- Keto vegetables – the best and the worst
- 10 Keto-Friendly Vegetables You Should Eat More Of
- How to Choose Low-Carb Veggies
- The Best Keto Vegetables to Consume in Abundance
- Vegetables to Limit and Avoid on Keto
- Enjoy Low-Carb Veggies: Keto Recipes
- Keto Vegetables for Your Weekly Meal Prep
- Low Carb Keto Vegetables
- Are Bell Peppers Low-Carb and Keto-Friendly?
- Are bell peppers keto?
- All peppers on keto are not created equal
- How many peppers can you eat on keto?
- Great keto bell pepper recipes
- Easy tricks for remembering the best keto vegetables
- The best vegetables to eat on the keto diet
- What Vegetables Can I Eat on a Keto or Low Carb Diet?
- Low-Carb Vegetables (3 or less net carbs per 1/2 cup, raw)
- Higher-Carb Vegetables (6 or less net carbs per 1/2 cup, raw)
- Highest Carb Vegetables (more than 7 net carbs per ½ cup, raw)
- The 10 Best Low-Carb Vegetables to Eat on the Keto Diet
- Baked Avocados, Two Ways
- BIO: Ancestral health pioneer and former endurance athlete Mark Sisson is a New York Times bestselling author of the The Keto Reset Diet and bestselling author of Primal Blueprint and Primal Endurance. He also runs the Primal Nutrition supplement company; Primal Kitchen, which offers dairy/gluten/grain/soy free foods; and the Primal Kitchen Restaurants franchise.
- 25 Keto Vegetables That Keep You In Ketosis When You’re Eating Low-Carb
- Brussels Sprouts
- Bell Peppers (Red)
- Green Beans
- Learning More About Keto Vegetables
- What Low Carb Vegetables?
- List of the Best Low Carb Vegetables for your Keto Diet
- Eggplant (aubergines)
- Make Your Own Keto Vegetables List
- 15 Low-Carb Vegetables to Eat on a Keto Diet
- Rules to Follow
- Quick Buying and Eating Guide
- Top 15 Low-Carb Vegetables
- 1. Bok choy (1 gram)
- 2. Spinach (1.4 grams)
- 3. Avocado (1.8 grams)
- 4. Celery (2 grams)
- 5. Asparagus (2 grams)
- 6. Cauliflower (2.8 grams)
- 7. Cucumbers (3.1 grams)
- 8. Cabbage (3.3 grams)
- 9. Cremini mushrooms (3.5 grams)
- 10. Green beans (3.7 grams)
- 11. Artichokes (3.9 grams)
- 12. Broccoli (4 grams)
- 13. Fennel bulb (4.2 grams)
- 14. Brussels Sprouts (5.2 grams)
- 15. Kale (8 grams)
- Additional Tips
Keto vegetables – the best and the worst
Net carbs = digestible carbs, i.e. total carbs minus fiber.
The numbers are for uncooked vegetables. The carb content per 100 grams is generally modestly lower in cooked form.
For example, while raw broccoli has about 4 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, cooked broccoli has about 3 grams. The main reason for this difference is an increase in water content in cooked vegetables.
The numbers are taken from online databases, like the USDA database. Note that there are minor differences between these databases. The reason could be that different breeds of vegetables can differ in carb content, and there can be seasonal variation etc. In cases where there are significant differences between databases we have attempted to choose a median value. ↩
Net carbs = digestible carbs, i.e. total carbs minus fiber.
The numbers are for uncooked vegetables. The carb content is often slightly lower in cooked vegetables, but the difference is not too large. ↩
The fear of saturated fats, like butter and lard, appears to be misguided. Below is one helpful reference, and you can learn more in our complete guide on saturated fat.
Vegetables are generally considered very healthy, possibly because of the vitamins and minerals they contain. However, the belief in the potential healthiness of eating vegetables is mainly based on weak observational data, so it’s hard to know for sure.
British Medical Journal 2014: Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies
The ranking is somewhat subjective, and open for debate. ↩
Avocado: nutrition facts
Furthermore, grains are usually not considered vegetables at all, as they are the seeds of grasses:
Wikipedia: Vegetable ↩
The recommendation to stay below 20 grams of carbs a day on keto is mainly based on the consistent experience of experienced practitioners, and stories from people trying different levels of carb restriction .
One small study showed that in healthy volunteers, diets of 20 and 50 grams of carbs promoted ketosis with equal success. However, it is not known that this would be the case in obese individuals or those with metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, there is not yet any RCT testing health outcomes of two low-carb diets of varying strictness head-to-head. But RCTs of strict low-carb diets appear to often show better results, compared to RCTs of more moderate or liberal low-carb diets.
RCTs of low-carb interventions for weight loss ↩
Wikipedia: Vegetable ↩
Even foods made from wholemeal flour is relatively rapidly digested and raises blood glucose quickly, though slightly less fast than foods made from white flour:
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2018: The effects of whole-grain compared with refined wheat, rice, and rye on the postprandial blood glucose response: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Journal of the American Medical Association 2002: The glycemic index. Physiological mechanisms relating to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease
British Medical Journal 1980: Rate of digestion of foods and postprandial glycaemia in normal and diabetic subjects
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2018: The effects of whole-grain compared with refined wheat, rice, and rye on the postprandial blood glucose response: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials ↩
High-fructose corn syrup is slightly higher in fructose compared to regular sugar. Fructose – in excessive quantities – may have worse long-term metabolic effects than other carbohydrates:
The Journal of Clinical Investigation 2009: Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans
Nutrients 2017: Fructose consumption, lipogenesis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
JAMA 2013: Effects of fructose vs glucose on regional cerebral blood flow in brain regions involved with appetite and reward pathways ↩
10 Keto-Friendly Vegetables You Should Eat More Of
Veggies should be the foundation of any healthy eating plan, including keto! But some vegetables are keto-friendlier than others of course.
To refresh your memory on the basics of the mega-popular diet, the keto diet replaces carbs with fat. Restricting carbs to a minimal amount sends your body into ketosis—a state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs. In order to maintain ketosis, you can only get about 5% to 10% of your calories from carbohydrates. That comes to 25 to 50 grams of net carbs per day. (To calculate net carbs per serving of a particular food, subtract the grams of fiber from the grams of total carbohydrates.)
While most vegetables are calorie-poor and nutrient-rich (packed with fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients), carby choices—like potatoes, corn, carrots, beets and squash—should be limited on the keto diet. Non-starchy veggies, however, can be enjoyed in large quantities.
Here are 10 vegetables you should definitely add to your keto grocery shopping list.
RELATED: Your Ultimate Keto Diet Grocery List
Net carbs: 2 grams
Also known as rocket, this leafy green has a peppery flavor. A serving (four cups of fresh arugula) has just 20 calories and 2 grams of net carbs. Nutritionally, arugula is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and a good source of folic acid and calcium.
Net carbs: 2 grams
A serving of asparagus (5 spears) has a paltry 20 calories and 4 grams of total carbs, or 2 grams of net carbs. The veggie is loaded with folic acid, and supplies good doses of fiber and vitamins A and C.
Net carbs: 4 grams
There’s a reason why those living a low-carb lifestyle consider bell peppers a staple. A medium bell pepper has 25 calories, 4 grams of net carbs, and 190% of your daily vitamin C requirement.
