Updated September 9, 2020When on a low-carb diet, eating vegetables is one of the easiest ways to enjoy sizable meals without having too many calories and still receiving the necessary nutrients for your body. Although every vegetable contains carbohydrates to some degree, some have very little and are suitable for a low-carb diet such as keto.Most low-carb vegetables are non-starchy and have a high water content. Leafy greens are generally low-carb, but other vegetables, including mushrooms and bell peppers, contain few carbs as well. On the other hand, root vegetables, including corn, potatoes, and peas, often have many carbs per serving.Some people choose to eat a low-carb diet for weight loss purposes or to treat health conditions such as high blood pressure or metabolic syndrome. Regardless of whether you are trying to eat fewer carbs or not, it’s essential to include various vegetables in your diet to receive their different nutrients.LettuceAll lettuce varieties are incredibly low-carb, generally having around 2 grams of total carbs and 1 gram of fiber per cub. They’re one of the lowest carb, high-nutrient vegetables you can eat.Darker varieties of lettuce, such as romaine, contain vitamins A, C, and K. They are high in folate, a B vitamin used to reduce homocysteine–a compound linked to heart disease–levels, help mood, and produce white and red blood cells.SpinachSpinach is one of the lowest carb vegetables, containing only 1 gram of total carbs and 1 gram of fiber per cup when raw. It contains vitamins A and K, iron, folic acid, manganese, and essential antioxidants. Eating spinach aids heart health, reduces blood pressure, and minimizes the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.Bell PeppersRegardless of the color, bell peppers contain roughly 9 grams of total carbs and 3 grams of fiber per cup. They all contain vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and antioxidants known to reduce inflammation and minimize cancer risk.Green bell peppers are harvested the earliest of all bell pepper variations, and so they contain the least amount of nutrients. On the other hand, red bell peppers are the most nutrient-rich.ZucchiniZucchini is a popular vegetable often used to replace pasta and chips. It contains 4 grams of total carbs and 1 gram of fiber per cup, raw, and provides vitamin C and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron. Zucchini is high in antioxidants, helps digestion, and may lower blood sugar.MushroomsOne cup of mushrooms contains 2 grams of total carbs and 1 gram of fiber. Mushrooms contain vitamins B and D, phosphorus, and selenium, an antioxidant that supports the immune system and protects your body’s tissues and cells.Mushrooms have a meaty or umami flavor and texture, making them a great meat replacement for vegetarians and vegans or those who are trying to consume fewer animal products. Portobello mushrooms are also occasionally used to replace bread or buns because of their large size.CeleryCelery has an incredibly high water content—the veggie is approximately 95 percent water. Celery has only 3 grams of total carbs and 2 grams of fiber. It contains vitamins K and C and is an excellent source of antioxidants. Namely, it contains luteolin, an antioxidant known to help prevent and treat cancer.AsparagusAsparagus contains 8 grams of total carbs and 4 grams of fiber per cup. It provides many nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, folate, and copper, an essential mineral used to build collagen and produce energy. The vegetable is low in natural sodium, thus balancing your body’s electrolytes and minimizing the risk of bloating. Eating asparagus can protect brain health, reduce anxiety, and prevent the growth of specific cancer cells.CauliflowerOne cup of cauliflower has one 5 grams of total carbs and 3 grams of fiber. The versatile vegetable often replaces rice, pizza dough, potatoes, and meat, making it quite popular.It contains vitamins C, K, and B and choline, an essential nutrient known to help memory, learning, and metabolism. Cauliflower also has a high concentration of antioxidants to help protect against heart disease and cancer.JicamaWhile jicama is a starchy vegetable, it still easily fits into a low-carb diet, containing 5 grams of total carbs and 2 grams of fiber per cup. It’s a sweeter and juicier potato replacement, often served as chips or fries, but it can also be used as a tortilla. The root vegetable is high in vitamins C and E, potassium, and magnesium.CucumberWith less than 2 grams of carbs per cup, the refreshing cucumber is 95 percent water. Although cucumbers have little fiber, they contain vitamins C and K, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Cucumbers also contain lignans known to help brain health and reduce inflammation potentially.Cucumbers are best enjoyed unpeeled to receive their full nutritional benefits.How to Eat More VegetablesSuppose you struggle with getting enough vegetables in your diet or have a little one who isn’t a fan of healthier foods. In that case, there are easy steps you can take to better incorporate them into your diet, including finding new ways to cook your vegetables or drinking your vegetables.Prep your vegetables ahead of time: If you’re busy, having ready-made