Are you into low carb diets? If the answer is anything but “yes”, it is important to know what vegetables are low in carbs. But before we dive deep into the best vegetables for low carb diets and how to cook them properly, here’s some information about carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient found in many foods, particularly those that grow above ground. Carbohydrates provide the body with energy for physical or mental activities (e.g., running, lifting weights). However, when your diet contains more carbohydrates than you need for these purposes, your body converts them into fat and stores them on the body’s midsection. This can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Vegetables for low carb diets
The following article lists which vegetables have less carbs than others:
- Lettuce (but not the kind that comes in a bag, rather, head lettuce)
- Brussel sprouts
- Raspberries (only if eaten with the leaves)
- Blackberries (similarly, only eat them if they are from a bush, not in a bag of berries that has been dyed red to hide the black ones)
- Bottle gourd vegetables (e.g., loofah)
- Strawberries (if eaten on a plant, not as a fruit snack)
- Oranges (but only the little ones)
- Kiwifruit (also known as Chinese Gooseberries, when eaten on a tree)
- Apples (not in bags of apples, rather, on trees)
- Cherries (only if picked from a cherry tree) There are many vegetables that can be many vegetables that are low in carbs that do not fall into the above categories, because they grow underground: Beetroots, carrots, onions and potatoes.
- Allium vegetables (a large family of vegetables including garlic).
- Okra vegetables (a nickname for vegetables from the hibiscus plant)
Now, here are more vegs that are low in carbs for your dieting:
- Kohlrabi vegetables (the vegetables whose leafy head resembles the stem of brussels sprouts).
- Balsamic vegetables (e.g., cabbage)
- Gherkin vegetables (e.g., cucumbers)
- Celeriac vegetables (e.g., celery root)
- Pak choi vegetables (my personal favorite)
- Tomatillo vegetables (tomatoes are vegetables, right?)
A few vegetables that are low in carbs which do not grow on trees or have leaves at all:
- Seaweed vegetables (e.g., kelp, dulse, nori).
- Cauliflower vegetables (e.g., broccoli)
- Parsnip vegetables (e.g., potatoes)
Interesting facts: It is interesting to note that low carb vegetables can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling or stir frying, without significantly affecting the carbohydrate count.
- Radish vegetables (e.g., cucumbers)
- Rutabaga vegetables (the vegetables whose leaves look like a horseradish root in cross section).
Interesting facts: A famous vegetable low in carbs is artichoke, but only when it is eaten whole. If you eat only the leaves, it is high in carbs.
Some vegetables can be low in carbs when cooked or eaten raw, but they are high in carbs when used as an ingredient in a recipe:
- Cabbage vegetables (e.g., carrots) – Spinach vegetables (e.g., eggplants) – Green beans vegetables (e.g., tomatoes)
- Carrot vegetables (e.g., onions)
There are other vegetables which have low carb counts, but the ones listed above are generally considered to be vegetables that are low in carbs.
There are many vegetables that can be low in carbs, depending on how they’re cooked and the variety. Some examples of these include cabbage (when eaten raw), asparagus, blackberries from a bush, allium veggies like onion or garlic but not when added to recipes with other ingredients such as spinach which is high carb if used this way instead of being eaten fresh).