RELATED: The Keto Diet Is Super Hard—These 3 Variations Are Much Easier to Follow
Net carbs: 3 grams
A serving of broccoli (3 ounces raw) has 30 calories and 3 grams net carbs. Like all cruciferous veggies, broccoli is considered a nutritional powerhouse, packing in vitamins A and C, B-vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. Broccoli also provides antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect your eyes from harmful UV damage.
Net carbs: 3 grams
A cousin to broccoli, Brussels sprouts boast impressive nutritionals: A serving (4 sprouts) has 40 calories, 3 grams net carbs, 2 grams protein, 3 grams fiber and more than all the vitamin C you need n a day. As a bonus, they have anti-cancer, heart health, and anti-inflammatory benefits too.
Net carbs: 3 grams
Another member of the cruciferous family, cauliflower is a versatile low-carb vegetable that can be used as a stand-in for rice, mashed potatoes, and even pizza crust and baked goods. Cauliflower has 25 calories per 3-ounce serving, 3 grams net carbs, 100% of the vitamin C you need in a day, and a good amount of folic acid.
Net carbs: 1 gram
A serving of the Queen of greens (3 cups fresh kale) provides 20 calories and 1 gram net carbs. Like most leafy greens, kale is a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, vitamin K, calcium and magnesium. The leafy green is also packed with beneficial antioxidants that may help protect against chronic diseases associated with aging.
RELATED: 9 Fruits You Can Actually Eat on the Keto Diet
Net carbs: 2 grams
Think white veggies aren’t nutritious? Think again! One serving (5 medium mushrooms) has 20 calories, 2 grams net carbs, and 3 grams protein. Plus, the fungi pack in B-vitamins, copper, vitamin D, and selenium. Studies show that mushrooms can bolster immunity and may have anti-cancer benefits.
Net carbs: 4 grams
Spinach really is a nutritional all-star. A serving of spinach (1½ cups fresh leaves) has 40 calories, 4 grams of net carbs, and 2 grams of protein. With 6 grams of fiber per serving, spinach helps you feel fuller longer, and is also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, iron, folic acid, and magnesium.
Net carbs: 4 grams
Tomatoes are a healthy addition to any eating plan because they’re a rich source of lycopene, a phytonutrient that has potent heart health and anti-cancer properties. A medium tomato has just 20 calories, 4 grams net carbs, plenty of vitamins A and C. It’s also a solid source of potassium.
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- How to Choose Low-Carb Vegetables
- The Best Keto Vegetables to Consume in Abundance
- Vegetables to Limit and Avoid on Keto
- Enjoy Low-Carb Veggies: Keto Recipes
You know vegetables are crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Since starting the ketogenic diet, you may be wondering, “What are the best keto vegetables I can eat?” Below, you’ll learn which low-carb veggies you should consume in abundance and which you should consume in moderation. You’ll also find a few keto-friendly recipes so you can effortlessly add more nutritious veggies to your diet.
How to Choose Low-Carb Veggies
When following keto or any other extremely low-carb diet, your goal should be to keep your total carb intake at or below 5% of your total calories. For the average person, this comes out to roughly 20 grams of net carbs per day.
Calculate the Net Carbs Per Serving
To determine which low-carb vegetables are best, do a little reverse math. A healthy meal plan should include three to five servings of vegetables per day, at minimum.
Birthday Cake Keto Bars are here!
The answer to your sweet tooth. 17g of fat, 3g of net carbs, incredibly delicious.
If your goal is 20 grams of net carbs, and you want to consume five servings, then you should aim to consume vegetables with 4 grams of net carbs (or less) per serving size.
Be Cautious of Vegetables That Grow Below Ground
Another rule of thumb to follow: If a vegetable grows above ground (lettuce, spinach, and bell peppers are good examples) it probably contains a low enough carb count to be keto-friendly.
If a vegetable grows below ground (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and turnips) you might need to double-check the carb count. Veggies that grow below ground are known as “tubers,” and are known for being high-starch, high-carb vegetables.
Understand Serving Sizes
The foods — and their associated nutrition facts — listed below state the net carb count per 100 grams. How much 100 grams really is will vary depending upon the low-carb food. For example, 100 grams equals roughly:
- One medium tomato
- One cup of raw, leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, or lettuce)
- One-half cup of cooked orange or green vegetables (broccoli, carrots, or pumpkin)
- Half of a starchy vegetable (sweet potato, potato, or cassava)
If 100 grams of sweet potato contains 17 grams of net carbs, you might be tempted to eat it with grass-fed butter as a treat. But you can only eat half. Eating the entire sweet potato would double the net carb count to 34 grams, well over your daily allotment.
The Best Keto Vegetables to Consume in Abundance
You can consume the following low-carb veggies in abundance. Enjoy these veggies raw or roasted in a healthy, high-fat oil like coconut oil or avocado oil. All net carb counts below (listed in parentheses after the food) refer to a 100-gram serving.
Dark, leafy green vegetables are best when it comes to being low-carb and nutrient dense.
Greens are rich in iron and vitamins A, C, and K. They help fight inflammation and support bone, brain, and heart health, as well as eyesight and proper blood clotting.
Green leafy vegetables have also been shown to fight the aging process and cognitive decline. Leafy greens also rank extremely low on the glycemic index, so they won’t raise your blood sugar levels.
Also, since leafy greens have high water content, adding them to your meals can provide volume without too many added carbs or calories. Try including these greens regularly in your diet:
Cruciferous Low-Carb Veggies
Cruciferous vegetables (those of the cabbage family) are a good choice since they are high in nutrition while maintaining low carb content. They’re also high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and are incredibly anti-inflammatory. Good options include:
Cruciferous veggies are also good sources of folate, dietary fiber, and minerals. Studies show that compounds in cruciferous vegetables can protect cells from DNA damage, have antiviral and antibacterial qualities, and inhibit tumor growth.
Other Keto Vegetables
Outside cruciferous and leafy greens, there are still many low-carb vegetables you can enjoy. These foods stay below the 5 grams of carbs per 100 grams:
These veggies can taste delicious when you cook them the right way.
Now that you know about the best keto vegetables to eat on your ketogenic diet, it’s time to know which veggies should be limited or avoided completely.
Vegetables to Limit and Avoid on Keto
There are two groups of vegetables you should avoid on keto: starchy vegetables and vegetables that could be defined as a legume. These vegetables are higher in carbs and could potentially slow weight loss or prevent you from entering ketosis.
Enjoy in Moderation: Sweet Vegetables
Some vegetables are higher in carbs but can still be enjoyed in moderation on keto. One serving of these per day should be fine. Pro tip: When enjoying one of the foods below, enjoy leafy greens the remainder of the day to keep your carb count low. Sweet vegetables to consume in moderation include:
- Carrots (6.78 grams)
- Pumpkin (5.14 grams)
- Winter squash (7.09 grams)
- Onions (8.71 grams)
- Rutabaga (8.1 grams)
Avoid Altogether: Legumes and Tubers
Beans and root vegetables (tubers) typically include 10–20 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. In general, these vegetables are higher in total carbohydrates and have a higher glycemic load than other vegetables. As such, they can spike your blood glucose levels. Examples include:
Enjoy Low-Carb Veggies: Keto Recipes
There are lots of ways to enjoy vegetables on a ketogenic diet. Enjoy them as a side dish topped with a dollop of healthy fat — think grass-fed butter or a drizzle of olive oil or coconut oil. You can saute them in stir-fries or add them to soups and stews. They’re also a great base for keto salads.
Enjoy fresh veggies in season, and stock up on frozen versions when your favorites aren’t in season (or if you don’t have easy access to fresh produce year-round). Frozen vegetables are typically cheaper than fresh, and just as nutritious.
