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Filling Low-Carb Foods

Yiwen Lu, MS, RD
November 18, 2023
April 30, 2024

Are you looking for dishes that not only satisfy your hunger but also keep your carb intake in check? Well, you're in for a treat! We have a range of low-carb alternatives that will leave you feeling comfortably full without any guilt. It's important to remember that achieving the right balance is key to managing chronic conditions like diabetes. Completely eliminating carbs isn't necessary. Carbohydrates, particularly complex ones, provide essential dietary fiber and micronutrients. Additionally, not consuming enough carbs (especially if you are on diabetes medications that might significantly lower your blood sugar) can indeed pose a risk of hypoglycemia.

Having worked as a dietitian for several years, I understand that fullness and food volume have as much weight on diet and nutrition as carb content. In the upcoming article, I'll introduce you to six types of foods, each containing less than 10 grams of carbs per cup. These options allow you to add more food volume to your plate without causing significant fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. For reference, please note that one cup of white rice contains approximately 45 grams of carbs. Now, let's dive into some low-carb options that will keep both your taste buds and your nutritional needs in perfect harmony.

Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles): ~4 g carbs/cup

Zucchini noodles, affectionately known as "zoodles," are a top choice for pasta lovers who seek to limit their carb intake. They mimic the texture of traditional pasta but contain only a fraction of the carbs. You can spiralize your zucchini or opt for pre-made zoodles. Top them with your preferred pasta sauce, and you'll hardly notice the difference.

Spaghetti Squash: ~7 g carbs/cup

Spaghetti squash is another vegetable that transforms into noodle-like strands when cooked. It's versatile and pairs well with various sauces and toppings. Roast the squash, then use a fork to scrape out the "spaghetti." It's a fantastic low-carb substitute that leaves you feeling full.

Cauliflower Rice: ~6 g carbs/cup

Cauliflower rice has become a staple for those seeking low-carb alternatives. It's incredibly versatile and serves as a base for various dishes, from fried rice to risotto. It's a convenient and satisfying choice.

Eggplant Lasagna: ~9 g carbs/cup

For a hearty and carb-conscious take on lasagna, use eggplant slices instead of traditional pasta sheets. Layer them with your favorite lasagna ingredients, including cheese, sauce, and ground meat or vegetables. It's a delicious and filling option.

Kelp Noodles: ~8 g carbs/cup

Kelp noodles are a unique low-carb choice with a sea-inspired twist. Made from seaweed, they're low in carbs and a source of essential nutrients like iodine. From salads to stir-fries, there are a multitude of ways you can get creative and  incorporate kelp noodles into various dishes.

Cabbage Leaves: ~5 g carbs/cup

Cabbage leaves serve as an excellent alternative for tortillas in wraps and rolls. They're sturdy and can hold a variety of fillings from ground meat to vegetables. Creating cabbage rolls with a flavorful filling and sauce results in an easy-to-assemble meal that's both filling and low in carbs.


Try out these low-carb alternatives to pasta and noodles are not only delicious but also remarkably filling! Message us and let your Care Team know what you think!

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