If you are new to a ketogenic diet, you may be missing the foods that you are used to eating. We grew up with the convenience of sandwiches and grabbing a sandwich is always an easy and quick meal. When we change our lifestyles, we need to move past this initial instinct to grab a sandwich and start to reach for the healthier options.
To help you make the mental shift to low carb and for some practical swaps, check out our 100 low carb swaps for a ketogenic diet below...
Or if you prefer to check it out in your own time, download the PDF at the bottom of this page and study it at your leisure.
100 Low Carb Swaps for a Ketogenic Diet
Enjoy our 100 low carb swaps for a ketogenic diet. This list is broken down into the following categories:
Bread and Burger Buns
You can still enjoy a succulent burger, just change the bun to one of these delicious covers.
- Kale leaves
- Lettuce leaves
- Thick sliced cucumbers
- Roasted Portobello mushroom caps
- Napa or Chinese cabbage
Save 18 plus grams of carbs per 2 slices of bread and 21 grams for each bun.
Wraps, Tacos and Tortillas
To enjoy a healthy taco or wrap replace the wheat shells and wraps with any green leaf or make delicious cauliflower wraps.
- Cauliflower wrap
Save 23 to 43 grams of carbs in traditional tacos, wraps and tortillas.
Need some inspiration? Then try these 100 simple low carb swaps for a ketogenic lifestyle
Spaghetti and Pasta
Missing your Pasta? Then try vegetable noodles. You may like them more than you think. If however you want the feel and texture of "real" pasta, then try shirataki noodles. They are high in fiber and protein with zero net carbs. The kelp noodles are also a delicious alternative.
- Thick cut zucchini slices
- Sliced eggplant
Save 21 grams of carbs by replacing just 2 noodles.
Potatoes and Rice
- Replace mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower
- For potato salad, used softened cauliflower chunks instead of potatoes
- For hash browns, use cauliflower instead of potatoes
- For hash browns, use spaghetti squash instead of potatoes
- Replace rice with cauliflower rice
Save on average 18 grams of carbs per ½ cup.
- Almond Flour
- Coconut flour
- Nut crusting - Crushed nuts make a great low carb coating for fish and chicken
Save about 40 grams of carbs in ½ cup of white flour.
- Almond flour
- Coconut flour
Save 23 grams of carbs per half a cup.
Who doesn't love pizza? Unfortunately the number of carbs in a normal pizza crust is really high. Here are some low carb options...
- Portobello mushroom cap
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- Coconut flour pizza crust
Save a minimum of 16 grams per 2 slices of crust.
Sushi without rice can be delicious. Why not try these options without rice or replace the rice with cauliflower?
- Sushi cut and hand rolls without rice
- Cut rolls wrapped in cucumber without rice
- Cut rolls wrapped in salmon without rice
- Sushi made with cauliflower rice
Save 26 or more grams of carbs in each roll.
Cereals And Breakfast Grains
On the standard America diet, breakfast is probably our least healthy meal. Many of the standard choices are laden with sugar and consist mostly of heavy carbs. Breakfasts like these are guaranteed to have you starving by mid morning.
To change this, you will have to make eggs your friend. Here are some healthier breakfast ideas for you.
- Eggs any style
- Bacon and eggs or sausage and eggs
- Eggs with salsa and flax cracker with cream cheese
- Bacon, onion and tomato wraps (wrapped in lettuce or kale)
- Omelets with vegetables, meats, and/or cheese
- Egg bakes and skillets with meats and veggies
- Smoked salmon with cream cheese, tomatoes and onions
- Smoked salmon scrambled eggs with chives and sour cream on top
- Deviled eggs
- Deviled eggs with a shrimp on top
- Hard-boiled eggs cut in half with fresh guacamole and bacon on top
- Egg frittatas
- Breakfast sandwiches wrapped in a firm omelet instead of English muffin, bagels or breads and stuffed with bacon, sausage, cheese etc.
- Cauliflower hash browns
- Pancakes and waffles made with coconut or almond flour
- Flax crackers and cheese
- Green smoothies
- Flax crackers with peanut or almond butter and a few mashed berries or sugar free jam on top
- Flourless egg and cottage cheese savory breakfast muffins
- Cream cheese pancakes
Save 25 plus grams of carbs over cereals and other breakfast grains.
Who doesn't like french fries? Try these healthy and delicious alternatives...
- Baked carrot sticks
- Crispy green bean fries
- Crispy turnip fries
- Crispy daikon fries
- Crispy zucchini fries
Save a minimum of 56 grams of carbs in a 1 cup serving.
- Make ketchup with crushed fresh tomatoes and save more than 4 gram of sugar per table spoon.
Potato Chips and Crispy Salty Snacks
Worried that you will be missing the crunch of potato chips? Then try some of these snacks...
- Kale or spinach chips
- Wash and thoroughly dry veg, cut into pieces, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt, garlic, or Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 350 F until edges are brown but not burnt normally 10 to 15 minutes.
- Crispy green bean fries
- Toss green beans in olive oil in a large bowl, add salt, and optional garlic, Parmesan cheese or paprika and toss to coat.
- Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 F for 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy.
- Parmesan cheese crisps
- Place small piles of shaved Parmesan on a non-stick pan, and fry until melted and chew, or longer for extra crisp.
- American cheese crisps
- Cut into 1 by 1 squares, place on parchment paper and microwave for 60 seconds or until crispy.
- Pepperoni chips
- Microwave on paper towels until crispy.
- Almonds and walnuts
- Crispy veggie sticks - Carrots, cucumber and celery
- Almond flour or coconut flour crackers
- Flax crackers
- Roasted seasoned seaweed
These alternative croutons give the same crunch, but without the carbs.
- Sliced nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts)
- Real bacon bits
- Baked crispy cheese broken up into small pieces
- Crumbled flax crackers
- Sunflower seeds
Save 15 grams of carbs per ounce.
- Flax Crackers
- Parmesan cheese crisps
- Almond or coconut flour crackers
- Cucumbers, raw zucchini, celery and carrots
High Carb Fruit
Most fruit are high in carbs and fructose. So if you are new on a ketogenic diet it is best to completely remove them from your diet for a while. Fortunately berries are the exception...
Save 25 plus grams per fruit.
It is best not to have dessert, but there is no reason not to indulge in these delicious desserts especially if your main meal has a little less fat than what is ideal.
- Fat bombs
- Sour cream with stevia and berries
- Strawberry with almond or peanut butter
- Strawberries dipped in 85% dark chocolate
- Strawberries dipped in sugar free caramel
- Coconut-cashew chocolate truffles
- Almond flour cookies and muffins
- Blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries with heavy whipping cream
- Milk shake with almond milk, cocoa powder and nut butter
- Low carb snack bars (Check ingredients)
- Low carb mini cakes
- Sugar free ice pops
Milk is packed with natural sugar, which result in milk having a high carb count.
- Heavy whipping cream
- Almond milk
Save 13 grams of carbs per cup.
Sodas are laden with high fructose corn syrup and should really be avoided at all cost.
- Lemon water
- Other fruit or vegetable infused water like cucumber
- Zero calorie flavored seltzers
Save 39 grams of pure sugar carbs in a 12-ounce serving.
Sugary Cocktails and Beer
Drinks are generally high in carbs. For the best chance to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, lay of the booze for a while. If you do want to have a drink, go for the lower carb and sugar options...
- Straight spirits (vodka, gin, whiskey) mixed with club soda or water
Save a minimum of 39 grams of carbs per drink.
What is next?
Download our 100 low carb swaps for a ketogenic diet checklist and join our community...