14 substitutions that can help you cut down on carbs

If you have pre-diabetes or diabetes, balancing your carbohydrate intake along with daily physical activity is key to controlling your blood sugars. It is not safe or recommended to completely eliminate carbohydrates from your diet. The minimum daily requirement for carbohydrates is 130 grams per day, necessary for healthy brain function. However, most Americans consume well above the minimum requirement, which can lead to weight gain and uncontrolled blood sugars. According to the American Diabetes Association, a person with diabetes should consume about 50 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, with the rest of their calories coming from fat and protein.

All carbohydrate (carbs) sources are not created equal. Whole grains, vegetables and fruits provide fiber and nutrients. Milk and yogurt provide calcium, vitamin D and protein in addition to carbs. Less healthy carbs include white bread, refined or sugary cereals, sweets, white pasta and white rice.

If you really want to eat a bowl of pasta or enjoy your favorite dessert but want to keep carbs in check, what should you do?

Use this handy chart to help you find the right substitution without the extra carbs or elevated blood sugars.

Higher Carbs Lower Carbs
White pasta, 1 cup
45 g
Spaghetti squash, 1 cup
7 g
Mashed potato, 1 cup
35 g
Mashed cauliflower, 1 cup
10 g
White bread, 1 slide
15 g
Light bread, 1 slice
7.5 g
Fruited yogurt, 6 oz
31 g
Light Greek yogurt, 6 oz
10 g
Corn, 1 cup
41 g
Broccoli, 1 cup
5 g
Orange juice, 8 oz
25 g
1 Medium orange
15 g
Dried fruit, 1 cup
100 g
Fresh fruit, 1 cup
15 g
Mocha frappuccino, 16 oz
65 g
Skinny peppermint mocha
17 g
Philadelphia soft pretzel
70 g
Mini Pretz-a-bagel
23 g
30 Potato chips
30 g
Popcorn, 3 cups
15 g
1 Bakery-style bagel
50 g
Bagel thins
15 g
Medium fries
50 g
Medium baked potato
30 g
Canned fruit in syrup, 1 cup
52 g
Canned fruit in juice, 1 cup
32 g
Maple syrup, 1/4 cup
60 g
Sugar-free syrup, 1/4 cup
0 g