Low-carb substitutes for potatoes
Want to cut down on potato consumption while following a low-carb diet? Here are some tasty substitutes you may enjoy.
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Although potatoes have long been a mainstay of the modern eating style, our society's preoccupation with weight loss is causing us to rethink the value of this commodity in everyday eating. Those who follow a low-carbohydrate eating plan typically look for enjoyable substitutes for starches like potatoes.

If you are looking for a healthy and delicious substitute, consider some like the following:

1. Eat a partial potato. If you find it difficult to give up your usual dose of spuds, instead of consuming an entire baked potato, eat part of it only. Cut your potato in half and save the rest for another day. Add low-carb toppings like bacon bits or grated cheese, and try not to eat them everyday. When mashed potatoes or a creamy variation are served, allow yourself just one tablespoon and be content, knowing you're doing your body a favor.

2. Look for low-carb pasta. Traditional macaroni, spaghetti, and lasagna noodles are carbohydrate-intensive, so plan to avoid these. But many stores now carry a low-carb version that you can enjoy occasionally. Read the box to see how many carbs each serving contains, and add those to your daily count. Experiment with different textures, sizes, and even colors to add variety to your meals.

3. Give several types of rice a try. Although rice also has a fair amount of carbohydrates, you may be able to find prepared mixes that have low-carb value. Also, since rice comes in natural grain form, you can probably eat a smaller portion to get full than you can with pasta. Just be sure you follow the carb counter's measurement for getting the right-sized serving to stay within your daily intake limit. Rice mixed with low-carb vegetables helps to ensure you get more produce and less grain per serving.

4. Add more veggies to your meals. For a tasty hot dish, roast sliced peppers, onions, and squash with a few drops of cooking oil for a deliciously sweet side dish or main entree. While some of these vegetables have higher carb levels than others, most are still lower than starchier foods like potatoes or pasta. Check your carb counter to be sure. You also can fill up on fresh salads or chopped veggies dipped in low-carb dressing for a refreshing and filling side dish and potato substitute.

5. Exchange starchy potatoes for streamlined soup or sides. Vegetable or chicken broth simmering with fresh vegetables like parsley and celery, and herbs like dill offer tantalizing scents and tastes to get your mind off potatoes and onto the warm, healthy broth that will fill your tummy. Look for low-carb veggies to add to your soup base for a satisfying meal that leaves nothing to be desired. Steamed squash or a hard boiled egg are additional options to explore.

Eating potatoes on a frequent basis is more of a habit than a need. With a few thoughtful changes, most of us can rearrange our diets to reduce the amount of starch we eat while increasing healthy veggies and carb substitutes without overdoing our protein intake.