by Franziska Spritzler | Authority Nutrition
Cutting back on carbohydrates can have major benefits for your health.
Many studies have shown that low-carb diets can help you lose weight and control diabetes or prediabetes (1, 2, 3).
Here are 15 easy ways to reduce your carb intake.
1. Eliminate Sugar-Sweetened Drinks
Sugar-sweetened beverages are very unhealthy.
They’re high in added sugar, which is linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and obesity when consumed in excess (4, 5, 6).
A 12-ounce (354-ml) can of sugary soda contains 38 grams of carbs, and a 12-ounce sweetened iced tea has 36 grams of carbs. These come entirely from sugar (7, 8).
If you want to eat fewer carbs, avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages should be one of the first things you do.
If you want to drink something refreshing with a taste, try adding some lemon or lime to club soda or iced tea. If needed, use a small amount of low-calorie sweetener.
2. Cut Back on Bread
Bread is a staple food in many diets. Unfortunately, it’s also quite high in carbs and generally low in fiber.
This is especially true for white bread made fromrefined grains, which may negatively impact health and weight (9).
Even nutritious breads such as rye contain about 15 grams of carbs per slice. And only a couple of those are fiber, the only component of carbs that isn’t digested and absorbed (10).
Although whole grain bread contains vitamins and minerals, there are many other foods that provide the same nutrients with much fewer carbs.
These healthy foods include vegetables, nuts and seeds.
However, it can be tough to give up bread entirely. If you’re finding it difficult, try one of these delicious low-carb bread recipes that are easy to make.
3. Stop Drinking Fruit Juice
Unlike whole fruit, fruit juice contains little to no fiber and is full of sugar.
Although it provides some vitamins and minerals, it’s no better than sugar-sweetened beverages in terms of sugar and carbs. This is true even for 100% fruit juice (11).
For instance, 12 oz (354 ml) of 100% apple juice contains 48 grams of carbs, most of which is sugar (12).
It’s best to avoid juice completely. Instead, try flavoring your water by adding a slice of orange or lemon.
4. Choose Low-Carb Snacks
Carbs can add up quickly in snack foods such as chips, pretzels and crackers.
These types of foods are also not very satisfying.
One study found women felt fuller and ate 100 fewer calories at dinner when they ate a high-protein snack, compared to a low-protein one (13).
Having a low-carb snack that contains protein is the best strategy when hunger strikes between meals.
Here are a few healthy snacks that contain less than 5 grams of digestible (net) carbs per 1-oz (28-gram) serving and also some protein:
- Almonds: 6 grams of carbs, 3 of which are fiber.
- Peanuts: 6 grams of carbs, 2 of which are fiber.
- Macadamia nuts: 4 grams of carbs, 2 of which are fiber.
- Hazelnuts: 5 grams of carbs, 3 of which are fiber.
- Pecans: 4 grams of carbs, 3 of which are fiber.
- Walnuts: 4 grams of carbs, 2 of which are fiber.
- Cheese: Less than 1 gram of carbs.
5. Eat Eggs or Other Low-Carb Breakfast Foods
Even small amounts of some breakfast foods are often high in carbs.
For instance, one half-cup (55 grams) of granola cereal typically has around 30 grams of digestible carbs, even before adding milk (14).
Conversely, eggs are an ideal breakfast when you’re trying to cut back on carbs.
For starters, each egg contains less than 1 gram of carbs. They’re also a great source of high-quality protein, which can help you feel full for hours and eat fewer calories during the rest of the day (15, 16, 17).
What’s more, eggs are extremely versatile and can be prepared in many ways, including hard-boiling for an on-the-go breakfast.
For breakfast recipes featuring eggs and other low-carb foods, read this: 18 Low-Carb Breakfast Recipes.