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Diabetes Health Center

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6 Low-Carb Food Makeovers

By Amy Capetta
WebMD Feature

You watch what you eat because of your diabetes, and you know some of your favorite comfort foods can be a problem. You don't have to give them up if you know how to change them.

“Many of my clients are reluctant to part with their highly processed favorites because they don’t think their cravings can be satisfied with healthy food,” says Cheryl Forberg, RD, chef and nutritionist for NBC's The Biggest Loser. “But it’s a misconception that simple, nutritious foods can’t be absolutely bursting with flavor!”

Start using these carb-slashing cooking tips today.

1. Pizza (288 calories, 33 grams of carbs per slice)

Swap the thick crust for a mushroom cap (22 calories, 4.3 grams of carbs).

Building your pizza on a mushroom is a simple way to cut the carbs and calories. When you eat mushrooms, you also get nutrients like potassium, which can help lower blood pressure, and niacin, a B vitamin that helps your body change carbs into fuel for energy.

“Plus, mushrooms have a meaty texture and rich flavor,” Forberg says.

2. Potato chips (230 calories, 23 grams of carbs per 2-ounce serving)

Swap chips for slices of jicama (45 calories, 10 grams of carbs per 1-cup serving).

“Jicama is a sweet, edible root that makes a delicious impostor for your favorite dip,” Forberg says.

Note the difference in serving size.

“One cup of jicama slices also contains 6 grams of fiber (which helps lower cholesterol levels and improves blood glucose control) and nearly 40% of your daily vitamin C,” Forberg says.

3. Spaghetti (One cup has 176 calories and 39 grams of carbs.)

Swap the white noodles for spaghetti squash (42 calories, 10 grams of carbs per 1-cup serving).

You'll get a mildly nutty, sweet flavor and nutrients such as vitamin A and potassium, says Dawn Sherr, RD, associate director of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Want actual pasta? Choose one that's made from whole-grain flour.

At 174 calories and 37 grams of carbs per 1-cup serving, that's pretty similar to pasta made from white flour. But there's a difference.

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