The much-maligned carbohydrate (an essential, macro nutrient) has been touted as the bane of your dietary existence for too long. Don’t worry, you can eat your comfort food carbohydrate favorites without the guilt that often comes with consuming them and you don’t have to pack on dreaded pounds when you do. Instead of banning pasta, potato chips, ice cream, and those hi-carb foods that send you swooning every time you catch a whiff of their gooey goodness, I encourage you to proceed without the caution using the small tweaks I give you below. Here are my Top 4 Carb Fixes that deliver on taste, while lowering the calorie and carb content:
When you think of carbs, pasta is the holy grail. It is the first thing that generally comes to mind. But 1 serving of traditional spaghetti and meatballs contains 54 carbs and 433 calories. But with Explore Asian black bean spaghetti, you can reduce your carb count to 17 and your calories to just 180. Now, that’s what I call a winner. This is my new favorite pasta because, not only do I love its chewy texture and meaty flavor, but it is made with just two ingredients – black beans and water and has a whopping 25 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber in each serving! This is big, because traditional pastas typically contain only 7-8 grams of protein per serving. When you eat a complex carbohydrate like beans and include lean protein in the same meal, you get the double benefit of energy compliments of the complex carb and the muscle-building protein, plus the fiber fills you up so you are satiated and feeling full for longer periods of time so no over-eating. Now that’s hard to beat.
Of course, its not just college frat boys and co-eds who enjoy a good pizza every once in a while, but did you know that you can cut carbs here too? That’s right, it’s all about the crust. When you switch the ingredients of your pizza crust you can cut carbs to a tasty and manageable level that allows you to have pizza night for yourself and the family any time you choose. Eureka! Just one slice of cheese and veggie pizza has 41 grams of carbs and 372 calories. Most people have three slices at one sitting. For a woman following a 1,200 calorie weight-loss diet, that could amount to her carb and calorie budget for the whole day! Here’s one creative way to have your pizza and eat it, too. And it’s tasty, healthy, and cuts the carbs in half.
Make the dough using cauliflower instead of wheat flour and reduce your carb and calorie count from 41 grams and 372 calories/slice of traditional pizza to just 14 grams and 272 calories/slice of the cauliflower crusted pizza with my recipe.
I have yet to meet the person, who doesn’t enjoy a good potato chip, and for good reason. They are the perfect combination of a salty, buttery flavor with a crunchy bite that satisfies, but a single serving bag of potato chips has 15 grams of carbs and 160 calories and the truth is most people don’t eat just one…bag. But I have found a way to satisfy the chip lover in you that’s scrumptious and the best part is these chips are carb-free! Thesecheesy chips contain only 60 calories, no carbs – zip, zilch, nada, and they deliver on savory flavor and crunch.
To make your own cheesy chips:
1. Slice 1 each roll of string cheese (made of part-skim mozzarella) into quarter inch slices
2. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray
3. Place cheese “chips” on the tray an inch apart
4. Bake in 375 degrees oven for 4-5 mins.
5. Peel off chips, and enjoy!
Ice Cream Sundae
We all scream for ice cream! But ice cream in its creamy, cool, sugary goodness is a high-carb, indulgence that can certainly pack on the pounds. The average ice cream sundae contains a whopping 172 grams of carbs and from 600 to more than 1,000 calories. This one-time treat can blow your entire calorie and carb budget for the whole day. But there is a way to simplify this dessert and dramatically cut carbs and calories. I call it banana nice cream.
1. Add 1 frozen banana to a food processor
2. Add 2 TBS of almond milk and pulse to desired consistency
3. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
If you enjoy a good butter pecan ice cream try adding 1 TBS of crunchy almond butter, it does the trick.
Find the recipes to all of my carb-fixes at www.everythingro.com
Rovenia Brock, Ph.D. is a medical advisory board member and contributor to the “Dr. Oz Show,” where she helped more than a half-million Americans lose more than 5 million pounds. She is the author of “Dr. Ro’s Ten Secrets To Livin’ Healthy (Bantam). For more health, nutrition, and fitness tips, join Dr. Ro and her social media community and get a FREE Download of her new eBook of super-easy tips, “You Healthy and Happy” at www.everythingro.com