Even though carbohydrate-containing foods can be very good for us, especially if they are not processed, there are many folks who are restricting this group of foods for various reasons.

Enjoying low carb noodles and rice

Image Woman Grocery Shopping Vegetables Image Woman Grocery Shopping Vegetables Image Woman Grocery Shopping Vegetables

Even though carbohydrate-containing foods can be very good for us, especially if they are not processed, there are many folks who are restricting this group of foods for various reasons. They might have:

  • An allergy to certain grains like wheat and avoid pasta, breads and certain cereals.
  • Celiac disease and are unable to digest wheat, rye or barley.
  • Diabetes and are trying to cut back on carbohydrates for better blood sugar regulation.
  • Had bariatric surgery for weight loss, and need to limit the carbohydrate foods because there is no longer the stomach space to eat them.

There are some nifty carb replacements in the supermarket:

  1. Vegetables are spiralized into noodles from zucchini and yellow squash, spaghetti squash, carrots, parsnips, beets and eggplant. They are found in the produce section. These can be sautéed in a little olive oil in a saucepan.
  2. Noodles may be made from other starchy vegetables such as black beans, chick peas, legumes or quinoa. These can be boiled in water like traditional wheat-based noodles.
  3. Cauliflower “rice” is made from fresh cauliflower by finely chopping or dicing it so that it has a similar shape to rice. It is found in the produce and freezer sections of the supermarket. It can be:
  • Made into a crust for pizza.
  • In sushi to replace rice.
  • The base for a “rice” bowl that is topped with additional vegetables.
  • A replacement for rice when making fried rice.

It is fun and interesting to see vegetables featured in different ways. Many of the spiralized vegetables are ready-to-go in the produce and freezer sections of the grocery store so you have even saved the steps to make them at home. But there are inexpensive spiralizers that you can purchase to make your own veggie noodles at home. It’s especially nice in the summer when garden vegetables like zucchini and other squash are so plentiful and you are running out of ways to prep them. You can toss the cooked veggie noodles with olive oil and garlic or diced fresh tomato and fresh basil or add them to soups and salads.     

Recipes to try:

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.