By Jennifer Eloff

Apple Swaps:
Chayote squash (also known as mirliton squash and by several other names, is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae).

Helpful Hint: These squash alternatives require adding ingredients like lemon juice, sweetener, vanilla extract and cinnamon to mimic apple flavor.

Baking Swaps:
Search on Pinterest or your favorite low-carb blogs for the recipe you require.

Bread Swaps:
Commercial Low-carb bread
Eggplant bruschetta
Eggplant slices used to sandwich various fillings
Famous flourless almond or peanut butter bread
Homemade low-carb bread, hamburger buns and sandwich thins
Homemade Miracle Dough® or Fathead Dough® for garlic bread, buns,
  pull-apart buns, bagels, flatbread, pretzels, etc.
Jiffy microwave breads and buns
Lettuce wraps for a burger patty and toppings
Helpful Hints: For maintenance levels: buy wholegrain bread that is lower in carbs and toast a slice of bread.  Slice it in half horizontally with a sharp, serrated knife.  Now you can make a sandwich with half the carbs since you are using only 1 slice or use the 2 slices of very thin toast you made for breakfast with your omelet or scrambled eggs. 

Breadcrumb Swaps:
Parmesan cheese and almond flour mix
Pork rind crumbs

Helpful Hints: Breadcrumb Topping:  Mix 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated cheese of choice, 1/4 cup (60 mL) almond flour and 1 tbsp (15 mL) coconut flour (or use 1/3 cup (75 mL) low-carb bake mix instead) and 2 tbsp (30 mL) melted butter to form a “dough” that sticks together – press into pie dish and bake alongside casserole until getting golden brown (crisps up when cooler) and sprinkle small bits over cooked casserole. Delicious and much tastier than ordinary breadcrumbs!

Condiment Swaps:
Real mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip®)
Sugar-free barbecue sauce
Sugar-free ketchup
Sugar-free mustard
Sugar-free pickle relish

Cracker Swaps:
Cheese chips
Cucumber slices
Homemade low-carb crackers
Wheat-free, small commercial crackers

Crouton Swaps:
Anything crunchy like pine nuts, sunflower seeds,
  toasted sliced almonds or crumbled crispy bacon for topping salads
Low-carb bread used to make homemade croutons
Parmesan crisps

Crust and Puff Pastry Swaps
Almond flour, coconut flour (or a combination of those two) or low-carb bake
  mix crusts for baking applications
Homemade Miracle Dough® (similar to Fathead Dough®) works
  well for pie crusts (top or bottom), calzones, stromboli, and
  most puff pastry applications as well (it is very good but different).

Dessert and Confection Swaps:
Search on Pinterest or your favorite low-carb blogs for the recipe you require.

French Fries Swaps:
Celeriac fries (boil first, toss with seasoned oil and roast)
Crumbed Avocado Fries (Crumb mixture of Parmesan and almond flour)
Crumbed Eggplant Fries
Crumbed Zucchini Fries
Jicama Fries
Roasted Crispy Potato Skins for fries (maintenance levels)
Sweet Potato Fries (maintenance levels)
Turnip Fries 

Hard-Shell Taco Swap:
Cheese Tacos

Helpful Hints:  Cheese tacos are made purely out of grated cheese such as Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese.  In nonstick frying pan, melt cheese and when turning golden brown underneath, flip and cook the other side, too. Remove cheese taco and fold over a big spoon to keep the taco open as it cools.  Fill as desired.

Hashbrown Swaps:
Shredded turnips, fried
Sliced radishes, fried

Helpful Hints: Radishes and turnips lose their characteristic bite when fried with onions, seasonings and bacon bits. 

Jam Swaps:
Commercial Sugar-free fruit spreads
Homemade jams with either gelatin or chia seeds

Oatmeal or Cereal Swaps:
Chia seed porridge for oatmeal
Commercial low-carb cereals
Low-carb “granola” and other homemade low-carb cereal recipes

Pasta Swaps:
Cabbage noodles
Crepes in lasagna for Crepe Lasagna
Dreamfield’s Lower Carb Pasta (maintenance levels)
Eggplant in lasagnas using either beef or chicken
Explore Cuisine® Black Bean Spaghetti (authentic-tasting)
Homemade low-carb pasta-like substitutes
Mac-and-cheese style cauliflower
Palmini® hearts of palm linguine
Shirataki Noodles (Miracle® Noodles)
Spaghetti squash
Spiralized vegetables
Zucchini in zucchini lasagna
Zucchini spiralized noodles

Pizza Crust Swaps:
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Ground chicken pizza crust
Many low-carb pizza crust recipes abound using ingredients such as cheese, bake
  mix, almond flour, coconut flour, Miracle Dough® or Fathead Dough®
Meatza pizza crust (ground beef used for the “crust”)
Portobello Mushrooms
Zucchini Pizza Crust

Potato Chip Swaps:
Cheese chips
Commercial low-carb chips
Eggplant chips (roasted)
Kale chips
Pepperoni chips
Pork rinds
Veggie chips using a dehydrator
Zucchini chips (roasted)

Helpful Hints:  Pepperoni Chips: Place pepperoni on a paper towel on a dinner plate and nuke until crispy.  Check frequently as they can burn rather quickly.  They will crisp up as they cool.  Blot excess oil off top of the chips.