Here are some low-carb meal ideas incorporating keto-friendly vegetables:
- Roasted Chicken Stacks (with cabbage)
- Chicken Caesar (with romaine lettuce)
- White Turkey Chili (with cauliflower and onion)
- Crispy Skin Salmon (with cauliflower rice)
- Shrimp Stir-Fry (with cauliflower rice)
- Bebere Enchilada-Style Stuffed Peppers (with bell peppers, carrots, onion, garlic, and cauliflower)
- Brown Butter Buffalo Bites (with cauliflower)
- Smoked Salmon Pate (with cucumber)
- Creamy Mushroom Chicken (with onion and mushrooms)
- Avocado Breakfast Bowl
- Two-Step Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Pasta (zoodles)
- Spicy Italian Keto Stuffed Peppers casserole
Keto Vegetables for Your Weekly Meal Prep
As you have learned, there are plenty of low-carb vegetables for you to enjoy on keto, all of which offer various health benefits.
Remember: Leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, and other low-carb foods can be enjoyed in large quantities. Sweet veggies such as onions, carrots, and squash should be consumed in moderation. Certain foods, like starchy tubers and legumes, are best avoided.
Get creative with meal planning and don’t be afraid to try new keto vegetables in your diet. For more recipe ideas, visit the Perfect Keto recipe library.
Low Carb Keto Vegetables
Eating keto friendly vegetables is considered a foundation of Atkins. In addition to protein and healthy natural fats, it is essential to consume certain veggies when living a low carb lifestyle; but eating too many veggies, especially starchy ones such as peas and potatoes, can undermine weight-loss and low carb efforts.
During the Atkins® induction phase, you’ll want to consume 12g to 15g net carbs from vegetables each day. Primarily, we recommend that you focus on eating leafy salad greens and other non-starchy vegetables. These vegetables provide the body with the most antioxidant protection and fiber in combination with the fewest grams of carbs.
Keto Vegetables List
The keto rule of thumb is to bypass any vegetables that grow beneath the ground. Although the ultimate goal is to avoid veggies with a high starch content, it is permissible to consume vegetables that have a slightly higher-carb count. Here are some of our favorite keto approved vegetables:
- Brussels sprouts
- Green Beans
- Peppers (red and green)
- Swiss chard
- Avocado (technically a fruit)
Pro tip: You can find a full list of acceptable Atkins keto foods here. These ketogenic diet vegetables are the nutrient-dense, high-fiber foundation for the Atkins way of eating.
Vegetables to avoid on keto
Rarely do you ever hear someone tell you to avoid vegetables, but when it comes to a low carb keto lifestyle, some veggies can be more harmful than helpful to achieving your goals. As mentioned above, root vegetables typically carry more carbs, which is why they are considered one of the least keto friendly vegetables. Here are a couple others:
- Squash (butternut, acorn)
- Sweet potatoes
- Baked potatoes
- Cassava (Yuca)
- Onions (In large doses)
Pro tip: Onions are often used as a seasoning and are typically not consumed in large amounts; however, it is best to avoid caramelized, grilled, or sautéed onions as they are more likely to be eaten in larger quantities.
The veggies you eat play a pivotal role in a successful low carb lifestyle, so try to adhere to this keto vegetable list. For more keto guidance, check out our keto friendly food list and the foods you should avoid while on keto. You can also explore our 1,600+ Atkins low carb recipes for inspiration.
Are Bell Peppers Low-Carb and Keto-Friendly?
If you’re wondering if you can eat bell peppers on keto, rest assured you’re not alone.
The first few weeks you spend initiating ketosis you have to be extra careful about your carb intake, and double-checking everything you eat is par for the course. It’s almost like you develop an irrational fear of carbs and begin to distrust every food you’ve known and loved.
Carbs could be hiding anywhere, right!?
It’s sort of a keto right of passage, so don’t worry if you feel a bit silly.
Anyway! On to the matter at hand.
Are bell peppers keto?
Yes, mostly. I know. Not the perfectly succinct answer you were looking for, but bear with me. If you really think about it, no vegetables or meats are “keto” since keto is a metabolic process — what we really mean is, are bell peppers “keto-friendly”, which essentially means low-carb.
So yes, bell peppers are keto-friendly, but there are limits to that congeniality. And those limits depend on the peppers you choose and the serving sizes you eat.
All peppers on keto are not created equal
Not all bell peppers are as keto-friendly as the others. While they’re similar from a caloric perspective, their carbs change enough to make note of.
Let’s take a look at the carb loads for the three essential grocery store bell peppers, green, red, and yellow.
The carb estimates provided are based on 100g of each pepper, which is around 1 cup sliced.
Are green bell peppers keto?
These are the most keto-friendly peppers with only 2.9g of net carbs per 100g. If you’re looking to cut carbs, then opting for green peppers is the way to go. This is useful if you’re trying to save money as well since green bell peppers are a lot cheaper! They aren’t as good in Thai dishes, but hey, we’re trying to stay in ketosis — not get a Michelin star, right?
Are red bell peppers keto?
Red peppers are a decent increase in carbs from green peppers, with 3.9g of net carbs per 100g. They are still fairly low, but you need to keep a closer eye on these — especially at the front end for your initial transition into ketosis. The inaugural push into ketosis is always the toughest because your body isn’t used to ketosis yet.
Are yellow bell peppers keto?
Yellow is nutritionally similar to red, weighing in at 3.93g net carbs per 100g. You can treat them essentially like red peppers and be okay.
How many peppers can you eat on keto?
The number of carbs you need to restrict to enter ketosis depends on the individual, but the general advice is to keep carb intake to 20g-50g per day. In general, it will take you around 2–4 days if you eat 20–50 grams of carbs per day. However, for some people, it can take a week or longer to get into ketosis.
Following that advice, you can’t eat more than ~5 cups of sliced peppers. That’s a lot of peppers, so you won’t have to worry about that, but you do need to be thinking about them in the context of your day. Your best bet is to use them liberally as a side. Don’t make a whole plate of peppers and cover them with cheese along with an egg. Instead, make more eggs and use the peppers as an accent.
Great keto bell pepper recipes
Bell peppers are versatile, which is why they’re useful for having around the house. They’re great just sauteed up with your choice of fat and a bit of seasoning for a quick side. You can also add them to most dishes that use sauteed onions as well, such as a base for a soup or to put into taco meat.
But if you’re not eating bell peppers sauteed or roasted, then keto stuffed peppers are the way to go. Here are a few awesome recipes for that route, and remember you can always sub green peppers to drop the carbs by a few grams!
- Pizza Stuffed Bell Peppers – Who doesn’t crave pizza from time to time. These have 9 grams of net carbs per serving, so you need to be careful about your carb intake, but if you can make room in your carb schedule for these guys they are well worth it.
- Keto Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers – Essentially taco bowls with bell peppers instead of shells. These are a bit lower carb than the pizza bowls with 4g of net carbs per serving, and they include cauliflower — arguably the keto staple of all keto staples.
- Keto Stuffed Peppers (Italian Style) – If you’re feeling Italian food but not quite pizza, then these Italian style keto stuffed peppers are the way to go. I’m a sucker for Italian sausage, so even if you just cooked that up and threw them on top of roasted peppers with mozzarella it would be delicious, this is just the next step up from that. Weighs in at 9g of net carbs.
Easy tricks for remembering the best keto vegetables
When in doubt, the greener the better usually means fewer carbs across the board. You see that in green peppers, green cabbage vs. red cabbage, etc. So go green and don’t look back!