food on hand makes it easier to eat healthily and make better food choices. Cut, prep, and cook your vegetables and meals over the weekend, then freeze them to eat when you’re short on time or don’t have the energy to cook.Replace standard carbs with veggies: A simple and tasty way to eat more vegetables is to replace your simple carbs with veggies. For instance, try using lettuce wraps instead of tortillas or buns, cucumbers rather than crackers, or zucchini in place of noodles.Drink your vegetables: An easy way to incorporate vegetables into your diet is to throw them in your smoothies, protein shakes, or juices. If you’re not a fan of the taste of vegetables, mixing them with fruits is a simple way to get your nutrients without compromising on flavor.Sneak vegetables to every meal: Foods such as stir-fries, soups, scrambles, curries, and frittatas can all have vegetables easily added to them. Adding a serving of vegetables to tastier foods is convenient and delicious while still providing your needed nutrients.Learn how to prepare your vegetables well: Many people dislike vegetables due to how poorly their vegetables are prepared or cooked. For example, cauliflower was generally unpopular until recently when people began to roast, batter, and dredge it in sauces. Now, it’s incredibly popular and used to replace simple carbs and meat. Once you understand how to cook your vegetables well, you’ll be more inclined to eat them frequently.Use frozen vegetables: Although frozen vegetables are often overlooked, they’re always picked and frozen at their peak ripeness to maximize freshness and nutritional value; sometimes providing even more nutrients than fresh produce. Some frozen vegetables come pre-chopped, so you can easily add them to your meals without extra prep work.FAQsWhat is the keto diet?The ketogenic diet consists of eating high fat, moderate protein, and low carbs. It’s meant to put your body into ketosis, a metabolic state forcing your body to burn fat rather than carbs. The fat produces ketones for energy and potentially suppresses your appetite as well. People typically use the diet for weight loss or to treat health conditions such as diabetes or high blood sugar.Individuals following the diet typically eat less than 20 to 30 grams of carbs per day. To achieve this, many eat low-carb vegetables. Meat and dairy products are a major source of fats and protein when on the keto diet, though it’s important not to eat too many foods with saturated or trans fats.Is it OK to have a low-carb diet?Going on a low-carb diet is not for everyone, though it can be helpful for some. Generally, individuals follow a low-carb diet for weight loss. Additionally, people may hope to prevent or improve health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome, however, this is true for any weight loss diet.If you eat fewer carbs, it’s essential to stay adequately hydrated as ketosis puts you at a higher risk for dehydration. Also, drastically restricting carbs for extended periods can put you at risk for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, gastrointestinal issues, and potentially increase your chances of chronic illnesses. Always be sure to use supplements and take vitamins to compensate for any lost vitamins and minerals when limiting your carb intake.What foods have zero carbs?Typically, unprocessed, simple foods contain zero carbs, such as lean meats, fish, eggs, oils, and seasonings. Beverages with no carbs include teas, black coffee, and sparkling water. People on low-carb diets typically focus on eating lean proteins and fats for most of their meals with the addition of vegetables for added volume and nutrients.How many carbs should you eat in a day?If you want a moderate carb intake, 45 to 65 percent of your daily intake should be carbs. For a 2000 calorie diet, a person would eat between 225 and 325 grams of carbs per day.There’s no strict rule defining “low carb,” though it typically involves eating between 20 to 60 grams of carbs per day regardless of your total calorie intake.What carbs should you avoid?On a low-carb diet, carbs including refined bread, starchy vegetables, pasta, cereal, certain fruits, and beans should be avoided. Although some of these foods are considered healthy, you should limit starchy and sugary foods as they are high in carbs.However, if you are not limiting your carb intake, there is no reason to avoid foods whether or not they are considered healthy. Processed foods such as soda, white bread, or chips, while less nutritious than whole-grains or fruits, can be enjoyed in moderation.ConclusionVegetables are essential for any healthy and well-rounded diet as they provide countless different nutrients and minerals, including vitamins A, B, and K, phosphorus, and folate. When trying to increase your vegetable intake, prioritize eating vegetables with every meal.Although lowering your carb intake does not work for everyone, it can encourage weight loss and even aid health conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Regardless, introducing more vegetables into your diet enhances your overall well-being and reduces your risk of chronic diseases.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. 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