Choosing a low-carb diet that is high in vegetables may lower your risk of dying from heart disease and help you live longer, according to a study published in the "Annals of Internal Medicine" in September 2010. Although eating mashed potatoes is a delicious way to add vegetables to your diet, they can be high in fat, calories and certainly carbohydrates. You can create a more nutritious and lower-carb alternative using cauliflower.
Using cauliflower instead of potatoes for making mashed "potatoes" will make the dish much lower in carbs, while providing a dish that is similar in appearance and taste. Although the exact carb count of mashed potatoes depends on the recipe you use to make them, 1/2 cup of boiled potatoes contains 15.6 grams of carbs, including 1.4 grams of fiber. The same amount of boiled cauliflower contains only 2.6 grams of carbs, while still providing the same amount of fiber.
Not only is cauliflower lower in carbs than potatoes, it also contains more vitamins and minerals. Each 1/2-cup serving provides 46 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 11 percent of the DV for vitamin K, while the same amount of potatoes only contains 10 percent of the DV for vitamin C and trace amounts of other micronutrients.
If you're following a low-carb diet to lose weight, cauliflower has another benefit over potatoes -- it's a lot lower in calories. The final calorie count of your mashed "potatoes" will depend on what you mix into the mashed veggies, but each 1/2-cup serving of cauliflower only contains 14 calories, compared to 67 calories in the same amount of potatoes.
One example of cauliflower mashed "potatoes" found on MayoClinic.com contains only 67 calories and 8 grams of carbs, including 3 grams of fiber, per serving. If calories are a consideration, you can use garlic and leeks to add flavor to your mashed veggies so you don't need to use as much butter. You also can limit the fat content by using low-fat or nonfat milk instead of whole milk or cream.
- Annals of Internal Medicine: Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality: Two Cohort Studies
- Good Housekeeping: 11 Frighteningly Fatty Holiday Foods
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Cauliflower, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, Without Salt
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Potatoes, Boiled, Cooked Without Skin, Flesh, Without Salt
- MayoClinic.com: Recipe: Cauliflower Mashed 'Potatoes'
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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