Above ground vs. below ground
The best vegetables to eat on the keto diet
Best is subjective, but we’re defining best by the lowest number of carbs. Spinach and cauliflower are keto royalty but opt for recipes using any of these as the primary ingredient and you’ll be off to a good start. It also narrows down your grocery list — grab some of these greens and a lot of poultry, beef, or fish and you’ll have a kitchen ready for keto-living.
The shortlist of low-carb, keto-friendly vegetables:
- Green Beans
- Brussel Sprouts
Notice how almost all of these are green and above ground? That’s what we mean! Stick to those two characteristics, and you’ll be in the right ballpark.
Keto can feel overwhelming when you first start, but we promise it gets easier! The more foods and recipes you identify as keto-friendly, the less thinking you’ll have to do. After a few weeks, life will feel pretty normal — except you’ll have the confidence that you’re making positive steps toward better health.
What Vegetables Can I Eat on a Keto or Low Carb Diet?
It’s a common misconception that you can’t eat a lot of vegetables while on a keto diet. In fact, you can and should eat plenty of vegetables! But not just any vegetables. Some are high-carb/high-sugar (Hint: most root vegetables, like carrots, beets, yams, parsnips and turnips are high in carbs). Avoid those veggies and focus your sights on keto-friendly selections listed below. Just remember, carbs add up fast and you want to stick to about 20 grams of net carbs per day (more if you’re regularly athletic or can stay in ketosis with more carbs–you can test to figure that out), so mind your macros while enjoying vegetables.
Low-Carb Vegetables (3 or less net carbs per 1/2 cup, raw)
- Avocado (technically a fruit ..:-)
- Bell pepper
- Bok choy
- Broccoli rabe
- Green beans
- Mustard greens
- Swiss chard
- Sugar snap peas
- Summer squash
Higher-Carb Vegetables (6 or less net carbs per 1/2 cup, raw)
Highest Carb Vegetables (more than 7 net carbs per ½ cup, raw)
- Sweet potatoes
Not too savvy on how to cook vegetables? Now’s a great time to learn! You can steam them, then finish them with butter and spices, or toss in coconut oil and spices and roast them, or even cut them up and serve them as a salad with your favorite keto-friendly dressing or a simple mix of olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper. You can get started on your newfound enjoyment of vegetables anytime by sprinkling some salt or a little keto-friendly vinaigrette on ripe avocado slices. It’s pure, simple pleasure!
If you’re craving effortless solutions, head to the grocer’s frozen food section for two keto lifesavers: cauliflower rice and zucchini “zoodles.” Cauliflower rice is nothing more than tiny bits of cauliflower, packaged and ready for you to use in place of rice (you can make your own by fine-chopping cauliflower florets). It cooks quickly, is mildly flavored, and very low carb. Meanwhile, zoodles, or spiralized zucchini, is the perfect replacement for pasta. Buy it readymade in stores or invest in a spiralizer (from $15 to $30 on Amazon.com) to make your own. Microwave for about 30 seconds to warm, then top with cream sauce or meat sauce, it’s awesome and satisfying. You’ll be amazed at how these two stylized vegetables alone can bring diversity to your keto meals!
The 10 Best Low-Carb Vegetables to Eat on the Keto Diet
Few diets have gained as much popularity in recent years as the ketogenic diet.
The popular eating approach, nicknamed the keto diet, involves drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake to put you into a state of ketosis, or the point where your body shifts from using carbs to fat as a primary fuel source. This shift can happen after just a few days of eating a diet that’s very low in carbs (think: between 20 and 50 grams of carbs per day, depending on the individual), according to a review published in February 2014 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. That’s because your central nervous system relies primarily on glucose, which is derived from carbs, to function, and it must find an alternate energy source ASAP.
But before you try the keto diet, you should know what you’re signing up for: “ a very high-fat diet, which contains moderate protein, and very, very little carbohydrates,” says Georgie Fear, RD, author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss who is based in Alberta, Canada. To reach ketosis, you need to limit your daily carb intake to 20 to 50 grams (g) per day, which is a lot lower than the current recommended daily allowance, or RDA, of 130 g of carbs per day to meet the average minimum amount of glucose used by the brain, per the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. And unfortunately, this low-carb allotment can make it tricky to get enough vegetables in your diet, as some vegetables boast a high carb count. It’s no surprise that as a result, people on keto tend to take in less fiber than usual, which can exacerbate symptoms such as constipation that happen as part of the so-called keto flu. This period often lasts about two weeks, but tummy trouble can persist long after that if your fiber intake remains low.
Upping your intake of that gut-friendly nutrient is just one of the reasons it’s so important to prioritize adding produce to your plate when doing keto. Furthermore, certain veggies will provide the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive — without knocking you out of ketosis.
RELATED: What Are the Best and Worst Fats to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet?
Speaking of following a nutritious diet, you’ll want to consult a registered dietitian and your healthcare team before embarking on a restrictive diet such as keto.
One of the reasons keto is attractive is the potential for quick, short-term weight loss, says Leah Kaufman, CDE, RD, owner of Leah Kaufman Nutrition in New York City. You’ll find no shortage of anecdotal evidence by way of before-and-after photos online, but it’s true there is some early research to support the idea that keto can help you whittle your waist. For example, a meta-analysis published in January 2015 in the journal Obesity Reviews suggested one possible reason the keto diet leads to weight loss is that ketosis may suppress appetite, even when you’re restricting calories. Yet more research is needed to confirm those findings, the authors noted.
Still, Kaufman warns, “I would use caution if trying to use the keto diet as a sustainable approach.” Many registered dietitians (RDs) will say keto is a three-month diet max, but the aforementioned February 2014 review suggested people with obesity may be able to follow keto safely for one year, so long as they’re under the supervision of a physician.
Just manage your expectations. With its restrictive macronutrient requirements, it’s not an easy plan to follow. “If you eat out often, travel, or socialize with your friends at restaurants on a regular basis, it can be borderline-impossible to stay on the keto diet,” Fear says. After all, it’s very easy to go over the daily carb amount allowed on the keto diet — despite being high in potassium, a large banana can pack a whopping 30 g of total carbs, notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). (Total carbs are different from net carbs; roughly speaking, net carbs are the number of carbs left over when you subtract the amount of fiber and sugar alcohols in a given food, per Atkins.com. Keto dieters often count these carbs.)
RELATED: A Detailed Guide to the Potential Health Benefits and Risks of the Keto Diet
In addition, among other groups, like pregnant or breastfeeding women, the keto diet generally isn’t recommended for people with kidney or liver problems, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, gout, anyone whose gallbladder has been removed, or individuals with a family history of cancer, Fear says.
Bottom line: If you’re thinking about trying the keto diet, consult your healthcare team first. “A patient should go through a medical assessment to make sure that they are a candidate for something like , and then it should be medically supervised,” Kaufman says.
Once you’ve gotten the all-clear from your doc to start the keto diet, here are the 10 best vegetables to include in your diet plan:
By Mark Sisson
There’s no question that the ketogenic diet is generating lots of buzz (just search for #keto on Instagram; you’ll see nearly 4 million entries). Put simply, a well-designed keto diet is a sustainable eating plan that helps people free themselves from carbohydrate dependency. If you’re left wondering, “What about vegetables and fruit—aren’t they carbs?,” you’re not alone. I’m going to share with you how you can get the advantages of keto, plus have your vegetables and eat them, too.
