People are going crazy for “cauliflower everything” as a swap for carbs. But is cauliflower really a healthier way to enjoy your favorite foods? Can you eat too much cauliflower? These are some of the questions that you should consider before joining the cauliflower craze. Even if you have a sucrose (sugar) intolerance or suffer from another food intolerance, it is important to know all the facts before trying the latest fad diet.
Why Swap Carbs for Cauliflower
High-starch foods like flour and rice can cause weight gain. As an alternative, much of the healthy-eating world has turned to cauliflower as a replacement. Because of the color and the ability to “rice” cauliflower, it can be used as a substitute for a variety of starch- and flour-based ingredients.
Often cauliflower is a perfect ingredient for certain diet plans, including low-carb and paleo. One of the most popular ways to enjoy cauliflower as a substitute for carbs is as a pizza dough. Rather than energy-sapping traditional dough, cauliflower can also serve as a base for a variety of veggie toppings. You can also use cauliflower as a substitute for rice in rice pilaf or swap out cauliflower for potatoes in egg casseroles or mashed potatoes.
Part of the appeal of cauliflower is that it has a very mild taste, so it soaks up other flavors without interfering with the overall taste of a dish. Unlike simple carbs, like white flour cauliflower is actually filled with vital nutrients and vitamins that help your body regulate blood pressure, protect your bones, and provide other essential functions.
Cauliflower also contains fiber, which helps to keep things flowing through your system. By contrast, simple carbs like bread, sugar, and pasta can cause constipation. Although cauliflower can be found in a variety of hues, even the white stuff is chock full of good-for-you ingredients, despite what you might have been told about avoiding foods that are white.
Can You Overdo Cauliflower?
For most people, cauliflower is a good solution to avoid eating too many simple carbs. You can try mixing cauliflower rice with actual white rice to boost the nutrition. Or mix potatoes and cauliflower the next time you want a side for your steak.
However, in some cases, too much cauliflower can cause health issues. Cauliflower contains high levels of vitamin K, which can interfere with blood thinner medications. In addition, many people experience some degree of bloating and flatulence when consuming cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower. In some cases, consuming excessive amounts of cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables such as kale can cause a thyroid issue such as hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid doesn’t process iodine correctly.
So although cauliflower in moderation is a healthy addition to any diet, it is important to enjoy a wide variety of foods, rather than to focus on just one.