Everyone knows that vegetables are good for you. They are an important source of nutrition and they are loaded with vitamins and minerals that your body needs. However, all vegetables are not alike, and some are high in carbs. The keto diet is based on the concept of reducing your carb intake and increasing your consumption of healthy fats and protein.
When you follow the keto diet, your body will transition from getting its energy from glucose to getting its energy from ketones. When you reduce your carb intake to between 20 and 50 grams per day, your body will use the stored glucose within and then start using ketones for energy. This allows your body to transition into a state of ketosis.
Not all vegetables are low in carbs, so you need to choose carefully. The key is to know which vegetables to avoid and which ones to eat when you are on the keto diet.
How to Choose the Best Vegetables for Keto
For most people, the target is to keep the carbs between 20 and 50 grams. This should be five percent of your total calories for the day, and this is critical to getting into and remaining in ketosis. You need between three and five servings of vegetables each day, so you will want to eat vegetables that contain around four grams of carbs in a serving.
Knowing that you can look at different vegetables and choose those that are best for the keto diet. Vegetables that grow underground are called tubers, and they include potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and turnips. These are all higher in starch and carbs, and you should avoid them. Most vegetables that grow above the ground are lower in carbs and will work well with your keto diet.
In addition to knowing what to eat, it is important to pay attention to your portions. Generally speaking, you will want to eat 100 grams, which looks like the following:
- ½ cup of broccoli or pumpkin
- 1 cup of leafy vegetables
- 1 medium tomato
The best way to cook your vegetables is in high-fat oil such as avocado oil or coconut oil. Choose any of the following vegetables:
In addition to the fact that spinach has only 1.4 grams of net carbs per serving, it contains vitamins A, C, and K1, folic acid, calcium, and iron. It has a number of great health benefits as well because it is full of nutrients and antioxidants. It has been known to help eye health, reduce blood pressure, and reduce oxidative stress. You can buy it canned or fresh, and it is versatile as you can eat it by itself or as part of a meal.
A 100-gram serving (3.5 ounces) of spinach contains 23 calories, with 2.9 grams of protein and 0.4 grams of fat. Most of the 3.6 grams of carbs are fiber, which is very good for you. It is high in insoluble fiber, which can benefit your digestive system. It is nutrient-rich and also has plant compounds that also help improve your overall health.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, and it is incredibly versatile as part of the keto diet. You can use it as a substitute for rice, potatoes, pasta, and couscous, which makes it a great option plain or in stews, casseroles, or soups. It contains many nutrients, including vitamins C, K, and B6. In addition, you will find folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
A one-cup serving (128 grams) contains 25 calories, with just five grams of carbs. This makes it easy to include in any low carb or keto diet. It contains antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and help protect your body from heart disease and cancer. This is a great vegetable to include in your keto diet.
Avocado is a unique vegetable because it is high in fat while being low in carbs. One cup will have important nutrients, such as vitamin C, K, and B6, potassium, magnesium, and folate, and it has 2.7 grams of net carbs along with 3 grams of protein and 22 grams of fat. Avocados actually have more potassium than bananas, and this is linked to reduced blood pressure.
Another health benefit of this vegetable is that it contains monounsaturated fatty acids that are good for your heart health. Avocado helps to reduce your inflammation and it is loaded with fiber. This vegetable also has powerful antioxidants that can assist in eye health. This is a great vegetable to have on the keto diet.
Cabbage is another cruciferous vegetable, and it gives you health benefits without increasing the carb count. It is a versatile ingredient that you can use in coleslaw if you want to eat it raw, or soups if you want to cook it. In addition, it has vitamins C, K, and B6, folate, manganese, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It has 22 calories, with 2.3 grams of net carbs. It may help reduce inflammation, improve digestion, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and promote heart health.
Celery has a high water content with only 1.2 grams of net carbs in a medium length celery stalk. It has fewer nutrients than other vegetables, but it is rich in antioxidants. It is a great snack because it is crunchy and you can pair it with cream cheese. One medium celery stalk that is 7 ½ to 8 inches long has just 5.6 calories. It is fat-free and low in protein, but it will not kick you out of ketosis.