Let’s back up for a second, for a quick explanation of what the keto diet is. It involves a significant reduction in the wildly excessive carbohydrate intake of the standard Western, grain-based diet and emphasizes healthy, nutritious fats as your predominant source of dietary calories. When you go keto, some two-thirds of your dietary calories come from healthy fats (65 to 75%). Protein intake is moderate—just enough to sustain lean muscle mass (generally 20 to 25% of calories)—and carb intake is comparatively minimal (5 to 10%).
One thing I see often is keto enthusiasts making the mistake of obsessing over macronutrient numbers and sacrificing nutrient density in their pursuit of keto. The fundamental goal of my new book, The Keto Reset Diet, is to help you become expert at burning stored energy in the form of fat and ketones, while enjoying your meals without having to precisely measure macros.
Vegetables—especially leafy greens, cruciferous and other high-fiber, above-ground veggies (e.g., onions, leeks, chard, celery, etc.)—are a healthy centerpiece for a keto diet. They provide important micronutrients and antioxidants, play a key role in supporting a thriving intestinal microbiome, and stimulate minimal insulin production.
A large salad with abundant and varied produce and satisfying natural fats from clean animal sources or high-fat plants (like avocado, olive, coconut, and their oils) is a healthy ketogenic meal. Vegetables have ample fiber and water content and minimal net carbohydrate count—so even hard-core keto enthusiasts can eat heaping quantities of vegetables (and a bit of fresh fruit, and incidental carbs from nuts, seeds, very dark chocolate, and other nutrient-dense foods).
If you are new to keto and carefully tracking your carbohydrate intake to adhere to the often-recommended 50 grams per day or below, it’s helpful to have a general idea of the carbohydrate contribution of vegetables.
Note: You may have heard the term “net carbs” bandied about among your nutrition-obsessed friends. This entails subtracting the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate grams of any food. Food manufacturers have taken liberties with this concept to tout heavily processed bars and snack foods with low net-carb values. This calculation can be misleading, so much so that I recommend using the net-carb calculation for high fiber vegetables only, and counting gross values when it comes to other foods, especially stuff in a wrapper, box or bag.
So back to those vegetables. Here are some more of my favorite options and their gross carb content per 1 cup. You can see that even with abundant daily vegetable consumption, you will be safely under the 50 gram per day keto threshold, particularly when you take net carb adjustments into account.
Notice that I haven’t listed any root veggies or tubers, like sweet potatoes, squash, rutabaga, carrots, and beets. That’s because root vegetables and tubers are more starchy. They contain fewer net carbs and higher gross carbs, and they stimulate a higher glycemic response and insulin production. I recommend temporary elimination or sincere moderation of these varieties during your keto efforts.
I also occasionally eat a small amount of berries, the most appropriate fruit choice for minimizing your carb intake but maintaining optimum nutrition. Berries are high in antioxidants and lower in glycemic value than other fruits. For reference, one-half cup of berries contributes 6 to 8 grams of carbs for a high dose of phytonutrients.
Though it cuts out certain foods, the keto diet is anything but limiting. Check out some recipes below from The Keto Reset Diet; I think you’ll find that these and the others in the book are tasty and satisfying. And as you get into it, you’ll see that a nutrient-dense ketogenic diet is a safe, sustainable approach that will offer you the best results for metabolic flexibility and overall health.
Baked Avocados, Two Ways
- Basic Baked Avocados
- Next Level Baked Avocados
25 Keto Vegetables That Keep You In Ketosis When You’re Eating Low-Carb
Watching out for carbohydrates is something people following the keto diet do frequently. Sometimes with whole foods and produce, it’s hard to know exactly what nutrients are in a serving. Just like other foods, some vegetables have a higher net carb count than others. We’ve gathered 25 vegetables that have lower carb counts and won’t affect ketosis, ranked from the least amount of net carbs to the most.
Per 1 cup: 6.9 calories, 0.1 g fat, 23.7 mg sodium, 1.1 g carbs (0.7 g fiber, 0.1 g sugar), 0.9 g protein
0.4 g of net carbs
One cup of raw spinach only contains 0.4 grams of net carbs. It is also a great source for omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and vitamin K. the leafy green is also super versatile, as it can be used as the base for salads, in sandwiches, sautéed, and, of course, frozen for smoothies (like in this green keto shake).
Per ¼ cup (one large artichoke): 22 calories, 0 g fat, 62.5 mg sodium, 5.4 g carbs (4.5 g fiber, 0.89 g sugar), 1.79 g protein
0.9 g of net carbs
Artichokes are not only loaded with antioxidants, but they also contain vitamin C and no cholesterol. They are also versatile and can be used in many keto recipes, like this spinach artichoke dip.
Per 1 clove (3 g): 4.5 calories, 0.0 g fat, 0.5 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (0.1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0.2 g protein
0.9 g of net carbs
Chances are you don’t use more than about five cloves of garlic in one meal, but multiply the nutritional info by the number you use to see just how many net carbs are added to the meal. It won’t be too much so you won’t risk getting out of ketosis, but you’ll still get all the flavor you need.
RELATED: These are the easy, at-home recipes that help you lose weight.
Charles Deluvio/Unsplash Per 1/4 cup (1/3 of a medium avocado): 80 calories, 8 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2.95 g protein
1 g of net carbs
With their high healthy fat count, avocados are great whole foods to eat to keep you in ketosis. They also are great alternatives for high-carb butter, mayonnaise, and other spreads. Plus, avocados are full of great health benefits!
Per 1 cup: 10 calories, 0.1 g fat, 7.2 mg sodium, 2.3 g carbs (0.9 g fiber, 1. 4g sugar), 0.6 g protein
1.4 g of net carbs
Raw iceberg lettuce is extremely low in carbohydrates, making it a safe bet for those following the keto diet. Many restaurant menu items use it in dishes that are safe for staying in ketosis.
Per 1 cup: 15.4 calories, 0.2 g fat, 3.5 mg sodium, 2.3 g carbs (0.7 g fiber, 1.2 g sugar), 2.2 g protein
1.6 g of net carbs
Mushrooms not only have an extremely low sodium amount, but they’re also low-carb. They’re easy to saute and are great for any meal, including this keto-friendly breakfast!
Per 1 cup: 16.2 calories, 0.2 g fat, 80.8 mg sodium, 3.5 g carbs (1.6 g fiber, 1.8 g sugar), 0.7 g protein
1.9 g of net carbs
These crunchy stalks are 96 percent water and low-carb. In addition to being super hydrating, one cup also contains a good amount of vitamin K. They are great for a snack when paired with peanut butter.
Per 1 cup: 21 calories, 0.1 g fat, 2 mg sodium, 4.8 g carbs (2.9 g fiber, 2.5 g sugar), 0.8 g protein
1.9 g of net carbs
Eggplant is extremely versatile in cooking as it doesn’t have a strong taste and bakes well. It contains antioxidants and has a low net carb count.
Per 1 cup: 25 calories, 0 g fat, 30 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 2 g protein
2 g of net carbs
The trend of cauliflower everything has not gone away, and for good reason. The vegetable is versatile (hello, cauliflower rice) and low-carb.
Per 1 cup: 18.6 calories, 0.1 g fat, 45.2 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (1.9 g fiber, 2.2 g sugar), 0.8 g protein
2.1 g of net carbs
Raw radishes are great for throwing on top of salads, and they’re also low in net carbs! They are also a great source for vitamin B6, which helps support immune function.
