Following a low-carb diet isn’t easy. Even though it offers numerous benefits for your health and can help maintain your weight loss efforts, it can be challenging to find low carb foods that are also high in fiber. This includes the search for vegetables that can be consumed regularly under these dietary restrictions.
When it comes to vegetables, the golden rule is this: if the vegetable grows above the ground, it will typically contain fewer carbs and will be healthier to consume. But if it’s a root veggie, i.e. one that grows underground, it’s more likely to have a higher carbohydrate count. In this article, we’ll go through our curated list of low-carb vegetables so you have an easier time putting together healthy and nutritious meals.
Spinach is one of the vegetables with the lowest carb count per gram, containing only four grams per cup of boiled spinach and one gram per cup of raw spinach. The low amount of carbs in spinach makes it an excellent choice if you want to get plenty of nutrients like vitamin K and reduce the risk of heart and eye problems.
Even though avocado is technically a fruit, it’s mainly consumed as a vegetable and is one of the healthiest and most nourishing low-carb produce items you can consume. A cup of chopped avocado contains approximately 13 grams of carbs, but most of them come from fiber, making the mighty avocado an excellent low-car/high-fiber food choice. Avocados contain a lot of monounsaturated fats, which makes it one of the best keto vegetables as well.
Even though many people aren’t particularly fond of broccoli, it happens to be a staple on the low-carb veggie list. One cup of broccoli contains only six grams of carbs and provides you with a ton of nutrients, including vitamin C and vitamin D, which works in conjunction with calcium to improve bone health.
Zucchini, especially the summer squash variety, is an excellent choice when looking for low-carb vegetables. Containing around four grams of carbs per cup, zucchini is a veggie that goes great with almost everything and it is super easy to prepare. You can saute it, grill it, blend it, juice it, roast it, spiralize it, or peel it into strips to make noodle free lasagna. It also contains vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and a boatload of other nutrients.
Not too long ago, it seemed like you couldn’t look up a diet without kale being at the center of it. And while that fad has slowly passed, kale remains a superfood and the benefits that this leafy green offers are still just as strong. Kale has only seven grams of carbs per cup and comes with a powerful punch of vitamin C and vitamin A.
Green beans should be at the center of any well-balanced and nutritious diet, especially when you consider how many benefits these low-carb vegetables, or legumes to be precise, can offer. Green beans, otherwise known as string beans, contain 10 grams of protein per cup and provide a significant amount of calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, and various other nutrients.
The thing that makes cauliflower such a great option for those looking to consume low-carb vegetables is the versatility aspect. Similar to zucchini, cauliflower can take on a variety of flavors by incorporating it in stews, soups, salads, and can even as a potato, rice, or pizza crust substitute. With just five grams of carbs per cup, it’s a great low-carb veggie that also comes packed with a lot of vitamin K.
Cabbage is another excellent veggie, working to prevent a range of diseases and offering a lot of vitamin C and vitamin K. Men are often encouraged to consume cabbage because it benefits prostate health. With just five grams of carbs per cup, you can safely insert cabbage into any low-carb diet that you’re following.
There’s a reason why tomatoes have become a staple in many kitchens: they are delicious, versatile, and offer a range of health benefits. There are only six grams of carbs in cherry tomatoes per cup, and you’ll also get plenty of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
Although eggplant isn’t a vegetable that’s enjoyed by everyone, it’s incredibly beneficial, especially when you’re trying to lower your carb intake. It contains just eight grams of carbs per cup has been known to assist with lowering cholesterol levels, thus improving heart health.
Bell peppers are not only a low-carb vegetable, they’re also a powerful source of antioxidants, helping to protect your body from cancerous cells. With just nine grams of carbs per cup, you can have bell peppers in almost any diet, especially considering the health benefits, which are attributed to the compound known as capsaicin, and the staggering amount of vitamin C that it contains.
As you might have guessed, cucumbers are one of the best low-carb vegetables because they are mostly comprised of water. There are just four grams of carbs in one cup of cucumbers, which is one of the lowest numbers on this list. Cucumbers also offer substantial amounts of vitamin E, which can be harder to come by.
The Benefits of Low Carb Diets
We’ve gone through some of the best low-carb vegetables and explored why each of them is beneficial, but why should you opt for a low-carb diet in the first place? Well, there are numerous benefits that come with avoiding high-carb vegetables and opting for a diet that’s rich in plant-based protein, healthy fats, and vital nutrients that the veggies on this list can offer.
Low carb diets can help you lose weight, reduce cravings for unhealthy food, increase your levels of healthy HDL cholesterol, reduce blood sugar levels, and lower blood pressure. In this article, we explored some of the best low-carb veggies you can choose from when following a low-carb diet.