Cucumbers are another vegetable with high water content, and they are low in carbs, with just 3.1 grams of net carbs. They have antioxidants that help to fight inflammation, and they contain nutrients such as vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. They help to keep you hydrated and contain two phytonutrient compounds that have been associated with anti-cancer properties: lignans and cucurbitacins.
Asparagus is another keto-friendly vegetable that is loaded with nutrients and goes well with many other keto-friendly foods. You can pair it with poached eggs, crispy bacon, and hollandaise sauce. A serving contains only 2.5 grams of net carbs, along with riboflavin, folate, iron, and manganese. In addition, it contains potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and E.
There are many different kinds of mushrooms, and most are perfectly acceptable on the keto diet. White button mushrooms have a rich flavor and a meaty texture, and they have just 2 grams of net carbs. They contain 3 grams of protein, as well as valuable nutrients, such as riboflavin, niacin, and copper.
Broccoli is another cruciferous vegetable, and it is related to cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. It contains many of the same nutrients, such as vitamins C, A, B6, D, E, and K. In addition, it has calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. One cup of broccoli contains just 3 grams of carbs and 15 calories.
Kale is dense in nutrients and has great health benefits, which gives it the label of being a superfood. It is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. There are different types of kale, and it can be green or purple. One cup of kale contains vitamins A, B6, C, and K, Manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium. It has 6 grams of carbs, but 2 grams are fiber, which leaves 4 grams of net carbs. In addition, it has an omega 3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid.
Kale has powerful antioxidants such as quercetin and kaempferol, which helps counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body. It can help lower cholesterol, and it contains numerous cancer-fighting substances. This cruciferous vegetable is one of the best to add to your diet.
Artichokes come from the Mediterranean, and they have been used for many centuries because of their medicinal properties. They can help lower blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and promote heart and liver health. They are loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins B6, C, and K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc.
They are low in fat and high in fiber, with 7 grams per serving. They have 4 grams of net carbs and 7 grams of protein. This helps with gut health and control of your appetite. This is a great vegetable to add when you are on the keto diet.
Although you need to avoid most beans on keto, green beans are okay. They are low in sugar, and you can eat them raw or steamed. They can help you maintain a healthy weight, and they are good for your heart. They have 4.1 grams of net carbs, and 2 grams of protein. In addition, the protein promotes healthy bones, hair, organs, and muscles. They will boost your immune system as well.
Green beans are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, E, and K, thiamin, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. You can add them to your diet raw or cooked.
Brussels sprouts are low in carbs and go well with bacon. They have just 4.5 grams of net carbs, as well as 2.5 grams of protein. In addition, they contain vitamins A, C, and K, folate, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese. They support gut health and are rich in antioxidants, and they may help to protect against cancer. They help to promote digestive health because of their high-fiber content.
In addition, Brussels sprouts contain ALA omega-3 fatty acids, which is great for anyone who doesn’t eat fish. This helps to decrease inflammation and reduce insulin resistance. You can include this cruciferous vegetable in your diet when you are eating keto.
Zucchini is a popular vegetable for people who are on the keto diet. People use it as a pasta or rice substitute, and you can roast it, stuff it, stir-fry it, and more. With just 2.8 grams of net carbs, zucchini has 1.5 grams of protein and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamins A, B6, C, and K, as well as manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, phosphorus, and thiamine. It also has small amounts of iron, calcium, zinc, and several other B vitamins. It is high in antioxidants, and it is incredibly versatile.
Radishes are one of the few below-ground vegetables that are low in carbs. You will get just 2.1 grams of net carbs with a serving of radishes, and there are many other vitamins and minerals including potassium, folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6, and K, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and sodium.
Radishes support a healthy digestive system and have both anti-cancer and antifungal properties. In Chinese medicine, they have been used to treat many conditions, including sore throat, bile disorders, and inflammation.
When you decide to embrace the keto diet, you will find that there are many foods that you can and should eat. The best way to reach and remain in ketosis is by familiarizing yourself with the foods that are low in carbs and high in healthy fats and protein.
Vegetables are an important part of your diet, and you can choose any of the foods on this list. You can use them to complement any of your meals, and they offer an important source of nutrition. As long as you know what you can eat, you will have no trouble whipping up delicious meals. All of these vegetables are low enough in carbs to be keto-friendly, so be sure to include them in your meals.