The popular eating approach, nicknamed the keto diet, involves drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake to put you into a state of ketosis, or the point where your body shifts from using carbs to fat as a primary fuel source.That’s because your central nervous system relies primarily on glucose, which is derived from carbs, to function, and it must find an alternate energy source ASAP.You’ll find no shortage of anecdotal evidence by way of before-and-after photos online, but it’s true there is some early research to support the idea that keto can help you whittle your waist.For example, a meta-analysis published in January 2015 in the journal Obesity Reviews suggested one possible reason the keto diet leads to weight loss is that ketosis may suppress appetite, even when you’re restricting calories.In addition, among other groups, like pregnant or breastfeeding women, the keto diet generally isn’t recommended for people with kidney or liver problems, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, gout, anyone whose gallbladder has been removed, or individuals with a family history of cancer, Fear says. .
The 21 Best Low-Carb Vegetables
Share on Pinterest Photography by Aya Brackett Vegetables are low in calories but rich in vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients.They contain antioxidants called carotenoids that may reduce inflammation, decrease cancer risk and protect cholesterol and fats from oxidative damage ( 1 , 2 , 3).Green, orange and yellow bell peppers have similar nutrient profiles, although their antioxidant contents may vary.Summary Bell peppers are anti-inflammatory and high in vitamins A and C. They contain 6 grams of digestible (net) carbs per serving.It’s a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, Brussels sprouts, radishes and cabbage.In a study in men with metabolic syndrome, eating 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of white mushrooms for 16 weeks led to significant improvements in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory markers ( 17 ).Summary Zucchini and other types of summer squash contain 3 grams of digestible carbs per serving and are high in vitamin C.It also protects heart health and may decrease the risk of common eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration ( 19 , 20 , 21 ).Summary Cooked spinach contains 3 grams of digestible carbs per serving, is very high in vitamin K and helps protect heart and eye health.Avocados are also rich in oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that has beneficial effects on health.Small studies have found that avocados can help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels ( 25 , 26 ).In one study, overweight people who included half an avocado in their lunch reported feeling fuller and had less desire to eat over the next five hours ( 27 ).Summary Green beans contain 6 grams of digestible carbs per serving, as well as antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and protect the brain.Folate helps decrease levels of homocysteine, a compound linked to an increased risk of heart disease.One study in 37 women showed that consuming foods high in folate for five weeks reduced homocysteine levels by 13%, compared to a low-folate diet ( 35 ).Studies have found that it may boost resistance to the common cold and decrease blood pressure ( 36 , 37 , 38 ).Although it’s a high-carb vegetable by weight, the amount typically consumed in one sitting is very low due to its strong taste and aroma.A high intake of vitamin C has been shown to improve immune function and increase the skin’s ability to fight damaging free radicals, which can speed up the aging process ( 44 , 45 ).Although cucumbers aren’t very high in vitamins or minerals, they contain a compound called cucurbitacin E, which may have beneficial effects on health.In addition, it contains luteolin, an antioxidant that shows potential for both preventing and helping treat cancer ( 54 ).Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A, C and K.
In addition, they’re high in potassium, which can help reduce blood pressure and decrease stroke risk ( 56 ).They’ve also been shown to strengthen the endothelial cells that line your arteries, and their high lycopene content may help prevent prostate cancer ( 57 , 58 ).Additionally, radishes may reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by modifying the way the body metabolizes estrogen ( 61 ).Summary Radishes contain 2 grams of digestible carbs per serving and may help reduce the risk of breast cancer in older women.Although they are fairly high in carbs by weight, they’re usually consumed in small amounts because of their robust flavor.One study in overweight and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) found that eating red onions reduced LDL cholesterol levels ( 64 ).Summary Onions contain 5 grams of digestible carbs per serving and may help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels.It’s not very high in most vitamins or minerals, but animal research suggests eggplant may help lower cholesterol and improve other markers of heart health ( 66 ).Researchers have reported that nasunin helps reduce free radicals and may protect brain health ( 67 ).Summary Eggplant contains 6 grams of digestible carbs per serving and may help protect heart and brain health.A portion of the fiber is inulin, which acts as a prebiotic that feeds healthy gut bacteria ( 72 ).In one study, when people with high cholesterol drank artichoke juice, they experienced a reduction in inflammatory markers and improvement in blood vessel function ( 73 ).Summary Artichokes contain 4 grams of digestible carbs per serving and may improve gut and heart health. .
