Half the trouble of following a low-carb diet is knowing what ingredients have carbs in them.
For example, we all know that potatoes, pasta, and bread are off-limits, but what vegetables are keto friendly?
The 28 Day Keto Challenge from Keto Resource is a fantastic keto resource that helps you follow the keto diet since all of your meals are planned out for you.
Your carb, protein, and fat intake have already been calculated to help you healthily achieve ketosis.
If you want to craft some of your own meals, though, you’ll need to know more about the carb content of various vegetables, so let’s take a look.
Vegetables and Their Carbohydrate Content
Unless you’re blessed with a photographic memory, remembering the carb content of every single vegetable on the planet is an impossible task.
Luckily, there’s a simple rule that you can apply to remember which vegetables are keto friendly and which aren’t.
The carb content of vegetables that grow above the ground is generally lower than those grown below ground.
It’s not an infallible rule, but it does serve as a good general guide for when you’re out and about and don’t have access to a reliable source.
Learning about net carbs can also help you identify if you’re consuming vegetables that are keto-friendly.
Understanding Net Carbs
The majority of ketogenic diets recommend that you eat between 15 and 30 grams of net carbs per day in order to switch your body to a state of ketosis.
However, the exact number of grams will be different for everyone, depending on your current weight and exercise regime.
When you’re at the supermarket, checking the nutritional labels of foods, you may be surprised at how high the carb count is on many food items.
You need to remember that net carbs are different from total carbs.
When you calculate the net carbs of any food item, you should take the total grams of carbs and subtract the total grams of fiber.
For example, half a cup of cauliflower contains approximately five grams of total carbs.
That same half cup of cauliflower also has two grams of fiber, so the net carbs of half a cup of cauliflower are just three grams.
What Vegetables Are Keto Friendly?
The most keto friendly vegetables are the ones that contain less than five grams of net carbs per serving, assuming a half-cup serving.
You can eat these vegetables relatively freely, but we really recommend either following a diet plan or using a carb calculator to ensure you’re staying on course.
Keto favorites include asparagus, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, spinach, and zucchini, all containing three grams or less net carbs.
List of Recommendations
Here are some of the more popular vegetables you may find yourself eating on keto and their net carbs per serving.
In this instance, one serving is 3.5 ounces. As if their low carb count wasn’t enough reason to fill your plate, we’ve also provided some information about their great health benefits.
One Net Carb or Under
- Spinach: Just one serving of spinach contains ten times the recommended daily intake of vitamin K and helps protect the heart and eyes.
Two Net Carbs or Under
- Lettuce: High in several vitamins, depending on the type of lettuce, including folate, this vegetable may lower the risk of heart disease.
- Avocado: Technically a fruit, avocados contain C, E, K, and B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and essential fatty acids. All these are good for overall health.
- Asparagus: A great source of nutrients, including folate, and vitamins A, C, and K, asparagus can help with weight loss, improve digestion, and lower blood pressure.
- Celery: This vegetable is a good source of vitamin K. It also contains luteolin, which is an antioxidant that has shown potential in both the prevention and treatment of cancer.
- Mushrooms: They contain B vitamins and selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant. They can help to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and prevent cell damage.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Packed with vitamin C, cherry tomatoes act as an antioxidant and boost the immune system. They also contain higher amounts of beta-carotene than regular tomatoes.
- Radishes: This keto-friendly vegetable is high in nutrients and packed with vitamins such as E, A, C, K, and B6. It is also high in antioxidants, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, and manganese to help your entire body stay in tip-top condition.
Three Net Carbs or Under
- Olives: Very high in vitamin E and powerful antioxidants, olives are great for heart health and are a good source of healthy fats.
- Cucumber: It contains cucurbitacin E, which could potentially have anti-inflammatory properties and may support brain health.
- Tomatoes: High in vitamins and potassium, tomatoes may reduce the risk of cancer and protect the heart.
- Eggplant: It contains antioxidants and may help protect heart and brain health.
- Zucchini: This member of the squash family is a good source of vitamin C and, when spiralized, makes a good noodle replacement.
- Kale: This is a cruciferous vegetable that helps boost digestive health. It is also rich in antioxidants, calcium, iron, vitamins C and K, as well as many other nutrients.
- Cabbage: As another member of the cruciferous family, it may reduce the risk of certain cancers and is high in vitamins C and K.
