As an Amazon Affiliate and member of various affiliate programs, we may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Why should you choose low carb substitutes for some of your favorite foods? Well, eating better is a choice – and sometimes it’s not easy. When you’re following a low carb or keto diet, it can sometimes feel very restrictive. That’s why you need to know what you can eat.
Usually when I tell people I eat low carb / keto, this is the usual response: “Oh, I could never do that. I can’t give up bread, pasta, and sweets.”
Guess what? You don’t have to give up those things.
…but you are going to have to make some sensible swaps for healthier low carb / low sugar choices.
What Are Some Good Low Carb Substitutes?
Carbs and sugars lurk in so much of what we typically eat, so it’s important when following a low carb / keto diet to drill down the staples of your diet to low carb friendly options. Here’s my top ten list of low carb substitutes that I love.
1. Coffee Creamer: Swap for Heavy Whipping Cream Natural Syrups or Sweeteners
One tablespoon of French Vanilla Creamer has about 5 carbs, and 5 grams of sugar. Let’s face it – you’re going to use more than one tablespoon of creamer. Say you use 3 – that’s a whopping 15 carbs and 15 grams of sugar for one cup of coffee.
Try this instead: Heavy Whipping Cream + a Natural Sweetener
- Heavy Whipping Cream at 0-1 carbs and 0 grams of sugar.
- Want it sweet? Add a natural sweetener like erythritol, stevia, or a sugar free syrup*!
- You can also add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
*Note about Sugar Free Syrups:
If you’re going with a sugar free syrup, I recommend the Jordan’s Skinny Syrups Keto varieties. They are made with stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol instead of artificial sweeteners. I’m personally not a fan of all the artificial sweeteners, so I try my best to avoid them.
2. Refined Sugar: Swap for Stevia and Erythritol
There are many great ways to sweeten your foods and drinks without using refined sugar. You may be wondering which one(s) you should use – it truly depends on what you’re using it in.
Sugar Substitutes for Different Food & Drink Types
- For tea / hot tea: Stevia packets – I use Aldi’s Sweet Additions packets
- Replacement for Brown Sugar: Swerve Brown Sugar
- Liquid Sweetener: Vanilla Sweet Drops
- If you want to try multiple types of Swerve, Amazon has this Swerve Sweetener Variety Pack
3. Chips: Swap for Pork Rinds
Okay, so if you’re like me (pre-keto), the thought of eating pork rinds may seem a bit repulsive. BUT. Hear me out.
Pork rinds are a low carb / keto treasure. You can use them instead of chips for tasty dips (after all, you’ve gotta have something to scoop up that queso), and they also come in a variety of flavors like Hot n’ Spicy, BBQ, Queso, Honey Mustard, and many more.
4. Soda: Swap for Zevia Naturally Flavored Soda
Did you know that one 12 oz. can of Coca Cola has 39 carbs AND 39 grams of sugar? Let me say that one more time: THIRTY-NINE GRAMS OF SUGAR. That is INSANE.
But what about diet sodas? Diet sodas such as Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, and other varieties may boast 0 calories and 0 sugars, but what they don’t spell out for you is that they use Aspartame & other potentially hazardous sweeteners in their diet sodas. I personally am not a fan of artificial sweeteners.
So, instead of diet sodas, I mostly drink Zevia. Zevia is a naturally flavored soda that is sweetened with stevia. It’s carbonated, clear instead of colored, and does have caffeine. And the best part?
It tastes good.
I haven’t tried all the flavors, but my current favorite by far is the Zevia Cherry Cola, followed by the Ginger Root Beer. Want to try more flavors? Check out this Zevia Rainbow Variety Pack on Amazon!
5. Noodles and Pasta: Swap for Zucchini Noodles or Spaghetti Squash
Alright, so using veggies instead of actual pasta – you’re probably thinking I’m insane.
I mean, maybe a little. But real talk about this: the texture and taste WILL BE different when you use zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles. But you can still make “spaghetti,” or chicken alfredo, or other pasta dishes by substituting this for the pasta.
Zucchini: Spiralize your own at home, or if you don’t have time for that, grab some Green Giant Veggie Spirals Zucchini. I found mine at Kroger and Schnucks.
Spaghetti Squash: Green Giant also has frozen Spaghetti Squash Veggie Spirals, but I prefer to cook my own spaghetti squash at home – usually by roasting it in the oven.
6. Rice: Swap for Cauliflower Rice
Traditional rice has SO many carbs – and let’s be real. We’re not giving up chicken and rice.
Try this instead: Green Giant, once again coming in clutch with their Riced Veggies: Cauliflower. They have several different kinds, including a Medley with carrots and peas, if you’re going for a Chinese takeout vibe.
I love using this cauli rice in stir fry’s and casseroles – and the best part about all these Green Giant frozen veggies is that you can zap them quickly in the microwave!
7. Mashed Potatoes: Swap for Mashed Cauliflower
Well, would you look at that – Green Giant FTW again 🙌
I’ve tried a variety of brands and flavors of mashed cauliflower, and this Green Giant Cheddar & Bacon Mashed Cauliflower is by far my favorite. A close second would be the Kroger brand mashed cauliflower.
The taste is SO surprisingly good – I barely even miss mashed potatoes.
You can also make mashed cauliflower from scratch at home, if you’re feeling inspired.
8. Bread: Swap for Keto Bread
This was a tough one for me – going without bread for sandwiches, toast, etc. I’ve made my own keto bread & cloud bread at home, but sometimes I just need something quick & easy.
Luckily a lot of stores now offer keto, low carb, and zero carb breads.
My favorite: Lewis Bake Shop Hawaiian Keto Bread. They also have White, and Cinnamon. I found mine at Schnucks.
If you’re an Aldi freak like me, they have their own version of low carb bread: L’oven Fresh Zero Net Carb Bread in Wheat, or Multiseed.
NOTE: The breads are very much dirty keto – so if you care more about the carb counting than how clean you’re eating, then DEFINITELY get the bread. But if you’re trying to eat clean keto? Steer clear.
9. Milk: Swap for Unsweetened Almond Milk
Who knew that one cup of 2% milk had 12 carbs & 12 grams of sugar? Not me, until I looked it up on MyFitnessPal!
Try this instead: Unsweetened Almond Milk, with 1 Carb per cup, and 0 sugars.
My Favorite: Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
10. Chocolate Bars: Swap for Lily’s Chocolate
If there is one thing on this list that I CANNOT live without, it is chocolate. Hands. Down.
Lily’s chocolate is low carb, non-GMO, gluten free AND doesn’t have refined sugars. What more could you ask for?
…Well, I guess it matters if it tastes good. NEWSFLASH: It does 😎
If you like variety, head to Amazon & try this Lily’s Chocolate Variety Pack.
My Favorite Flavor: Salted Caramel 😋
Want a sweet Keto treat idea to make with your Lily’s Chocolate? Try these Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bombs!
In Conclusion: Low Carb Substitutes
You can still eat what you want on Keto, you just have to make some smart swaps to stay low carb. And there are many more great low carb substitutes out there, so stay tuned for more posts!
Want More Low Carb Ideas?
Don’t forget to subscribe to get my latest posts, & share – sharing is caring 😉