Per 1 cup: 27 calories, 0.16 g fat, 2 mg sodium, 5.2 g carbs (2.8 g fiber, 1.88 g sugar), 2.95 g protein
2.4 g of net carbs
Asparagus is high in iron, vitamins A, C, and K, and also has a low net carb count. Wrap the asparagus in prosciutto for a quick keto-friendly appetizer.
Per 1 cup: 19.8 calories, 0.2 g fat, 12.4 mg sodium, 4.2 g carbs (1.4 g fiber, 2.1 g sugar), 1.5 g protein
2.8 g of net carbs
While other varieties of squash (like butternut) contain quite a few carbohydrates, one cup of raw zucchini only has 2.8 net carbs. They are easy to cook, by sautéing them, roasting them, steaming them, or grilling them.
Per 1 cup: 22 calories, 0.1 g fat, 16 mg sodium, 5.2 g carbs (2.2 g fiber, 2.8 g sugar), 1.1 g protein
3 g of net carbs
Cabbage may not have the reputation of other leafy greens, but it certainly is low in carbohydrates and is great for your heart health.
Per 1 cup: 15.6 calories, 0.2 g fat, 2 mg sodium, 3.8 g carbs (0.6 g fiber, 1.8 g sugar), 0.6 g protein
3.2 g of net carbs
Add cucumbers to a salad or sandwich, or use them as the base for a keto-friendly snack like everything cream cheese cucumbers. They are super hydrating and also contain 2.6 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
Per 1 cup: 31 calories, 0.4 g fat, 30 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (2.4 g fiber, 1.5 g sugar), 2.5 g protein
3.6 g of net carbs
Broccoli has a high water content (which accounts for 89 percent of the vegetable), resulting in a low carb count. Plenty of keto recipes use broccoli, like this one for sheet-pan Italian pork chops.
Per 1 cup: 27 calories, 0.2 g fat, 45.2 mg sodium, 6.3 g carbs (2.7 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1.1 g protein
3.6 g of net carbs
You may not hear much about fennel, but it is a low-carb. The seeds are easy to cook with and help to debloat.
Per 1 cup: 26.8 calories, 0.3 g fat, 7.5 mg sodium, 5.8 g carbs (1.8 g fiber, 3.9 g sugar), 1.3 g protein
4 g of net carbs
This fruit, which we cook like a vegetable, is not only high in vitamin C, but it also contains antioxidants and reduce cholesterol.
Per 1 cup: 37.8 calories, 0.3 g fat, 22 mg sodium, 7.9 g carbs (3.3 g fiber, 1.9 g sugar), 3.0 g protein
4.6 g of net carbs
You may not know it, but one cup of Brussels sprouts accounts for 125 percent of your daily value of vitamin C and 195 percent of your daily value of vitamin K. Their low net carb count will also keep you in ketosis, so enjoy this fall vegetable whenever you can!
Per 1 cup (uncooked): 36.4 calories, 0.5 g fat, 29.9 mg sodium, 7.3 g carbs (2.6 g fiber, 1.6 g sugar), 2.5 g protein
4.7 g of net carbs
You won’t have to worry about leaving ketosis when having kale. With a low net carb count and high level of protein per cup, you are also getting 354 percent of your daily value of vitamin A and 1,328 percent of your daily value of vitamin K, which is extremely healthy for helping to clot blood and avoid excessive bleeding.
Bell Peppers (Red)
Per 1 cup: 39 calories, 0.5 g fat, 6 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (3.1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 1.5 g protein
5.9 g of net carbs
Bell peppers come in many color options—red, yellow, orange and green—but the red ones are the sweetest. They are great for filling you up and limiting carbs without a whole lot of calories.
Per 1 cup: 44 calories, 0.3 g fat, 1.3 mg sodium, 9.9 g carbs (4 g fiber, 34.5 g sugar), 2.4 g protein
5.9 g of net carbs
One cup of raw green beans has 2.7 grams of fiber, but boil them and that increases to 4 grams, thus also decreasing the net carbs.
Per 1 cup: 64 calories, 0 g fat, 6.4 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (3 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 1.6 g protein
8 g of net carbs
Onions are in many savory dishes, and using them in your dishes won’t hurt a ketosis state. They are also naturally sodium- and cholesterol-free.
Per 1 cup: 52.5 calories, 0.3 g fat, 88.3 mg sodium, 12.3 g carbs (3.6 g fiber, 6.1 g sugar), 1.2 g protein
8.7 g of net carbs
Carrots are a little higher in net carbs than other vegetables, but don’t let that deter you from eating them. One cup won’t set you back, as it would take a larger cheat meal to get you out of ketosis.
Per 1 cup (boiled): 134 calories, 0.4 g fat, 4.8 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (8.8 g fiber, 9.5 g sugar), 8.6 g protein
16.2 g of net carbs
Another vegetable that is a little higher in carbohydrates is peas. When boiled, one cup has 16.2 grams of net carbs but also 8.6 grams of protein. Using them sparingly in recipes and as main components will help you stay in ketosis.
Per 1 cup (raw): 99.7 calories, 0.4 g fat, 13.3 mg sodium, 23.9 g carbs (6.5 g fiber, 6.4 g sugar), 1.6 g protein
17.4 g of net carbs
Yes, raw parsnips are a little high in net carbs than other vegetables, but once boiled, the net carbs are reduced to 11. Use them as one of the main components in a meal (like a variation of pasta) and they are safe for the keto diet.
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“Eat your vegetables” You’ve heard it all of your life and it’s no different on the Keto Diet.
Keto is an eating plan that is extremely effective when it comes to weight loss and improving health. However, you do need to be strict when it comes to the carbs you consume so you can’t eat any old veggie.
It is important to familiarise yourself with the various keto friendly veggies you can turn to, as this makes it easier for you to eat varied meals without overdoing the carbs.
There are various vegetables that are ideal for the Keto Diet, and this makes it far easier to enjoy a balanced diet.
As you know, carbohydrates do have to be limited on this diet, which is why you need to look at low carb vegetables. You can find out more about the best ones below.
Learning More About Keto Vegetables
It is very easy to learn more about the best Keto vegetables for your diet these days.
Modern technology and access to the wealth of information online has made life much easier for those that want to ensure they are following their macros on the Keto Diet.
Check out our keto foods lists with meats, fats, and vegetables.
Of course, there may be vegetables that you are not keen on among the various options available.
If this is the case, don’t worry as there should still be plenty you can choose from on the list of low carb vegetables allowed on this diet, plus we make a heap of keto vegetable recipes that are sure to tempt your taste buds.
You can list the low carb vegetables that you like and then incorporate those into your diet plan.
What Low Carb Vegetables?
As the name suggests, low carb vegetables are… well, vegetables that are low in carbs.
However, when you are considering adding low carb veggies to your Keto Diet, you must look at more than just the carbohydrate content.
It is also important to look at the nutrients that each of the vegetables contains so you can get maximum benefit in terms of other nutrients while keeping your carbohydrate intake down.
So, when deciding on which low carb vegetables to add to your Keto vegetable list, make sure you check the vitamin content, antioxidant properties, fiber content, and health benefits of the veggies.
You should also check on nutrients such as potassium and folate, as all of these are important to your health.
List of the Best Low Carb Vegetables for your Keto Diet
There are various low-carb vegetables that you can add to your Keto vegetables, below is 8 of our favorites.
This makes it easier for you to enjoy more balanced and varied meals while you are on this diet. Some of the vegetables we will be taking a closer look at include:
Below, you will find a more detailed description of each of these along with the various benefits they offer in addition to being low in carbohydrates.
With their high nutrient levels and their low carb levels, spinach and similar leafy greens are an ideal addition to your Keto Diet.
You can boost your intake of various vitamins with these leafy greens including vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. This makes them a valuable addition to your Keto Diet.
Some of the benefits of adding spinach to your diet include protecting vision, boosting bone health, fighting inflammation, aiding elasticity of the skin, and improving heart health.
Green vegetables such as spinach are great for those that want to reduce the signs of aging and enjoy improved cognition.
If you like spinach check out our Keto Smoothie Bowl recipe.
We use Spinach in our Nutritious Keto Smoothie Bowl
Broccoli is an excellent choice for keto friendly vegetables, as it can be used in a wide range of dishes and offers a variety of health benefits.
This unique-looking vegetable is rich in vitamins C, K, and C. In addition, it is a great source of folic acid, fiber, and potassium as well as being known for its valuable antioxidant properties.
This combination of vitamins and nutrients means you can benefit from the consumption of broccoli in many ways.
This includes aiding the development of bones and body tissues, helping to speed up the body’s healing process, and protecting the body from free radicals.
We make a heap of broccoli based recipes, one of our favorites is this Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup recipe.
Cauliflower is probably one of the most versatile keto vegetables, its used as a replacement for rice, in place of potatoes like our keto cauliflower bake recipe and many other high carb foods.
Rich in vitamins yet low in calories, cauliflower is another excellent choice if you want to add color and variation to your meals.
Cauliflower is a great source of vitamins including C, K, and B6. It also contains potassium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus it’s an excellent keto friendly vegetable.
This vegetable is packed with a wide range of nutrients that are essential to good health.
You can also benefit from a boost in your fiber intake when you add cauliflower to your diet as well as enjoying the protective benefits of antioxidants.
You can enjoy health benefits such as protection against heart disease, reducing high blood pressure, and helping to reduce the risk of problems associated with diabetes including kidney problems.
If you’re starting keto and wondering what cauliflower rice is try our look at our list of cauliflower rice recipes.
Low Carb Coconut Cauliflower Rice
Another great vegetable to add to your Keto vegetable list is zucchini, which is a very versatile veggie that is highly nutritious, low in carbs, and offers various health benefits.
Zucchini is great for making keto noodles also know as “zoodles”. We use zoodles here with our Keto Italian Meatballs.
Zucchini is a favorite vegetable that goes well with many different foods and will help to add color to your plate.
This veggie is an excellent source of vitamins B6, C, and K. It also provides plenty of riboflavin and folate, making it ideal for those that want nutritious low carb vegetables.
You can benefit from the antioxidant properties of zucchini, and it is a vegetable that’s very low in calories, so it is ideal for aiding weight loss.
Zucchini also contains nutrients and minerals such as manganese and potassium as well as having high water and fiber content.
If you love zucchini try our Keto Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Bolognese and Cheese or our delicious Zucchini Bread.
Keto Bolognese Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Mushrooms are extremely versatile and can be used in all sorts of dishes we use mushrooms often in our keto cooking.
From adding mushrooms to your keto breakfast to stir-frying them or adding them to casseroles, there are many things you can do with mushrooms.
Fortunately, mushrooms are ideal for those on the Keto Diet as they are low in carbs but high in a range of other nutrients that are important for good health.
When you add mushrooms to your eating plan, you can benefit from a boost in fiber intake as well as an increase in vitamins B and D.
They contain a range of other valuable nutrients including potassium, selenium, and copper.
Eating mushrooms can help to boost your immune system, improve digestion, and some suggest that it could even help to prevent certain forms of cancer.
In addition, they offer anti-inflammatory properties and can even help with respiratory health problems.
Try this creamy mushroom keto soup recipe if mushies are your thing.
Keto Chicken Salad Wraps
Celery is a vegetable that is often under-rated. If you are looking to lose weight and boost health, this is a great vegetable to snack on with a high-fat dip.
This green veggie can be used in salads and stir-fries or simply eaten raw as a snack with some delicious dip.
The calorie content in celery is virtually non-existent making it perfect for those that want to lose weight.
Celery is also packed with nutrients, making it a very healthy addition to your Keto veggies list.
Along with antioxidant properties and enzymes, celery contains a range of other vitamins and nutrients that can aid your health.
This includes vitamins C, K, and B6. It is also a great source of potassium and folate.
Celery can aid your health in a variety of important ways. Including boosting metabolism, decreasing inflammation, reducing cholesterol, reducing high blood pressure, helping to fight infections, boosting the immune system, and helping prevent ulcers.
Celery is a fantastic addition to our Keto chicken Salad Wraps.
Eggplants, or aubergines as they are also known, are very healthy and can help you to create some delicious meals and dishes.
Eggplants (aubergines are technically a fruit but generally classed as vegetables) are commonly used in Asian, Italian, and Greek dishes.
They boast a unique texture and taste as well as providing you with a range of benefits to aid your health.
Eggplants are also low in calories, making them ideal for those who want to lose weight.
The eggplant contains a range of nutrients such as fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins K and C.
Eggplants can boost your health by providing a range of benefits including antioxidant properties, aiding the digestive system with their fiber content, and potentially helping to control blood sugar.
Some also suggest that they can help in the prevention of heart problems and conditions.
Keto Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
With its distinctive taste and versatility, the squash has become a popular choice in the lives of those looking to maintain a healthy diet.
Squash are ideal as part of your Keto Diet vegetables because they are low carb veggies that taste great, add a splash of color to your dishes, provide a wonderful texture, and make your meals far more interesting. They also offer a range of nutritional benefits that will help to boost your health.
This veggie contains vitamins that include A, B6, and C. In addition, it boasts many nutrients and minerals, and this includes magnesium, folate, riboflavin, fiber, potassium, and phosphorus among others.
When you add this vegetable to your diet, you will find it easier to digest and process fats as well as improving your bone strength.
Enjoy Delicious, Nutritious, and Varied Meals with Keto Friendly Vegetables
By adding this selection of Keto friendly vegetables to your diet, you can look forward to meals that are delicious, nutritious, and varied.
This not only means you will get a good balance of minerals, vitamins, and vital nutrients but also that you are more likely to stick to your Keto Diet plan.
It can be notoriously difficult to stick to any specific diet plan if you limit your food variations too much, as meals can quickly become bland, boring, and repetitive.
Make Your Own Keto Vegetables List
By making a list of Keto vegetables, you won’t forget them when it comes to shopping and you’ll know to work them into your meals for fiber and nutrition. When you are deciding which vegetables you want to add to your diet, you should look at various factors.
First off, you need to determine which are keto friendly high carb vs low-carb, which of those carbs are fiber and which are net carbs (all of the vegetables we’ve listed above have very low net carbs.
Also, for budding keto cooks, look at the versatility of the vegetables and how they can improve your dishes and meals.
Keto Vegetables List Sources:
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15 Low-Carb Vegetables to Eat on a Keto Diet
Vegetables are a great source of important vitamins and minerals. But when you’re on a keto diet, you have to be careful when adding them to your meals. The carbs in vegetables can easily add up if you eat too much of the wrong kind, sabotaging your dieting attempts along the way.
A good rule of thumb is to opt for low-carb vegetables that are dense in micronutrients and fiber. That’s easier said than done, because fresh produce doesn’t really come with nutrition labels. This is why you’ll need to do your research first before going grocery shopping.