- Cauliflower: It is an excellent substitute for potatoes and can be used to make a pizza base. Cauliflower is also high in vitamins C and K. Yet another cruciferous vegetable that may help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Four Net Carbs or Under
- Broccoli: Another member of the cruciferous vegetable family, broccoli is a superfood that provides more than 100% of your RDI of vitamins C and K.
- Green Beans: These beans are high in antioxidants that help protect the brain and prevent cancer. They are one of the only legumes to make it to this keto-friendly list.
Five Net Carbs or Under
- Brussel Sprouts: High in vitamins C and K, Brussel sprouts may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
- Bell Peppers: The carb amount depends on the bell pepper’s color, with green being the lowest and red being the highest. They contain antioxidants, are anti-inflammatory, and vitamins A and C.
What Is the Importance of Proteins and Fats in the Keto Diet?
Unfortunately, following the keto diet correctly is a lot more complicated than just counting carbs.
You also need to make sure that your body is getting the correct amounts of protein and fat that it needs.
When you’re almost eliminating carbohydrates, you need to ensure you replace it with moderate protein and high fat. Otherwise, you put yourself at risk of nutritional deficiency.
Protein is a vital macronutrient that can help improve your feeling of fullness after a meal and increase fat burning.
However, eating more protein than your body needs can cause gluconeogenesis, a process in which amino acids within the protein are converted into glucose.
Glucose is terrible news for keto dieters. Relying on meat and dairy too much can prevent you from entering ketosis and cause you to fall out of ketosis.
It’s recommended that you aim for around 0.7 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound of your total body weight.
First-time keto dieters are often scared of the high level of fat needed on the keto diet, especially if they’ve spent years trying to avoid it in the past.
Cutting down on carbs drastically means you’re starving your body of its primary energy source, and you need to make sure you replace it.
Many people think that following a low-carb and low-fat diet is even healthier, but this isn’t the case, because you need to compensate for the lack of carbs.
Avoid trans-fat where you can, but be sure to eat plenty of omega-3 and monounsaturated fats.
Around 70% of your total calories should come from fat, so eat fattier cuts of meat and add healthy fats to your meals.
How Can the 28 Day Keto Challenge Help You?
If your favorite vegetable didn’t show up on the list, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s off-limits.
You can pretty much eat anything on the keto diet, as long as you don’t go over your total net carbs each day.
If you don’t have a meal plan in place, you’ll find yourself spending an awful lot of your time counting carbs.
In fact, making the keto diet work and staying healthy can be really difficult.
Keeping a strict food diary and making exact calculations of how many carbs, proteins, and fats are being consumed each day can often lead to stress and failure.
There is a way you can make it easier for yourself. The 28 Day Keto Challenge has the meticulous planning done for you already.
If you want to check out our full review of the 28 Day Keto Challenge, check out this article.
Not only does the 28 Day Keto Challenge include 38 delicious and inspirational recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts.
You also receive a companion 28-day meal planner, useful information about the diet itself, and some great tips to help you succeed in your keto goals.
You’ll also find tips for when you’re eating out with friends, guidelines for drinking alcohol, implementing a longer-term keto strategy.
Whether you want to switch to the keto diet to help you lose weight, manage your diabetes, or for any of the other proven health benefits, the 28 Day Keto Challenge prepares you for the lifestyle change ahead.
It offers you a greater chance of long-term success.
Keto Flu Management
The first few days of the keto diet are always the hardest and, unfortunately, not many people make it past the dreaded keto flu.
The 28 Day Keto Challenge provides the information you need to make it through the common keto flu.
What’s even better is that it comes with a 60-day, 100% risk-free, money-back guarantee.
You will have time to complete the challenge three times and still get your money back if you’re not satisfied with the results.
Keto Dieting the Easy Way
In terms of what vegetables are keto friendly, there are plenty to choose from; in fact, some other vegetables are also given the green light on keto, despite being higher in carbs.
Onions are one such exception because sometimes only small amounts are used for flavor.
Therefore, it’s unlikely that you’d consume a full serving size of 3.5 ounces in one meal.
That said, the keto diet involves more than just counting carbs since it’s also important to maintain the right levels of fat and protein intake.
Fortunately, if you take the 28 Day Keto Challenge, you’re more likely to stay motivated and focused on your health goals.
Not only does it take a lot of work off your plate, but it puts some great meal ideas on it.