8 Swaps to Eat More Good Carbs

Updated: Feb. 25, 2021

You don’t have to give up carbs entirely to be healthy. Try these swaps to get more nutrients out of your favorite go-to’s.

Everyone has a weakness that they turn to in times of a desperate carb craving. Yours might be mashed potatoes, French fries, a bag of barbecue chips, or crusty French bread. Identify your downfalls from the left column, and substitute them, one at a time, for the swap in the right column, which will satisfy that craving and won’t lead to overeating later.

Danger carb: Mashed potatoes
Good carb: Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes will cause less of a rise in blood sugar and provide potassium and Vitamin C.

Danger carb: French bread
Good carb: Real (bakery) sourdough bread.

Find out why sourdough is a better carb choice.

Danger carb: French fries
Good carb: Sweet potato fries

Sweet potatoes will cause a lower blood sugar spike, but try these baked sweet potato fries for an even healthier choice.

Danger carb: White rice
Good carb: Pearled barley

Eating barley instead of white rice slashes the effect on your blood sugar by almost 70 percent. Add it to soups, use it instead of Arborio rice (the worst rice offender of all) in risotto, and serve it as a nutty, flavorful side dish. The possibilities are endless.

Danger carb: Sweet cereal or cornflakes
Good carb: Whole grain cereal

Get tips on finding the healthiest whole grain choices.

Danger carb: Waffles, pancakes
Good carb: Whole-wheat French toast

You don’t have to give up waffles if you try this recipe for multi-grain waffle mix.

Danger carb: Bagels
Good carb: Whole-grain English muffins

Learn how to read food labels so that you can choose the best choice for your muffins and breads.

Danger carb: Soda
Good carb: Flavored seltzer

Find out why you should be skipping all soda (even diet) if you want to be healthy and lose weight. Flavored seltzers and no-calorie beverages are the best choice. Try one of these zero-calorie drinks.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest