Low Carb Vegetables

Why should you eat low carb foods?

If you want to stay healthy or lose weight, or if you have health problems or type 2 Diabetes that can be reversed with carb-free foods, this is a great incentive to include foods like this in your daily diet.

Since we’re talking about vegetables, you can pretty much eat your fill, until you’re not hungry anymore. You won’t have to count calories or figure out how much you can eat without going over the number of carbs you want to limit yourself to, each day.

Low carb diets restrict starches like bread and pasta, and sugary foods. Instead, you’ll be eating tasty real foods like natural fats, proteins and veggies. Diets low in carbohydrates have been used for decades, and many people have had success with them, in becoming healthier and in losing weight, if that was their goal.

Carbohydrates, taken in moderation, play a vital role in the maintenance of a balanced daily diet. They give your body energy. If you want to be more careful about how many carbs you eat every day, you need to know which vegetables and fruits are the lowest in carbohydrates. We are also including the amount of carbs in common vegetables, so the information will be easy for you to find.

Low Carb Vegetables

  1. Basic rule for understanding carb content in specific vegetables

Many vegetables are sub-divided into four groups. The group they belong to depends on what part of a plant they come from. Check the chart below to understand these four groups:

LeavesLeafy veggies contain the fewest carbs. They also are full of fiber, so they don’t heavily impact your blood sugar level. They are rich in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Some leafy vegetables include spinach, Swiss chard, herbs and lettuce.

 

Flowers & StemsThese have a low content of carbs, although they have more carbs than leaves do. Flower and stem vegetables include asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli.
“Fruits”The “fruits” of plants are parts containing seeds. Fruits have moderate levels of complex carbs. Some fruits in this category include tomatoes, okra, green beans, eggplant, peppers and squashes.

 

RootsIn these four groups, roots have the highest carbohydrate level. Some of these include white potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes and parsnips, and they all have high starch and carbohydrate levels. Some other “roots” include radishes, carrots and celery root, but they have lower levels of carbs than the first roots in this category.

 

  1. Recommended vegetables low in carbohydrates
VegetablesDescription
AsparagusThis tasty vegetable has five grams of carbs and just 27 calories in a one-cup serving. The stalks offer vitamin A and vitamin K. Choose bunches with compact heads and bright green stalks. Break off the whitish ends before you cook and eat them.
CauliflowerThis isn’t the most popular vegetable, but it’s too healthy to overlook. It is an excellent source of vitamin C. In fact, one serving gives you more than half your daily vitamin C requirement. You can eat cauliflower cooked or raw. Roasting and steaming are the best methods for cooking this valuable veggie.



 

Brussels sproutsThese are low in carbs and high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and folic acid. Researchers believe that its nutrients can help in fighting off some types of cancer.
SpinachThis is a leafy green veggie, full of iron, vitamin K, folates and beta carotene. It is a valuable part of a proper diet for diabetics. To get the most nutrition, purchase it frozen or fresh, not canned. You can use spinach in omelets or as the base for salads.
CabbageThis veggie is low in carbs and rich in vitamin B6, manganese, vitamins C and K and antioxidants. When you choose cabbage, select a head with shiny leaves and firmness when you touch it. Refrigerate cabbage to keep it fresh.
CucumberOne cup of cucumbers contains fewer than five grams of carbs. They have vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium, making them a healthy salad or snack option. You can eat them by themselves or put them on sandwiches.
BroccoliBroccoli is loaded with iron, fiber, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin D. Choose broccoli that is dark green in color. It doesn’t keep very well, so enjoy it soon after you purchase or harvest it.
TomatoTomatoes are low in calories – only 32 calories in one cup – and low in carbs, too. They are packed with fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. They also have lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your body against heart disease and prostate cancer (for men).

You can enjoy tomatoes raw or use them cooked in sauces and with healthy meats.

 

  1. Additional healthy low carb vegetables

Here are some other low carb veggies we didn’t mention above:

  • Greens: collard greens, mustard greens, kale
  • Sprouts
  • Bok Choy
  • Herbs: sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, cilantro, parsley
  • Wax beans
  • Sea vegetables
  • Zucchini
  • Fennel
  • Green onions
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Tomatillos
  • Snow peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Artichokes
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Peppers

Vegetables High in Carbohydrates

Avoid starchy vegetables like these if you’re on a low-carb diet:

  • Peas
  • Beets
  • Parsnips
  • Some winter squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Plantains
  • Corn
  • Water chestnuts

Common Vegetables – a Carbohydrate Chart



Vegetables (100g/ 3.5 oz)        Calories       Carbohydrates (g)

Artichoke, boiled                             41                    10.6

Alfalfa sprouts, raw                         24                    0.4

Bean sprouts, raw                           31                    4

Asparagus, boiled                            22                    4

Brussel sprouts, boiled                     35                    3.1

Broccoli, raw                                   33                    1.8

Cauliflower, boiled                           28                   2.3

Celery, raw                                     7                     0.9

Carrots, raw and young                   30                   6

Corn-on-cob, boiled, plain                66                    11.6

Corn kernels, raw                            93                     17

Cucumber, raw , unpeeled               10                    1.5

Garlic, raw & fresh                          98                   16

Eggplant, raw                                 15                    2.2

Lettuce, raw & romaine                   16                    1.7

Kale, raw                                       35                    1.4

Potatoes, boiled                              75                    18

Mushrooms, raw                              22                    3.4

Okra, raw                                        31                    3

Peas, raw                                         83                   11.3

Onions, raw                                      64                    7.9

Red radish, raw                                12                    2

Spinach, raw                                     25                    1.6

Sweet potato, baked                        115                  28

Squash, butternut, baked                 32                    7.4

Tomatoes, raw                                17                    3

Tomatoes, raw cherry                      18                    3

Zucchini, raw                                  18                    1.8

Watercress, raw                              22                    0.4

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