We all may have slightly different motivations to change our way of life. The first step is commonly to change how we eat. Keto diets are more than just a fad and many people have had successful weight loss as well as other health benefits due to its unique properties and the changes it can make to your digestion and energy consumption processes. It takes the opposite approach from a standard diet by minimizing carbs and increasing good fat intake. Many high carb foods are a staple of the American diet which makes it difficult for people trying to switch to keto diets. If you need more help with your keto meal plans, if you are overwhelmed and don’t even know where to start, companies like Platejoy have keto meal plans already curated for you!
If you are a kitchen connoisseur and want to make your own healthy and delicious keto meals at home here are four alternatives to carb-loaded favorites that you can start enjoying today.
A family meal with a heaping side of buttery, creamy mashed potatoes is a memory many Americans cherish. Craving those delish mashed taters is pretty common and it is a side that goes naturally with a Sunday pot roast and lets not forget about that Thanksgiving table where it takes its rightful place right next to the roast turkey. While you may think that you need to give this up for your keto diet, you’ll be happy to know that there are yummy alternatives to potatoes. Instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower! Cauliflower absorbs flavor similar to potatoes and has a creamy and satisfying consistency when mashed or creamed. Looking for french fries? Try rutabaga or turnip, cut roasted and seasoned the same way you would potato fries – you will be pleasantly surprised.
Cauliflower, rutabaga and turnips have textural properties similar to potatoes and even look like potatoes when cooked. They have mild flavor and are able to sustain any seasoning you use. Maybe you have to give up potatoes but you can still enjoy the flavor and satisfying texture whenever you’re in the mood for this comfort food.
Who doesn’t like a little breading on chicken now and again to give it some extra flavor and a little crunch. If you think you have to give up your favorite breaded chicken or pork recipe, think again. Believe it or not, you have plenty of excellent keto friendly alternatives that you can use for breading.
Since breading exists for you to add more flavor, crunch and enjoyment to your meals, you can use flax meal, pork rinds, almond flour and grated Parmesan as strong alternatives. They’ll stick just like bread-crumb breading while giving you different options for amazing flavors. Try each one out to see which one you like the most with each of your ‘breaded’ foods.
Pastries are made with flour, bread is made with flour and of course pancakes (my personal favorite breakfast of all time) are made with flour. So many delicious recipes use flour as a main ingredient and this isn’t an option for someone on a keto diet. Because a new eating philosophy is more of a life change than a short term solution, don’t look for an alternative that keeps you in the same state of mind. Eating a ton of low carb baked goods isn’t going to help you make a permanent change; it will simply get you through the rough patch and will likely encourage you to eventually fall back into those old habits. You have to have discipline and do your best to avoid those foods but allowing yourself the occasional baked snack that is made with low carb flour can not only make a huge difference in how you look and feel but will make your gradual transition less painful because you are not denying yourself. There are a few popular alternative flour choices, the easiest and most forgiving in recipes are almond flour and coconut flour.
In short, they stand out as strong alternatives to regular flour since you can still use them for your usual baking needs without the carbs. This allows you to try out previous favorite recipes as well as new and exciting recipes made with those specialty ingredients in mind.
Finally, sugar stands out as one of the main reasons people have trouble sticking to their keto diets. Not only do we crave sweets but sugar also has a way of hiding in food and drinks that we simply don’t always know about. Juice is a great example, some think it is healthy and natural, basically a liquid version of fresh fruit, while others see it as full of sugar and empty calories, not healthy at all. The truth is too much sugar is bad for you for a lot of reasons, other than causing weight gain, sugar consumption can raise your blood sugar to unhealthy levels. Don’t worry, you can break your sugar dependency like the bad habit it is and use monk fruit sweetener or Stevia to keep yourself satisfied when you crave something sweet while preventing unnecessary weight gain.
Monk fruit sweetener creates a special type of sugar from the fruit that doesn’t have calories. It still has a sweet taste to it, making it an excellent alternative. Stevia does the same thing, but it comes from the plant’s leaves. Look into both of these options, do a taste test and see which one you want to use as an alternative to sugar.
Set yourself up for success! While you may crave some of your favorite carb-based comfort foods when you switch to a keto diet, you can use these friendly alternatives to satisfy the yearning. By mimicking the texture and supporting a similar flavor profile you can enjoy some of the foods you loved before following a keto diet and never even miss the real thing. It is important to note that changing habits and lifestyle choices is not usually done with pure success overnight. Give yourself the time to truly create new habits and let your body acclimate to its new normal. Once you go without processed sugar for a month, you will notice that you start to respond differently to the taste of sweetness and if you try a traditional sugary snack it might not appeal to you the way it used to and instead taste overly sweet. This is when you know you have reached a milestone and your new healthy living choices have a real chance becoming permanent good habits.