Some of My Favorite Low Carb Alternatives to Grains
Cutting back on carbohydrates in our diet is important when we are looking to lose weight, reverse metabolic diseases or simply avoid weight gain and disease. Don’t get me wrong, carbohydrates are an important part of any healthy diet but not all carbs are created equal. I’m not a big fan of keto which takes our diets to the opposite extreme, cutting carbohydrates down to practically nothing leaving high fat and protein as the main ingredients.
Keto diets are not only very hard to stick with but anytime we eliminate an entire group of nutrient dense foods (all carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes etc.) we miss out on so many critical nutrients, in this case antioxidants and phytonutrients that protect us from disease. The purpose of keto though is to keep insulin low which allows our body to get into the fat stores and keeps us from constantly spiking this inflammatory hormone. So how can do do just this without jumping on the keto bandwagon? The answer is by controlling our net carbs and learning to balance our diets at any given meal to not just include only carbohydrates.
My philosophy for a healthy diet is one that allows you to eat healthy, low glycemic, high fiber carbohydrates to feel satisfied and get your nutrition while cutting back on net carbs to keep insulin spikes low. Net carbs are total carbs minus fiber. Depending on your activity level, body weight, goals etc you would have a net carb goal that fits your needs. Helping you to reduce these carbs while still enjoying some of your favorite foods is what this section of my website is all about. Check out my top picks below for low carb alternatives to grains below and remember to check out all my Grain Free Recipes for muffins, breads, pancakes, waffles and more.
BREADS AND WRAPS
Base Culture Bread – This low carb, gluten free bread is super tasty and with just 4 net carbs and 4 grams of protein per slice it is something to consider if you like bread. This one featured here is their keto version however, they have several types including a sour dough. They are all gluten free and made with real ingredients. By fat the healthiest bread I’ve found. This one does not fall apart like many other brands.
Carbonaut Bread – This gluten and grain free bread is only 40 calories per slice with 1 net carb. Find it in the refrigerated section of Sprouts or Whole Foods. I recommend freezing it to retain freshness. Check out the other versions such as the raisin bread or bagels.
Siete Grain Free Wraps – These wraps, like all of the Siete products are made with super clean ingredients including healthy oils that are not full of inflammatory PUFA’s. Find these in the freezer section of your stores or order online. Being grain free means they are also gluten free by nature. Keep them on hand for sandwiches or Mexican night although these are not super low carb but I wanted to include them here as a very healthy alternative to grains.
Coconut Cassava Wrap – For a grain free, super low carb option check out these which are also at a decent price. Made with just 3 ingredients, these are only 5 net carbs and great as a wrap option for sandwiches or Mexican night.
Cauliflower Wraps – Grain and gluten free the main ingredient is cauliflower in these versatile wraps. Toast them, make pizzas or use them as a sandwich for only 4 net carbs and 1 grams of protein per wrap. Find these at Sprouts or Whole Foods.
Crepini Egg Thins are only 8 calories and zero net carbs. Very thin so you might not make a traditional sandwich or wrap but these are great for little roll ups with nut butter or organic deli meat inside. Can usually be found at Publix, Sprouts or Whole Foods.
Hero Flour Tortillas – For someone who doesn’t mind gluten these low carb wraps are only 80 calories and 0 net carbs with pretty clean an ingredient list that can’t be beat for a low carb option. They also have 7 grams of protein for the win.
Unbun Bagels – These bagels are gluten and grain free and made from all clean ingredients. For 220 calories, 5 net carbs and 10 grams of protein you can enjoy your bagel without ruining your clean eating plan.
Better Bagel – If gluten doesn’t bother you these are a great choices. Each bagel has 160 calories, 5 net carbs and 25 grams of protein with a clean ingredient list. These are not gluten free but they are made from all non-GMO ingredients.
Miracle Rice– Miracle Rice is a super low calorie rice substitute to use as a base for your protein and veggies. It is not a substitute for protein and holds very little in the way of nutritional value but it can help to eliminate the carbs from traditional rice dishes. It is made with a konjac fiber that can help lower cholesterol and glucose levels. These make a great pasta substitute.
Cauliflower Rice – Using fresh, riced cauliflower as a base is a nice way to avoid the carbs found in rice. Cauliflower can be seasoned to your taste so that the consistency feels like you are eating rice yet you are getting a high fiber, cruciferous vegetable instead. Low in calories and high in fiber this makes a great substitute for dishes, in recipes such as meatloaf etc. This is a shelf stable version for quick dishes but you can also find frozen ones at your local store. Get creative or check out my recipes for Fried Rice.
