,

5 Smarter Carb Swaps

In This Article

When it comes to healthy eating, calories count, not just in quantity but in quality as well. Our friends at Cooking Light shows us how to think through and make nutritious swaps using these five commonly eaten foods:

1. BBQ Baked Beans
Good: In general, beans are full of filling fiber.
Bad: BBQ baked beans can contain lots of sugar in the sauce–13 grams for a total of 32 grams of carbohydrates.
Better: Black beans with sauteed red bell peppers, jalapeno, lime and fresh cilantro. It provides 10 grams fewer carbohydrates and an additional 1.5 grams of fiber.

BBQ Baked Beans

2. Salad Dressings
Good: You’re eating salad, which provides dietary fiber and important vitamins and minerals.
Bad: Watch the dressing choice. Honey and raspberry vinaigrettes contain about 7 grams of 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.

Salad Dressing

3. Apples with Low-Fat Caramel Dip
Good: You’re eating apples, which provides 25 grams of balanced carbs and 4 grams of fiber.
Bad: That caramel dipping sauce has 26 grams of carbs in just 2 tablespoons, all from sugar.
Better: Swap caramel for 1 tablespoon peanut butter. You’ll add 4 grams of filling protein.

Apple & Dip

4. Cracker Jacks
Good: Popcorn is a source of whole-grains, and nuts are a source of fiber, protein and healthy fats.
Bad: The caramel coating adds 30 grams of refined sugar per cup.
Better: Opt for lightly salted oil-popped popcorn and nuts.

Cra5. Mashed Potatoes
Good: You’re getting more veggies.
Bad: Sadly, potatoes are starchy vegetable and, if the mashed potato has no skin, that’s 2 grams less fiber.
Better: Mashed butternut squash has just 47 calories, 12 grams carbohydrates and 4 grams fiber per 1/2 cup serving. Add a teaspoon of butter for 34 calories and 2.4 grams saturated fat.

Mashed Potatoes

Cooking Light Diet

Find more low-calorie dinner meals like this from the new Cooking Light Diet, where you can lose weight without giving up the foods you love. Learn more at CookingLightDiet.com. Follow Cooking Light on Facebook for more daily recipe inspiration.

Follow Cooking Light on Facebook for daily recipe inspiration.

About the Authors

Meet the people behind the post

Related articles

More inspiration for you

5 minute read
Are the “vegetable oil is bad for you” claims fear-mongering or fact? We asked
7 minute read
Some research suggests that gut microorganisms might help boost metabolism, decrease hunger, and reduce
7 minute read
The road to reaping the full benefits of a healthy diet can come with
6 minute read
Understanding the root cause of gut problems is vital.
In This Article
Recent posts
5 minute read
Are the “vegetable oil is bad for you” claims fear-mongering or fact? We asked
7 minute read
Some research suggests that gut microorganisms might help boost metabolism, decrease hunger, and reduce
7 minute read
The road to reaping the full benefits of a healthy diet can come with