Everyone has a different interpretation of comfort food. For some people, it’s a hot bowl of chili topped with melty cheese shreds or a big plate of crispy fries with plenty of ketchup and mayo on the side. For others, it’s an ice cream sundae or a thick slice of chocolate cake. Whatever snack or meal it is, the similar thread that ties all comfort food together is that it delights our taste buds, satisfies our cravings, fills our tummies, and makes us feel warm and content. Another thing most comfort foods have in common, however, is that they aren’t the healthiest foods. Some are laden with sugar and high in carbs and fat, while others are doused in greasy oil.
Luckily, there are a ton of low carb versions of our favorite comfort foods on the market today. From fries and pasta to burgers and cookies, there are plenty of options that will allow you to indulge in your cravings without feeling guilty afterwards. Need to see it to believe it? No problem. Here are 14 products that prove that comfort doesn’t always have to equal carbs!
ThinSlim Foods Cinnamon Bagels
Mornings are rough and sometimes grabbing a bagel stuffed with cream cheese at a nearby bodega seems like the easiest and most comforting breakfast option. Before you do that, though, consider checking out ThinSlim Foods Cinnamon Bagels. Made from natural wheat bran, natural wheat protein isolate, natural oat flour, purified water, sea salt, calcium propionate (a light preservative), chicory roots, yeast, cinnamon, and stevia, these bagels are a lighter option. Each bagel is 60 calories, has 15 grams of total carbs, two grams of net carbs, and 13 grams of protein. Reviewers are saying that these bagels are tasty, chewy, fluffy, and successful in satisfying bagel cravings. However, some reviewers felt that the bagels were a bit too dense and that the cinnamon was not pronounced enough. To try them out, you can get one 12-ounce bag (six bagels) for $8.
Nutilight Hazelnut Spread
If you’re a Nutella fan, you know how hard it can be to not slather the spread on everything. Well, while we still don’t suggest that you incorporate a chocolate-hazelnut spread into all of your dishes, you can definitely feel a little better about it if you invest in Nutilight Hazelnut Spread. This sugar-free product is made with chicory root fiber, vegetable oil, hazelnut, erythritol, cocoa powder, sunflower lecithin, pure vanilla extract, and stevia leaf extract. It is also gluten-free, non-GMO, and has 17 grams of totals carbs and five net carbs per two tablespoons. Reviewers are saying that this spread has the taste and texture of fudge, is wonderful when chilled, and is a great low-carb substitute for Nutella. However, it is worth noting that due to the high fiber content of this item, some reviewers have experienced gastrointestinal discomfort when eating too much of this spread at once. If you’d still like to try it out, you can get one 11-ounce jar for $9.
Great Low Carb Bread Company: Everything Bread
Bread is the base of many of our comfort food favorites – from sandwiches to pizza. But watching your carb intake doesn’t mean you have to avoid bread completely, you just have to choose your bread wisely. Great Low Carb Bread Company: Everything Bread is made primarily from water, vital wheat gluten, oat flour, almond flour, flax seed meal, wheat fiber, and wheat protein isolate. Each serving of this bread (one slice) has 14 grams of protein, eight total carbs, and one net carb. Reviewers are saying that while this product doesn’t taste exactly like regular bread it has great flavor and texture and is satisfying. Just remember, a few reviewers say it’s best to keep this bread in the freezer and toast it for optimal flavor. This bread is definitely on the expensive side, though. You can get one loaf for $17.
Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
When it comes to comfort food, you can really never have enough cheese. Shreds, in particular, are great for adding a cheesy layer of goodness on anything and everything. Daiya Cheddar-Style Shreds is a cheese alternative that is not only free of dairy but casein, whey, lactose, soy, and gluten. It is made primarily from filtered water, tapioca flour, non-GMO canola oil, and pea protein. Reviewers have been using these shreds in tofu scrambles, pizza, burritos, mac and cheese, and sprinkled over roasted veggies. While you could technically sprinkle these shreds on cold dishes like salads, most of the reviewers are raving about this cheese’s melting capabilities, saying they don’t taste particularly amazing out of the bag but melt wonderfully. To try these out for yourself, you can get one eight-ounce bag for a little over $4.
Peas of Mind Cauliflower Fries
Fries are a comfort food favorite – especially in diners where you can dress them up with all sorts of things like gravy, marinara sauce, Ranch dressing, or just plain ol’ ketchup. However, if you’re looking for a lighter option, consider checking out Peas of Mind Cauliflower Fries. Made primarily with cauliflower and dehydrated potato, one serving of these fries (14 wedges) is just 15 grams of total carbs and 13 grams of net carbs. According to reviewers, these “veggie wedges” have the same crispy texture and savory flavor of fries, are great for those trying to cut some carbs out of their diet as well as those trying to sneak in some veggies. Apparently, you can even share these with your dog! It appears that this product is now only available on Amazon so, the price is a little on the expensive side. You can get four 12-ounce bags for $35.60.
Simply Protein Chips
Movie nights just aren’t the same without a big bag of chips to chow down on. There are healthier options you can make, though. Simply Protein Chips, for instance, aren’t your typical potato chip product. These wheat-free and gluten-free chips still contain potato starch and flakes but are primarily made from pea protein crisps. Each bag contains 15 grams of pea protein, 11 grams of total carbs, and 10 grams of net carbs. Instead of salt, the company opts for a variety of spices to get the same savory flavors as chips without all of the sodium, and according to reviewers, it’s still delicious! You can get a pack of 12 bags for a little over $30.
