These low-carb vegetables are the most compatible with the ketogenic diet.

By Renee Cherry
November 14, 2019
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One of the biggest downsides of the keto diet is its severe limit on fruits and vegetables. Any time you restrict produce, there's a good chance you'll miss out on micronutrients in the process. All the more reason to really get to know your keto vegetables and keto fruits if you're set on following the diet. (Related: This Keto Candy Proves You Can Have Sweets While Living the Low-Carb Life)

Here, let's focus on vegetables. Veggies contain varying amounts of sugar, fiber, and starch—three types of carbs. Eating high-fiber vegetables can actually work to your advantage, though. These options tend to be lower in net carbs, which are calculated by taking the amount of naturally occurring carbohydrates minus the amount of fiber. The rationale behind focusing on net carbs rather than total carbs is that carbs from fiber aren't digestible, so they don't upset your blood sugar balance cause the sudden insulin release that can sabotage your chance at ketosis.

On the other hand, vegetables that are higher in the other two types of carbs and lower in fiber are off-limits. Root vegetables like beets, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, and yams are high in starch. Legumes (not technically a vegetable, but sometimes get looped together) like peas and lentils are also a no go. Even squash isn't sacred–while the majority are low enough in net carbs, butternut squash isn't keto-friendly thanks to its sugar content.

Even low-net carb vegetables have to be eaten in moderation. How many net carbs you allow yourself per day will depend on your macronutrient goal, but most keto dieters aim to stick within the 15–40-gram range. (Here's more guidance on how to define your macro goals as a beginner.)

If that all seems exclusionary it is, but rest assured that leafy greens aren't the only keto vegetables. Familiarizing yourself with all your options can make avoiding a dirty keto lifestyle easier. We'll get you started.

Here are the best vegetables to eat on the keto diet along with the grams of net carbs per cup of each, raw. (Related: Vegan Recipes That Prove There's More to the Keto Diet Than Bacon)

Keto Diet Vegetables

  • Asparagus (2.4 g)
  • Bok choy (0.8 g)
  • Broccoli (3.6 g)
  • Cabbage (2.9 g)
  • Cauliflower (3 g)
  • Celery (1.6 g)
  • Collard greens (2 g)
  • Cucumber (1.9 g)
  • Eggplant (2.4 g)
  • Iceberg lettuce (1 g)
  • Jalapeño peppers (3.7 g)
  • Kale (0.1 g)
  • Kohlrabi (3.5 g)
  • Mushrooms (1.6 g)
  • Radishes (2 g)
  • Romaine lettuce (0.2 g)
  • Spinach (0.36 g)
  • Summer squash (2.5 g)
  • Swiss chard (0.8 g)
  • Zucchini (2.4 g)

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