Potato Swaps:
Cauli mash and sweet potato mash combination (maintenance levels)
Cauliflower salad instead of potato salad (very good)
Cauliflower tots for Tater Tots®
Daikon (boiled or fried)
Mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes (try adding garlic, cream cheese and
  Mozzarella cheese)
Radishes in stews in the slow cooker are potato-like

Rice Swaps:
Cauliflower rice
Cauliflower rice combined with a little wild rice or quinoa
Miracle® Rice
Quinoa (maintenance levels)
Wild rice (maintenance levels)

Helpful Hints:  When in the maintenance-level eating phase, some people may be able to have some starches in modest amounts without gaining weight; like rice mixed with wild rice and Dreamfield’s slightly lower-carb pasta.  Many low-carbers enjoy small portions of quinoa (a seed, not a grain) or used in recipes. The trick is to cook them in boiling water with some olive oil.  Drain and refrigerate.  Reheating the next day, studies show, ensures that the resistant starch formed has a lower impact on blood glucose.  Keep portions small.  People with diabetes should be careful and also those people who have an all-or-nothing attitude and will give up on the low-carb diet, as well as people with severe weight problems.

Sugar Swaps
Sugar substitutes are available in abundance these days. Which one you choose really comes down to personal preference.  There are liquid sweeteners (sucralose or stevia), erythritol, xylitol, combination sweeteners such as Natural Mate® which has a combination of sucralose and erythritol or stevia and erythritol and also a Monk Fruit option.  Natural Mate® comes in several forms (liquid and concentrated powder) and even scoopable granular form which tastes great and is fantastic for baking.  There are many other sweeteners besides: Just Like Sugar®, xylitol (this one is deadly for dogs), Swerve®, Steviva Blend®, Truvia®, Lakanto® sweeteners (Monk Fruit extract and erythritol) to name but a few.   The newest kids on the block are Monk Fruit/Allulose or Allulose on its own.

Helpful Hints:  Some sugar alcohols like maltitol and xylitol or some combination sweeteners (not sure why as the individual components such as erythritol and stevia are not a problem) may have a laxative effect.  Erythritol on its own does not seem problematic for most people unless one has a sensitive bladder.

Wheat Flour Swaps:
Almond flour
Carbalose® Flour (not gluten-free)
Carbquik® (not gluten-free)
Coconut flour
Commercial Low-Carb Bake Mixes
Hazelnut flour
Homemade Low-carb Bake Mixes
Sunflower seed flour (alternative to almond flour for nut allergies)*

Helpful Hints: Almond flour, coconut flour, hazelnut flour and sunflower seed flour cannot be swapped cup-for-cup for white wheat flour. If you want to use these alternatives as a substitute for wheat flour in recipes, it is best to follow tried-and-true recipes to prevent wasting expensive ingredients.  That is why a good low-carb bake mix is useful as it can easily be substituted for white flour ensuring that you can once again enjoy making your own favorite recipes.  I have several homemade, low-carb and gluten-free bake mixes, two of which would suit a very low-carb, Keto diet.  Almond flour can be expensive.  One way around this is to mix almond flour and walnut flour (grind walnuts); walnuts are cheaper.  Another way around this is to use almond meal (ground sliced or slivered almonds without the skins) instead.  Yet another way around this is to buy almond flour online in bulk (freeze or refrigerate for longer storage).*If using sunflower seed flour, use baking powder, as baking soda can turn the baked goods greenish or the baked goods can have green flecks due to a chemical reaction.

Wrap Swaps:
Cheese wraps
Commercial low-carb tortillas
Homemade Low-carb tortillas (Homemade Miracle Dough® in later books)
  or other homemade tortilla recipes
Large lettuce leaves
Low-carb Crepes for savory fillings
Meat Roll-Ups
Omelet-style wraps

Alcohol Swaps:
Champagne (1 g carbs per glass)
Dry low-carb wines (2 g carbs per glass)
Dry Martini, shaken, not stirred (0 g carbs)
Low-carb or ultra low-carb beer (range 0.7 g to 3.2 g carbs)
Skinny Bitch (0 g carbs; vodka, carbonated water, lime and ice)
Vodka, gin, whiskey, brandy, tequila, rum (0 g carbs)

Helpful Hints:  Drinking should always be in moderation (no more than 1 drink a day and preferably less than that). During the weight loss phase alcohol should be limited as alcohol can stall weight loss for many people.  Beer, even low-carb beer, contributes to beer belly, and is therefore not the best choice, but it can be helpful for some menopausal women for a number of reasons.  Alcohol can be addictive, so if you have an addictive nature, steer clear!  Alcohol can also be a depressant. It can also encourage one to eat more than one otherwise would.  Alcohol will usually intoxicate low-carbers more readily.

Drinks Swaps:
Cucumber or lemon slices in cold water
Diet sodas in moderation
Homemade low-carb, sugar-free drinks and shakes
Low-carb, sugar-free hot chocolate
Smoothies made with avocado instead of banana
Sugar-free flavored drink mixes
Sugar-free iced tea
Tea and coffee with low-carb milk, or cream, and sweetener if desired
Unsweetened carbonated water