Are you the type of person who can eat bowl after bowl of cereal without a second thought? We don’t blame you, cereal is a delicious and comforting favorite that is simple but oh so very good. If you’re watching your carbs, however, consider checking out Bariwise. Bariwise Cereal is a low-carb and sugar-free cereal that is made primarily from soy protein isolate, soy flour, soy concentrate, white rice flour, sunflower oil, and cocoa powder. Each serving provides 15 grams of protein and only has 120 calories and nine grams of carbs. The reviews are pretty much split on this one. Some think the cereal is tasty, filling, and impressively protein-packed. Others feel that the soy protein isolate leaves too strong of an aftertaste and is overall bland. To see how you feel about it, you can get one box with five servings for $13.
Miracle Noodle Angel Hair
Pasta may just be the epitome of comfort food. After all, who can resist a warm bowl of this Italian favorite? Not all pasta has to be made from wheat, though. Miracle Noodle Angel Hair is a type of noodle pasta made from the popular Asian root vegetable konnyaku. This type of pasta is called shirataki and it is free of wheat, gluten, soy, cholesterol, and even calories! It has less than one gram of carbs. These noodles don’t have a strong taste of their own, but according to Miracle Noodle, they readily absorb the flavors of any soup, dish, or sauce. Reviewers report that when cooked correctly these noodles have a soft, tender texture, similar to an al dente pasta noodle and are a great option for people who can’t have carbs. You can get six seven-ounce packages for $15
Cooksimple Cowboy Chili
Chili is a wonderfully comforting one-pot meal that is a cinch to make. And Cooksimple Cowboy Chili make the process even easier. All you need to enjoy this product is a can of tomatoes, a pot, and a stove. The gluten, corn, nut, and soy free mix is made primarily from quinoa, black beans, zucchini, and spinach. Reviewers report adding extra protein to it, adding a bit of seasoning to spice it up, and even cooking it with beer. If you want to try putting your own culinary flair to it, you can purchase one six-ounce box for $9.
Beyond Meat Beast Burger
Sometimes, after a long day, you really just want to indulge in a massive burger with fries. While veggie-centric patties are delicious, there are products nowadays that go for the meatier (and sometimes more comforting) route. Beyond Meat Beast Burger, for instance, is made primarily with water, pea protein isolate, and a blend of oils. These burgers have just as much protein as a regular burger – 23 grams – have seven grams of total carbs and three grams of net carbs. Reviewers are saying that these burgers are very nutritious and filling and “cook like a dream on the griller.” Some reviewers did feel that this product uses too much salt. To see how you feel, you can get a ten eight-ounce boxes (two burgers per box) for about $60 – that’s $6 a box.
Paleo Protein Pancakes
The idea of having a tall stack of fluffy pancakes doesn’t exactly sound like the kind of breakfast you would have on a low carb diet, that is unless you’re eating BetterFoods Paleo Protein Pancakes. These pancakes are made primarily from a blend of grain-free flours – coconut, tapioca, almond – a mixture of superfood protein powders – brown rice, pea protein, purple corn, green papaya juice, hemp – xylitol, and organic cacao nibs. One serving has 20 grams of protein, 29 grams of total carbs, and 16 grams of net carbs. Reviewers are saying that these pancakes are healthy, delicious, and super easy-to-make. You can get one 12-ounce bag for $9.50.
Roya's CraveRight Brownie Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookies that you don’t have to feel guilty about? That may sound like a far-fetched dream, but we’re here to tell you that some brands actually have achieved it! Roya’s CraveRight Brownie Chocolate Chip Cookies are free from gluten, dairy, corn, soy, nuts, and egg. They are made primarily with sesame powder, non-hydrogenated palm shortening, chocolate chip, water, raw demerara sugar, chicory extract, rice crispy cereal, and flax meal. Each serving (two cookies) is 140 calories, four grams of protein, 15 grams of total carbs, and 12 grams of net carbs. Reviewers are raving about these cookies saying that they are “amazing,” “the best allergen-free cookie ever,” and incredibly nutritious for a cookie. To try these out yourself, you can get a pack of three seven-ounce bags (each bag has 12 cookies) for about $44.
Better than Foods Better than Rice
Rice has an amazing way of making any dish suddenly comforting. Think about it – doesn’t adding a bed of rice to sautéed veggies, beans, tofu, or seitan, make it 10x more comforting? If you agree but are also looking to cut down on carbs, you should consider checking out Better than Foods Better than Rice. Instead of grains, this rice alternative is made with purified water, organic konjac flour (konjac is a plant), and organic oat fiber. Because this product doesn’t actually contain any grains, it has 4 grams of total carbs and actually zero net carbs. Pretty impressive! Reviewers are saying that this rice is excellent (as long as you don’t expect it to taste exactly like rice), is filling, and successfully satisfies cravings for rice. Some report not liking the fishy smell of this product, however, as a few other reviewers point out this is the natural smell of konjac flour. To try this rice out, you can get six 14-ounce bags for $25.
Beyond Better Cashew Cheese Sauce
For us, comfort food means drizzled cheese sauce over nachos, on a broccoli bake, or just in our mouth. While cashews are great for making dense cheeses similar to brie or manchego, they also are great for making pourable sauces, like Beyond Better Cashew Sauce. This cheese alternative is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and organic. Since it’s made from cashews, this sauce not only has a nutty flavor, but it is high in nutrients in protein, with one serving (1/4 cup) having six grams. Each package contains enough powder to make three cups worth of sauce, you simply have to add hot water and mix. Reviewers are saying that this cheese is surprisingly healthy, “unbelievably delicious,” and is perfect for mac and cheese. You can get one packet for $9.
Lead image source: Whole Foods Loaded Nachos