The idea of consuming less than 30 grams of carbs per day might make you feel a little anxious, especially when you’re new to the ketogenic diet. What’s worse is that you cannot eat your favorite comfort foods that you’ve enjoyed all your life.
Don’t lose hope, though. Our list of keto substitutes will help you figure the best low-carb keto alternatives for your favorite comfort foods like rice, pasta, chips, and more!
1: Keto Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are not just for deep frying. They’re a great way to turn some of the typical dishes into something unique and crunchy. However, breadcrumbs are quite carb dense. A cup of breadcrumbs usually has around 78 grams of carbs.
The best low carb swap for breadcrumbs is pork rinds, also known as pork scratchings. They have zero carbs and taste better than regular breadcrumbs.
Simply put your desired amount of pork rinds into a Ziploc bag, then crush them down with a rolling pin until they get to the size you need. If you want a little extra spice to your fried chicken you can try these
But what if you’re a vegetarian?
You can swap breadcrumbs with parmesan and almond flour. These will have a slightly higher carb count, but will get the job done!
Sugar is something that the majority of us are used to consuming daily. From your morning cup of coffee to your favorite dessert, sugar is in almost all of your favorite foods and beverages.
Sugar is not allowed on the keto diet, and that’s good news for your health because it can cause a lot of health problems. Did you know that reducing sugar consumption can help you lose belly fat? One study found that those who drank sugar-sweetened beverages like soda every day have a higher volume of belly fat compared to those who didn’t .
Here are some low carb alternatives for sugar to sweeten your food and drinks:
- Stevia powder and liquid
- Monk fruit sweetener
Erythritol is widely used for dishes that need powdered sugar. However, you may want to avoid it if you have a sensitive stomach because some people find that erythritol causes stomach discomfort, bloating, and diarrhea.
Stevia powder may have an aftertaste, but the liquid tastes much better. On the other hand, monk fruit sweetener (this is our favorite) has been receiving a lot of positive feedback in the keto community lately. A lot of people say that it tastes better than stevia and the best part is that it is low carb.
3: Keto Rice
Rice is not just comfort food; it’s a staple for many people. If you’re used to eating rice multiple times a week, you’re going to miss it on the keto diet. However, there are two best low carb swaps for rice on keto: cauliflower rice and konjac rice (also known as miracle noodles).
Cauliflower rice resembles and tastes almost like regular rice. It’s easy to prepare using a box grater or a food blender. Unlike the regular white rice that has 45 grams of carbs per cup, the cauliflower rice only has roughly 3 grams of carbs per cup. You will also be able to reap the additional health benefits of cauliflower, such as its fiber content and antioxidant capacity .
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4: Burger Buns, Bread, and Tortillas
Think you’re going to miss the hamburger and cheeseburger? You don’t have to. Remove the bun and enjoy it when you’re eating outside. You could also enjoy your burger patty in some cloud bread if you’re making at home. Cloud bread, also known as oopsie bread is a perfect low carb alternative for burger bun or sandwich bread. It’s easy to make and only requires a few basic ingredients like eggs, cream cheese, and salt.
What about tacos and wraps? Well, you can still enjoy them in lettuce wraps instead of regular tortillas. One serving of tortilla has roughly 98 grams of carbs, whereas one lettuce leaf has about 1 gram of carbs. You may miss the floury texture and taste of regular tortillas, but you’ll eventually love the crunchy taste of lettuce wraps.
Not satisfied with the lettuce wrap?
Try these low-carb tortillas. They contain 3 grams of net carbs per serving.
One cup of milk has 12 grams of carbs, which makes it not so keto friendly. If you think you’ll miss your glass of milk every day, unsweetened almond milk is a great keto substitute for milk. It only has about 1.5 grams of carbs per cup. You can enhance its taste with liquid stevia if you want it to be sweet.
Coconut milk is also keto friendly and has roughly 8 grams of net carbs per cup. Coconut milk is delicious but has a strong flavor, which means you’d only need a quarter cup to make smoothies. A good reason to include coconut milk in your diet is that it’s a rich source of potassium, which is one of the main electrolytes you’ll lose on the keto diet.
If you’re low on potassium, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, muscle cramps and weakness, heart palpitations, numbness, and high blood pressure .
6: Keto Pizza & Pie Crust
You may have heard people say that keto is a lifestyle and not a diet. If it’s something you want to practice in the long run, the thought of not being able to eat pizza or pie might feel like a punishment.
Fortunately, there are some ways to enjoy pizza outside without getting kicked out of ketosis. Just eat the toppings and pass the crust to someone else. Or order a cheese crust pizza if possible.
Here are some low carb pizza crust substitutes for homemade pizza:
- Almond or coconut flour
- Meat crust
You could also make super delicious fathead pizza that’s usually made with mozzarella, cream cheese, a low carb flour, and eggs. Use nut-based crust or almond flour crust for pies.
7: Low Carb Pasta
Pasta is another ultimate comfort food that you may miss the most on the keto diet. However, there are some delicious low carb alternatives for pasta such as zucchini (zoodles), eggplant pasta, and shirataki noodles.
A cup of cooked regular pasta has roughly 43 grams of carbs, whereas a cup of shirataki noodles has about 5 grams of carbs. And low carb doesn’t mean you’ll sacrifice the taste either.
If you’re a fan of the starchy taste of potatoes, turnips and cauliflower will be great keto swaps for you.
Mashed cauliflower looks and tastes like real mashed potatoes, but with low carb content. A cup of regular mash has 35 grams of carbs, and one serving of cauliflower mash has roughly 5 grams of carbs. You can even load it up with some butter, cheese, and bacon to give yourself a delicious loaded potato experience!
What about potato chips?
Kale chips, cucumbers, and cheese straws are great alternatives for chips on the keto diet. They’re also packed with essential nutrients. Kale is loaded with antioxidants and many essential vitamins such as vitamins A, K, C, and B6 .
Drinking soda daily or regularly is bad for health. A lot of people think it’s fine as long as they drink diet soda, but recent research papers have pointed out that diet soda can also be bad news. A 2015 research paper points out that diet soft drinks can cause metabolic syndrome, a condition that can increase your risk of heart disease and weight gain .
If you must drink soda on the keto diet, drink sparkling water mixed with some lemon juice instead.
Use psyllium husk powder for anything that needs a little thickening or something to hold it together. We love this brand.
Psyllium husk is a great fiber source and a widely recommended remedy for constipation. One study found that psyllium supplementation decreased constipation symptoms in patients with type 2 diabetes. It also reduced bad cholesterol and increased good cholesterol .
Cornstarch is another widely used thickening agent in cooking, especially in baked foods. However, one cup has 117 grams of carbs, which makes it unsuitable for keto.
A low carb keto diet doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to enjoy your favorite comfort foods. There’s a low carb substitute for almost every food like the ones we’ve discussed here. It may take a while to get used to them, but it will be worth it.
Beware though, some low carb substitutes like pork rinds are calorie dense and you could easily overeat them. Make sure to track your daily carb and calorie intake, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
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