What Vegetables Can I Eat on a Keto Diet?

It’s a common misconception that you can’t eat lots of vegetables while on a keto diet. In fact, you can and should eat plenty of vegetables! They contain lots of nutritious stuff, including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like potassium, and calcium. But not just any vegetables will do. Some are high-carb foods with high-sugar / natural sweeteners / glucose (Hint: most root vegetables, like carrots, beets, yams, butternut squash, parsnips and turnips are starchy vegetables and have high carb counts). Avoid those veggies and focus your sights on ketogenic diet-friendly selections listed below. Some are superfoods (say yes to leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables!), all are perfect for a low-carb diet, have little glucose, and are non-starchy vegetables. Just remember, even with nutritionally beneficial vegetables, carbohydrates add up fast; 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 go to figure that out–and less total carbs if you’re using the keto diet as adjunct therapy), so mind your macros while enjoying vegetables.

Low-Carb Vegetables

  • Arugula
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado (technically a fruit ..:-)
  • Bell pepper
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower 
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard greens
  • Radish
  • Spinach 
  • Swiss chard
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Summer squash
  • Tomato
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini

Higher-Carb Vegetables

  • Carrots 
  • Onions
  • Rutabaga

Highest Carb Vegetables

  • Beets
  • Corn
  • Legumes
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams
  • Yucca

Mojo On!

Not too savvy to be able to cook vegetables? Now’s a thrilling time to be able to integrate them into your keto recipes! 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 high-fat dressing or a simple mix of olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper. Sautéed works too as does a stir-fry, especially when cooked in healthy fats (think good oils or butter)! You can get yourself 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 simply tiny bits of cauliflower, packaged and ready to help you instead 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 ideal replacement for pasta. 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!

Whatever you do, remember that vegetables are great keto food, when you purchase the right ones and eat just enough on your keto meal plan to keep your carb content in check. Pick the best keto-friendly vegetables and you will keep your blood sugar low, stay in ketosis, continue weight-loss (if that’s your goal), and enjoy their myriad health benefits; the fiber and nutrients in keto-friendly vegetables are ideal for heart health and overall wellness, and they taste delicious, too!

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