases, the calories are largely on par with the item they’re replacing.

      It would be nice to see the fiber content, too, though the vegetables tend to have about half their carbs come from fiber, thereabouts.

  3. Avatar ThinkAboutIt says:

    If you eat cleanly you will not want or miss most of the items on this list anyway.

    • Avatar Ray Carrender says:

      Well “want” is a stretch, I think “want far less often” would be a better way. I still crave those tasty McDonalds fries and on rare occasions I’ll have them (if the craving is bothering me) but I typically pass on them now because “hey, it sounds good, but meh”.

      • Avatar ThinkAboutIt says:

        You have a point, there is still a ‘want’, it is just uncontrollable like they were before. I do sill have a McDonald’s fry from time to time. When I do though it via robbing my wife or kids for a few fries. I would never eat an entire fry, even small, these days. A little taste here and there seems to work just fine. When I want something sweet bad enough I have some of the greek yogurts like strawberry cheesecake or blackberry pie. These are different than my normal yogurt intake. They are also fairly low in sugar so they do not kick me off track. They are enough to satiate me though.

        • Avatar jtwizz says:

          yoplait’s 100 calorie apple pie yogurt is to DIE for.

          • Avatar ThinkAboutIt says:

            I’ll have to check out how many sugars are in it before I will eat it. I will certainly look for it though, they are my once in a while treat now. If it is not under 10g of sugar then I would not touch it.

  4. Avatar Laude says:

    I would like to try ground almonds instead of bread crumbs, problem is what does one use to grind them? I don”t have a kitchen aid blender, too expensive ! Any other suggestions ??

  5. I’m not on a low-carb diet (tried it, and it went horribly), but I came here because I knew some of these substitutions would be really creative things I’d like to try. And I was right — portabello mushrooms in place of hamburger buns sounds amazing!

  6. Avatar rebsues says:

    I can see some of these substitutions working, but many of them aren’t even close in texture or flavor to what they’re replacing — and squash and cauliflower and almonds and zucchini are actually flavors that I detest. (Don’t even get me started on the fungus that is mushrooms!) I am constantly looking for snack substitutions, but I can never seem to find suggestions of things I would actually eat.

  7. Avatar Kate Connolly says:

    I know I am late to read this post, being Health & Nutrition Consultant at The Connolly Method this is awesome post for those looking to have such meal plans in their life.

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