20 Low Carb Vegetables
“Though vegetables provide a variety of important nutrients, they’re mainly made up of carbs—and some contain more than others,” says Kimberly Neva, MS, RD, a dietitian at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.“For few carbs and calories, low-carb veggies provide some fiber and water, and are very high in all sorts of nutrients, often including magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin C,” Neva says.Eating ample fiber (25 and 38 grams per day, for women and men, respectively) is crucial for maintaining optimal health.The next time you head to the grocery store to load up on the good stuff, keep this low-carb vegetable list in mind.Juicy red tomatoes are famous for containing a specific antioxidant called lycopene, which is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers, Chapmon says.A 2013 paper published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry backs this up—and suggests that the antioxidant may also antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, as well.At 2.98 grams of net carbs per 1-cup serving, it’s a great low-carb vegetable to roast, stir-fry, or turn into a nutritious rice substitute.Rich in meaty umami flavor, mushrooms are “high in the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which protect heart health,” Chapmon says.According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, B vitamins are crucial for the body’s ability to produce energy, heart included.Zucchini noodles are a staple for any low-carb eater, as 3/4-cup serving of this summer squash contains just shy of 3 grams of net carbs.With just 2.02 grams of net carbs per two medium stalks, celery is a great low-carb vegetable for snacking, as it makes the perfect vessel for all sorts of dips, from hummus to guacamole.Flavorful asparagus, which contains 2.94 grams of net carbs (per cup), feels right at home besides a nice cut of steak, and provides iron, vitamin K, and fiber, Brown says.Carrots (3.75 grams of net carbs per half a cup) are loaded with beta carotene, a compound our body turns into vitamin A.According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, vitamin A acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body, helping to ward off cellular damage.One of the few root vegetables considered low-carb, jicama clocks in at just more than 5 grams of net carbs per serving (1 cup, chopped), and also provides the antioxidant vitamin C and the electrolyte potassium, according to Brown.At 3.51 grams of net carbs per serving (1 cup, chopped) cabbage-like kohlrabi is another unusual vegetable to add to your low-carb rotation.According to Chapmon, green beans (which contain 3.96 grams of net carbs per ¾-cup serving) provide almost 10% of your daily needs for the B vitamin folic acid per 1 cup.vitamin B9), is crucial for cell division and DNA production, which is why pregnant and breastfeeding women need more than the average adult, according to the National Institutes of Health.Though not a powerhouse source of vitamins and minerals, eggplant is a filling vegetable, providing three grams (12% of your daily needs) of fiber.Though not the most glamorous of vegetables, cabbage is super low in calories (less than 18 per serving—1 cup, shredded) and carbohydrates (2.31 net grams per serving).This virtually carb-less leafy green (it contains just 0.07 grams of net carbs per 1-cup serving) contains “a large amount of antioxidants, including quercetin and kaempferol,” Chapmon says.Quercetin, in particular, has been associated with a number of benefits, including lowering blood pressure, improving immune function, and offering some protection against diabetes, according to a 2017 review published in Nutrients.Your childhood nemesis turned favorite veggie, Brussels sprouts fall on the upper end of the low-carb vegetable spectrum (they contain about 5 grams of net carbs per 3/4-cup serving).Though your average low-carb diet allows for plenty of flexibility regarding which vegetables you incorporate into your meals, going keto requires a much more limited (and strategic) approach.Because eating as many vegetables as possible on keto helps you fill up during meals and get your fill of important micronutrients—especially electrolytes, which are easily depleted on high-fat diets, Neva says, she recommends taking a “green” or plant-forward approach to keto by sticking to vegetables that contain around five or fewer grams of net carbs per serving.These quick and easy zucchini noodles with tomato and basil cream sauce offer all of the rich flavor of vodka sauce-drenched pasta while keeping carbs low.No matter the season, this bright, refreshing cucumber salad with quick pickled onion makes a tasty side dish.Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this savory kale and bacon frittata is a hearty make-ahead meal on its own, and delicious served alongside potatoes and a salad.Whether you’re following a keto, paleo, low-carb, or plant-based diet, eating as many low-carb vegetables as possible helps ensure you consume ample amounts of the wide variety of nutrients—including fiber—that your body needs to thrive.Not to mention, enjoying the many different types of low-carb vegetables in the produce aisle allows you keep your healthy diet exciting and satisfying—important for long-term maintenance.This article was reviewed for accuracy in June 2021 by Stephanie L. Fitzpatrick, PhD, senior manager for multicultural programs at WW.
14 Keto-Friendly Vegetables That Are Low in Carbs
Now, the ultra-restrictive keto diet—which demands that you follow a high-fat, low-carb eating plan—tends to suggest that you might want to avoid certain higher-carbohydrate vegetables that could potentially knock you out of ketosis.Instead, fill up your plate with these keto-friendly vegetables, all of which have few net grams of carbs and bring some more of the good stuff to your meals. .