Miracle Pasta – Just like Miracle Rice this same product makes options for a pasta substitute. Make sure you add protein and lots of veggies to this meal as the pasta itself has very little calories or nutritional value but rather its a means of enjoying everything that goes along with pasta. Try it with your favorite tomato, pesto or a healthy Alfredo sauce.
The Only Bean – This high protein, high fiber pasta has one ingredient only which is organic beans. Being just beans means that it is not only gluten free but is grain free. The high fiber and high protein content make it great choice for those trying to keep their net carbs lower. Season it up with your favorite sauce and you can skip the meatballs because this has enough protein to meet your needs. Great for vegetarians and those wanting to keep their net carbs lower. Beware of many “bean” pastas that are loaded with flours by always checking the net carbs on the label.
Explore Cuisine – Another high protein, high fiber pasta alternative with just organic beans. Beware that this company also makes other products but the net carbs are much higher. Always read the label.
High Protein Orzo – Proti-Thin High protein orzo is made from a few simple ingredients. While it is not gluten free, it is low in calories, with only 4 net carbs and 18 grams of protein. Serve this up as part of a meal or in a soup without the guilt.
Zoodles – Zoodles are any type of noodle that is made from a vegetable such as zucchini spirals. Find them in your local grocery store. Spaghetti squash is also a great low carb, high fiber option to replace pasta. The product pictured here is shelf stable can can be found at Sprouts and Whole Foods. They also make a spaghetti squash in a shelf stable box.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust – If you haven’t tried it then don’t be scared because when done right, a cauliflower crust pizza is not only low carb but delicious too. Beware of many brands that use flour in their crust along with the cauliflower making it much higher in carbs. Main ingredients should just be cauliflower, eggs and cheese.
King Arthur Mix – This one you have to make but its pretty low carb and calorie for a pizza crust. It is not gluten free or dairy free so beware if you are avoiding these foods.
Kbosh Keto Crusts – These are expensive and come frozen but they are low calorie, low carb and pretty clean ingredient list. They also come in all kinds of varieties from cauliflower, zucchini and even dessert crusts like chocolate. Check them out if you are a huge pizza fan and want a frozen alternative to have on hand.
Cauliflower Wraps – These make great pizzas and can be found at Whole Foods and Sprouts.
Progranola – This company only sells online but for many of my clients it’s worth the trouble of planning in advance and ordering it through Amazon. You won’t find a lower calorie, higher fiber and lower net carb granola anywhere on the market. Most keto granolas are full of nuts and seeds making them very high fat and high calorie but this company uses different proteins along with seeds to make a lower calorie, delicious granola. This one is made from egg white protein as is the peanut butter flavor below and the vegan one is made with pea protein.
Progranola Peanut Butter – Same great ingredients with a peanut butter taste that is amazing.
Progranola Vegan – If you need to be off eggs or are vegan this one is for you. Same great taste but they use a pea protein instead of egg whites as the protein base.
Catalina Crunch – This cereal comes in many flavors and is one of my clients favorite choices for breakfast or as a snack. It is gluten and grain free, high in fiber and protein and is available at most local stores such as Publix, Sprouts, Costco and Whole Foods. Try the Cinnamon Toast flavor as that is the most popular one.
Flackers – For 8 of these crunchy crackers only 3 net carbs and 6 grams of protein. Try some with a little avocado on top for a healthy snack.
Brad’s Raw Chips – Brad is a real person who lost 40 lbs. on a raw diet and invented these chips to satisfy the missing crunch he used to get from chips and crackers. He started experimenting with raw chips made from fresh vegetables, sprouted flax seeds, fruit nuts, buckwheat groats and an array of spices. He dehydrated the chips, keeping the temperature below 115 degrees, which keeps them a raw food.
Brad’s Keto Crisps – Another one of Brad’s great products. Only 90 calories and 2 net carbs per serving.
Brad’s Veggie Flats – Another amazing product made with just all veggies, beans, seeds and seasonings. Only 130 calories and 3 net carbs per serving.
Cheese Whisps – This are just 100% cheese so low net carbs and high protein. If dairy doesn’t bother you these make a nice choice for a crunchy snack. Kids will love them too.
If you find some great substitutes for grains I want to hear from you. Just send me an email with the product you found and I will review it and add it to my favorites list or let you know why it doesn’t make the cut. Make sure to follow all my Favorite Things blogs for more ideas on healthy products that make your life easier.
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!