To make vegetable shopping easier for you, we put together a list of the top 20 keto-approved vegetables that are also easy to incorporate into keto meals. We also give you simple-to-follow rules you can use next time you go vegetable shopping.
Our top-15 list also includes net carbs for each vegetable, as well as their micronutrient content and their health benefits.
Rules to Follow
If it’s green and leafy, then it’s good for you. Most leafy greens are low in carbs but rich in key micronutrients, most notably vitamin K, vitamin C, iron, and calcium . They’re also a reliable source of magnesium – a mineral that’s hard to get from a high-fat, low-carb diet.
Another useful rule is to avoid below-ground vegetables and eat only those that grow above ground. Below-ground vegetables (root crops) tend to be higher in sugars and starches. Still, some above-ground veggies like corn, pumpkin, and peas are also starchy while some roots are fairly low in carbs, so be careful with this rule.
Also, avoid sweet-tasting vegetables. The sweet taste obviously comes from the vegetable’s high sugar content. Examples of sweet veggies to avoid include carrots, butternut squash, corn, leeks, and yams.
Quick Buying and Eating Guide
Vegetables to look for:
- Leafy greens and other cruciferous vegetables
- Above-ground vegetables low in carbohydrates
Vegetables to avoid:
- Starchy vegetable
- Root vegetables
Vegetables to eat moderately:
Before vegetable shopping, research their nutrient profile first, then make a grocery list. You can also use our grocery list feature to get a personalized grocery list straight to your email.
Top 15 Low-Carb Vegetables
The vegetables you’ll see below contain less than 10 grams of net carbs per 100 grams of raw product. Net carbs are total carbs minus the fiber (because fiber doesn’t affect ketosis). They are ranked in order of the lowest to highest carb content. Read about their micronutrient profile and health benefits.
1. Bok choy (1 gram)
Bok choy is 95% water but is still one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables out there. One study ranked bok choy second for nutrient density out of 41 nutrient-rich plant foods . You only get 13 calories from 100 grams of raw bok choy but plenty of vitamin A, C, K, and more .
2. Spinach (1.4 grams)
Spinach is exceptionally rich in vitamin A, containing 188% of the daily value (DV) for this vitamin. It is also rich in vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, magnesium (20% DV), and potassium. One study review states that besides providing antioxidant protection, compounds in spinach are shown to suppress appetite and aid in weight loss .
3. Avocado (1.8 grams)
Avocados are a keto staple for three main reasons: they’re low in carbs, high in fat, and moderate in protein. Sounds like the perfect keto food. Avocados are also rich in the antioxidants vitamins C and E and as well as the minerals magnesium and potassium.
4. Celery (2 grams)
Celery is mostly water (95%) but still rich in key nutrients. Celery is an excellent source of folate, potassium, vitamin A, and fiber . Dipped in almond butter or buttery sauces, celery is great for making tasty keto-approved snacks.
5. Asparagus (2 grams)
Asparagus has a unique, earthy flavor that goes well with keto-friendly sauces like Hollandaise and mustard. It also pairs perfectly with eggs and bacon. Nutrition-wise, asparagus is rich in fiber, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and folate . Studies on asparagus show that it contains compounds that provide antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and liver health protection .
6. Cauliflower (2.8 grams)
Cauliflower is an excellent low net-carb source of dietary fiber, with 100 grams providing 10% DV. It is a popular rice substitute in keto cooking and its neutral taste makes it an ideal base for almost any meal. Make sure not to cook but steam, stir-fry, or microwave cauliflower to preserve its nutrients .
7. Cucumbers (3.1 grams)
Cucumbers are mostly water and contain just 1% carbs. Their high-water content makes them very refreshing, and they pair perfectly with yogurt and cream. Their seeds and peels are the most nutrient-dense part, so it’s best to eat them whole. In terms of health benefits, studies show that they have an anti-diabetic and lipid-lowering effect .
8. Cabbage (3.3 grams)
Cabbage is another low net-carb, high-fiber keto staple. It’s exceptionally rich in vitamin C but has garnered more attention due to its powerful phytochemicals. Studies show that these phytochemicals can fight cancer and heart disease . It is also a versatile ingredient; you can use it to make soups, stews, stir-fries, casseroles, salads, and more.
9. Cremini mushrooms (3.5 grams)
Botanically, mushrooms are a fungus. But in culinary terms, they’re a vegetable. Besides being low in carbs, cremini mushrooms are rich in migraine-preventing riboflavin, skin-improving vitamin B5, and heart-healthy potassium . No wonder the Romans believed them to be “Food of the Gods .
10. Green beans (3.7 grams)
Beans are a no-no on a keto diet, but green beans are ok. They’re low in net carbs and rich in dietary fiber, which helps regulate bowel movements. Green beans are rich in vitamins A, C, and K and the mineral manganese. Studies show that cooking green beans increases their antioxidant content, so go ahead and make some green bean soup .
11. Artichokes (3.9 grams)
Globe artichokes are rich in dietary fiber, providing 16% of the DV per 100 grams. They’re also an excellent source of folate (31% DV) and contain disease-fighting antioxidants. Steam them and serve with butter for a quick snack or use them as a pizza topping. Make sure not to confuse them with Jerusalem artichokes – those are loaded in carbs.
12. Broccoli (4 grams)
Along with bok choy, cabbage, and cauliflower, broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, all widely touted as powerful functional foods. Broccoli is richer in vitamin C than most citrus fruit (150% DV) . However, just like with cauliflower, cooking broccoli can lower the vitamin C content. Steam or stir-fry broccoli to preserve its nutritional value.
13. Fennel bulb (4.2 grams)
Fennel bulb is an exception to the no below-ground-vegetables rule. It contains very little net carbs but a whole lot of vitamins, minerals, and gut-benefiting fiber. It has an anise aroma and licorice-like flavor, making it an ideal addition to soups and salads.
14. Brussels Sprouts (5.2 grams)
Brussels sprouts are another low-carb cruciferous vegetable. They’re known for their powerful detoxifying properties, which prevent the risk of certain cancers . They retain their detoxifying abilities even after heating. Roast them in some butter and olive oil for a tasty keto treat.
15. Kale (8 grams)
Kale is a popular smoothie ingredient that is also keto-friendly. Although 8g of net carbs per 100 grams may seem too much for a leafy green, keep in mind that usual daily serving for kale is around 80 grams. Kale is nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich, and a good source of hard-to-get minerals like calcium and magnesium .
On a keto diet, you can safely eat up to 30 grams of net carbs a day. Going anywhere above that will kick you out of ketosis. This is why it is so important to watch your portion sizes, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
Knowing how many net carbs there are in your vegetables will help you stay within the 30-grams limit. Alternatively, you can just limit your daily intake by sticking to one to two cups of fruits and vegetables. However, this is a bit riskier.
Take a look at our recipes section to get inspired and also see how to incorporate vegetables into delicious keto-friendly meals.
When following a ketogenic diet, you don’t have to avoid all vegetables like the plague. In fact, you should eat a small number of veggies to stay healthy and keep your digestive tract functioning. However, not all vegetables are created equal.
Some vegetables are too high in starches and sugars to be keto-friendly. But many are so low in carbs that you can eat two cups safely without worrying about sabotaging your diet. We’ve included just 15 of the most popular and healthiest low-carb greens for you to include into your keto diet. But there are many more options for you out there.
Make sure to follow our tips when buying vegetables for your next keto meal. Also, consider taking our free learning course if you want to learn more about the keto diet, including what you can and cannot eat, and how to make low-carb meals.
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