By Danielle Fredericks
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 1 of VARSITY News.
The eradication of carbohydrates (aka carbs) remain the aim amongst the most popular of diets. Carbs are our main source of fuel. The macronutrient can be classified into two types: simple and complex carbohydrates. Once consumed, they are broken down into sugars which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. Consuming carbohydrates in excess or having a high carb intake does not make for a healthier diet. An excess supply of sugar in the body is one of the leading causes for obesity in society. Do not fret as this does not necessarily imply that you have to kiss your weekly pizza dates goodbye – it is important to maintain a balance. Here are a few inexpensive low carb alternatives to help kickstart your journey.
A substitute for this is cauliflower rice. This can be found pre-packaged in supermarkets – alternatively placing cauliflower heads in a food processor or blender does the job too (however, this is more time consuming). This low carb alternative is much lower in calories compared to normal rice.
One of the three options, zucchini, courgetti or cauliflower noodles make for a delicious substitute to any pasta dish. Besides buying them in pre-packaged forms, one can also buy one to two of these whole vegetables and use a vegetable peeler to carve out tagliatelle ribbons.
Eggplants (also known as aubergines or brinjals) are another super easy alternative for making lasagna-like sheets. The use of this vegetable as opposed to the pastry-sheets in lasagna cuts the calories and carb count in this meal tremendously.
Grilled or steamed portobello mushrooms are another inexpensive alternative. These mushrooms come in sizes as big as a normal burger bun… yes, you heard right. Mushrooms are nutrient dense and are a great source of fibre.
An alternative to the usual flour-tortilla wraps are leafy-greens or butter lettuce. If you need to increase your intake of vitamin A, C, K, calcium or iron, butter lettuce is your go-to. This substitution is easy to implement because all you need to do is place your desired filling onto one or two lettuce leaves, fold/wrap it and voíla.
Overall, making these low carb substitutions are a great way to increase your daily veg-intake. Keep in mind that the less processed something is the better – just because something is low in calories or lower in carbohydrates does not automatically make it healthy. The closer something is to its natural form the better it is for your body.