Subbing cauliflower for potato can help cut carbs, experts say

After gaining weight in graduate school, Halley Todd is a lot more careful about her diet this year.

But she isn't dropping those extra 20 pounds with mashed potatoes. She and other carb counters are getting crazy for cauliflower.

"About a cup of cauliflower that's cooked is going to be around 25 calories, where a cup of potatoes is going to be around 200 calories," said dietitian Lori Brizee.

Mashed, raw or roasted, cauliflower is low in calories and packed with vitamin C. A medium-sized head of cauliflower, which can serve several people, has fewer carbohydrates than a single potato.

But cauliflower has one problem, at least this year: bad weather damaged this season's crop, driving prices up considerably.

Also, some might think it is a pain to prepare. For them, Trader Joe's has frozen riced cauliflower in the freezer section.

Brizee urges her clients to add cauliflower and other vegetables to potatoes as a low-calorie way to fortify their meals and serving sizes. As a cruciferous vegetable, it also contains compounds that help prevent cancer and heart disease, she notes.

Do keep in mind that some starches have a key component that can help with weight loss. Oatmeal, bananas, beans, sprouted bread and even potatoes contain resistant starch, a compound in food that isn't absorbed but just passes through your system.

Just remember to keep those portions moderate.
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