Low Carb Zucchini Fritters
Crispy Keto Low Carb Zucchini Fritters can be fried, baked, or Air-fried to give you the perfect appetizer for any occasion.They are filled with cheese, seasonings, fresh parsley, and lots of healthy zucchini.I was craving fritters, but I had found a great deal at the farmers market on zucchini.So, I thought I would play around and see if I could make something even half as good as the cauliflower fritters.You’ll need large eggs to get the ingredients to properly bind together.Scallions: We eat green onions on so many foods because they give you a subtle flavor that is terrific.We eat green onions on so many foods because they give you a subtle flavor that is terrific.A little bit of almond flour gives the fritters a fabulous texture without adding many carbs.Begin by combining the shredded zucchini with the salt and let it set for 10 minutes.Then you will need to combine the eggs, shredded zucchini, feta cheese, garlic, scallions, and black pepper using a whisk.Add the fritters to the fryer pan making sure they are in a single layer and not touching.Top with your choice of yogurt, sour cream, tzatziki or any of your favorite dips. .
20+ Low-Carb Zucchini Recipes
You can use all sorts of herbs in the creamy dipping sauce, including chives, dill, tarragon or parsley--or a combo. .
Ultimate Low-Carb Zucchini Lasagna Recipe
I had fresh basil, so I added some of that and dried Italian seasoning to the sauce.Mine baked for an hour before I removed the aluminum foil, and even after 30 more minutes, the cheese on the top had melted, but never became golden.Rating: 5 stars I made this the same way I make regular lasagna, adding parmesan cheese to the ricotta and adding some sauce to the pan first so the zucchini doesn't stick, also there is never a reason to add oil to the frying pan when cooking ground meat, it makes its own grease and you have to drain it anyway.first time I tried it ,did it my own way with all the basic ingredients.. and I added more veggies..not watery at all ...
did not use water.And I baked the zucchini first ,and put it on paper towel to soak up the moisture ... it came out fantastic !!Rating: 4 stars I excluded the salt and nutmeg the second time I made it.I was feeding a crowd so I made the lasagne in a bigger baking dish.Also, did 15 ounces of ricotta, two eggs and Parmesan for that yummy, creamy layer.And rather than jarred sauce I made my own - olive oil in a heated pan, salt, red pepper flakes, 3-4 cloves garlic (sauté for just a minute) then add a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes and simmer.I salted the zucchini and let it drain for a half hour before drying further on a towel.I peeled the zucchini first and to reduce the amount of water I would periodically take my baster and suck out some of the water/grease sitting in the corners while cooking. .
10 Low-Carb Zucchini Dinner Recipes
Zucchini is full of fibres, potassium (great to help moderate your blood pressure levels), B-complex vitamins, foliate, zinc and magnesium and has no cholesterol or unhealthy fats.Zucchini Lasagna Roll recipe: Fun to make and it’s stuffed with ricotta and parmesan and topped with marinara sauce and cheese.Garlic Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles: This is a great recipe loaded with nutrients that make a healthy and delicious gluten-free weeknight meal.Turkey Bolognese Zucchini Pasta: It’s a healthy, low-carb, and paleo meal that is very easy and quick to prepare and very satisfied.Subscribe to my newsletter and follow Primavera Kitchen on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and Facebook for all delicious recipes updates. .
Crispy Baked Keto Zucchini Fries
Perfect to serve as an appetizer with our Cajun aioli, these baked crispy "fries" are keto, low-carb, grain-free, and gluten-free!We have created the perfect alternative to the starchy, high-carb potato version by turning zucchini into the french fry of your dreams!Vitamins : Zucchini is a great source of B-vitamins, especially folate, riboflavin, and B6, which can help to boost energy production in the body.: Zucchini is a great source of B-vitamins, especially folate, riboflavin, and B6, which can help to boost energy production in the body.Dry the strips on a paper towel lined baking sheet at room temperature for 15 minutes or you can gently pat the them with a paper towel to remove the excess moisture.Once your zucchini strips are dry, stir together 2 egg whites and 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning in a shallow bowl.In another shallow bowl, stir together 1 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning.Dip the zucchini strips into the egg whites then dredge in the Parmesan mixture.Arrange the keto zucchini fries in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.Place the zucchini fries in a single layer on the baking sheet.These keto zucchini fries are great on their own, but are even better with an amazing dipping sauce!We whipped up a Cajun Aioli that pairs perfectly with the zucchini fries (the recipe is below).The sauce only takes 5 minutes to make and can be easily prepared while the fries are baking in the oven.These keto zucchini fries would also taste great dipped in these sauces:.To begin, simple slice your zucchini into long strips keeping the peel on.Lay your zucchini strips on a paper towel-lined baking sheet at room temperature to dry for 15 minutes.Or you can gently pat the zucchini with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.It's best to serve these keto zucchini fries straight out of the oven so that they are nice and crispy.You can however, coat the in the egg and Parmesan up to a day ahead of time and keep them covered in the fridge, then you just need to pop them in the oven to bake. .