Food Item Substitutions and Alternatives on Keto

“Oh how I miss pasta, bread, donuts and sugar!” These are the words you might probably hear from the lips of new keto adopters. Although that phrase might make the keto diet sound like torture, I promise you that that is not the case. These people might not have discovered alternatives to their favorite foods.

As a matter of fact, there is a keto alternative for almost everything you can think of, from pasta, to bread and rice. If you are also in this category or you are an experienced keto adopter who would like to discover new keto alternatives, keep reading.

In this article we will provide you with lists of food items that can serve as alternatives for conventional high-carb food items. 

1. Nut flour as an Alternative for High Carb Flour

Good news! You can still make bread and baked goods on a keto diet, but instead of regular flour, you could switch it out for nut flour. If you want a smooth ride into ketosis you will need to ditch wheat flour for keto friendly nut flour.

While nut flours may not act in the exact way white or whole wheat flour does in terms of colour and texture, they are great when used as a substitute for wheat and other conventional flours. They also provide additional health benefits which white or wheat flour do not. Almond and coconut flour are the best keto friendly flours you could use as alternatives. 

Although, eating almond flour products on a regular basis is not advisable due to its high net carbs and presence of fragile omega-6 fats, however replacing it for all-purpose flour saves 18 grams of carbs and contributes an additional 2.2 grams of fiber per quarter-cup. Coconut flour on the other hand is much lower in net carbs and has nearly no fragile omega-6 fats. As it’s mostly fiber, its flour has a minimal impact on insulin levels.  

2. Keto Friendly Vegetables as a Substitute for Grains and Tubers

While some staple starchy food items are quite tasty and widely adopted in the non-keto world, you should not go near them when you are on a keto diet due to their high carb count. However, there are several substitutes that you can use in place of these food items. 

A great low carb option to rice is cauliflower rice. You can prepare this by cutting some cauliflower into florets and pulse in your food processor until it resembles rice. Not only does it have significantly fewer carbs than rice, it’s also a good substitute in terms of texture. Apart from using cauli-rice as a side, It can also be added to scrambled eggs, breakfast skillets, low-carb casseroles and even poke bowls or used instead of couscous. You can make cauli-rice in advance and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days but the fresher the better.

Rutabaga, turnip, radish, celeriac and cauliflower are keto-friendly low starch veggies you can use in place of potatoes. I know you might be surprised but, mashed forms of these vegetables are a fantastic replacement for mashed potatoes, and even tastes similar! Just like potatoes, they can also be roasted, fried,  or boiled. 

If you want to prepare a soup or stew that requires potatoes, try adding rutabaga, turnip, or celeriac instead. All you have to do is use a high speed blender to get a very smooth texture.

For your cereals, flaked coconut (coconut chips), flaked or slivered almonds, chia seeds and hemp seeds are some of the best keto-friendly alternatives you can go for.

3. Low Carb Sweeteners as Substitutes for Sugar 

Avoiding sugar consumption is a thing that relatively all new keto adopters struggle with. Meanwhile, when it comes to excluding sugar from the diet, there are quite a few keto-compliant options to replace it. Stevia, erythritol and monk fruit are keto-friendly alternatives to sugars. These sweeteners can come in liquid, powder, and crystal form so they can be used as a direct replacement for sugar, without impacting blood sugar.

If you are a sugar addict, Stevia is the best option for you because of its high sugar concentration. Although, it doesn’t have the same effects as sugar. Erythritol and monk fruits are quite mild in their concentration and can generally be replaced 1:1 for sugar. 

4. Spiraled Vegetables as Alternatives for Pasta

Pasta is one of such food items that despite not being keto-friendly, keto subscribers always find it difficult to discard. Could this be as a result of its easy to cook nature or its scintillating aroma? However, there are some keto-friendly vegetables that can serve as a substitute for your indispensable pasta.   Zucchini, turnip, carrot, or rutabaga are all great options to replace high-carb pastas. You can use spiraled veggies in fritters, casseroles, and even hashes to replace pasta or potatoes.

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