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Vegetables are primarily considered a carbohydrate on the Keto Diet. With only 20-25 grams of carbohydrates to eat per day, knowing which are the best low-carb options is important. Keep reading for a Keto Diet Vegetable List to get you started.
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So you've started the Keto Diet and have your fats down, you are watching your protein, and limiting your carbohydrates, but things seem a little limited.
In fact, you are starting to miss vegetables. Really?
To help you eat healthy on the Keto Diet, I put together a Low Carb Vegetable List. You will also find a list of higher-carb vegetables to avoid on the Keto Diet.
Tip: Buy a food scale so you know what amount you are measuring.
Compare Carbohydrates in Vegetables
The first step in comparing vegetables is to determine the serving size of vegetables you plan to eat. For this comparison, I looked at 100 grams of each vegetable.
For some vegetables like lettuce, 100 grams would measure out to 2 cups of shredded lettuce. While for others, such as chopped carrots, 100 grams would be roughly 3/4 cup.
The second step is to calculate "net" carbohydrates for each vegetable. Net carbohydrates are calculated by subtracting grams of fiber from total grams of carbohydrates in the vegetable.
For reference, I consulted the USDA Food Composition Database. This is a searchable food database, where you can check the nutrient content of the foods you would like to eat while on the keto diet.
For example, a 100 gram serving of Broccoli contains 6.6 grams of Total Carbohydrates - 2.6 grams of Fiber = Net Carbohydrates in this serving is 4 grams.
So to compare vegetables with a reasonable "apples to apples" way, you really need to have a food scale on hand that can weigh your portions.
One scale I like is an Amazon Choice product, Ozeri ZK-14S Pronto Digital Multifunction Food Scale. Sleek and accurate, it instantly converts grams to ounces depending on your recipe.
You will see in the chart below that there is a wide variance in carbohydrate content even in lower carbohydrate-rich vegetables.
with the keto diet, every carb counts!
Why We Need Vegetables in Our Diet
Filled with key vitamins, minerals, and fiber, vegetables are important to include in everyone's diet, but especially the keto diet.
On the keto diet, you are limited to just 20-25 grams of carbohydrates daily. For more on why we limit carbohydrates, review the Keto Diet Essentials post which delves into the keto diet rules in more detail.
But due to this restricted amount of carbohydrates, we are potentially limiting our intake of key food nutrients.
This is especially a concern if you are like many people and use the carbohydrate allotment for other less nutritious food options.
Besides the fiber in vegetables that we need to keep things moving, the sodium, magnesium, and potassium are important electrolytes that help manage some of the symptoms of the keto flu.
Keto flu is a set of passing symptoms that occur when your body starts to adapt to burning fat for fuel. As your body uses up its glycogen stores, water and electrolytes are flushed from the body.
These electrolyte changes may lead to headaches, dizziness, and other flu-like symptoms. Read more about the keto flu in my post on Bone Broth Rocks Keto Flu.
There are also other important vitamins and minerals that we take in when we eat vegetables such as B vitamins, Calcium, vitamins A, E, and K among others.
Because vegetables are packed with nutrition, limiting carbohydrates and therefore vegetables make it important to give a special priority to include them in the keto diet.
Keto Diet Vegetable List
For the chart below I chose lower carbohydrate vegetables. I stayed away from most root vegetables such as potatoes because they are considered starchy and would have too high a carbohydrate count.
The vegetable list is not inclusive and you can easily check the USDA database to confirm carbohydrate content, as well as other nutrition for vegetables and fruits you would like to eat on the keto diet.
What the Chart Tells Us
There are many low carbohydrate vegetables that you can add to your diet and stay within the carbohydrate limit of the keto diet. Adding these vegetables will add flavor, nutrition, fiber, and variety to your keto diet meals.
As you will see, bell pepper, onion, olives, and carrots have a higher amount of net carbohydrates. Use these vegetables for color and flavor and limit their use in recipes because their carbohydrates will add up quick.
Keto Diet Vegetable List
High-Carb Vegetables to Avoid on Keto Diet
It's just as important to know which vegetable to avoid on the keto diet. I took a look at 10 vegetables that are 5 grams or higher per 100-gram serving.
Vegetables with fewer carbohydrates might be included occasionally in smaller portions. You will have to evaluate if they work with your diet.
Adding Vegetables to Your Keto Diet Meals
Now take this information and build a keto diet meal plan. Because for me having a meal plan for the Keto Diet is the most important task. Finding the recipes to fill out the meal plan is half the battle.
To get you started, I put together a 7-Day Keto Diet Meal Plan and Shopping List Guide. The 7-Day Meal Plan includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. Following a meal plan should make the first week on the Keto Diet a Breeze.
Sign up for Fit As A Fiddle Life Tips and Strategy Newsletter and I will send you the PDF links to get you started on the Keto Diet. Click here to sign up.
Favorite Vegetable Dishes & Side Dishes
These recipes should get you started, but as I try new vegetable recipes I will add them to the list.
Let me know in the comments if you have favorites too! I love to try new recipes and I am always looking for a new favorite.
One way to find recipes is to have a Keto Diet Cookbook. Making your recipes fit with the keto diet takes a little planning. Using a keto diet cookbook makes the process a little easier. Take a look a the Best Keto Diet Cookbooks.
Low-carb Vegetable Recipes
Please share in comments any vegetable recipes you love.
Cheesy Cauli-Mash by Fit As A Fiddle Life
Keto Mama's Cauliflower Lasagna by Keto Mama
Spicey Cauli-Fried Rice by Fit As A Fiddle Life
Green Beans with Bacon & Onions by Fit As A Fiddle Life
Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup by Savory Lotus
Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps by GIMME Delicious
Sauteed Mushrooms by Fit As A Fiddle Life
Creamed Spinach by Fit As A Fiddle Life
Lemon Butter Chicken by Damn Delicious
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