When the uninitiated hear “low-carb dieting” they often think, or just flat-out say, “I like vegetables too much to try low-carb.”
But low-carb doesn’t mean no veggies: it means make better decisions and enjoy the benefits of your vegetables even more. It’s easy to see that not all vegetables are created equal and that being choosy with your plant based foods can give you the same nutritional value as someone not living a low-carb lifestyle.
Don’t let giving up certain starchy vegetables be a roadblock to starting a low-carb lifestyle. You’ll still get plenty of delicious veggies on low-carb: you just need to know how they rank for best effect.
So here are niKETO’s top ten best vegetables for the low-carb lifestyle.
10th BELL PEPPERS
At around 4 net carbs per 100 grams, bell peppers are a tasty low-carb treat. The red, orange, and yellow varieties carry a sweet tang that makes them perfect as quick munchies or great in a stir-fry or a great substitute for bread when you want an old favorite. A fun fact about bell peppers is, most people think oranges and citrus are the tops for Vitamin C, but bell peppers blow oranges out of the water when it comes to Vitamin C.
Oranges: 85% of DRV
Bell Peppers: 159% of DRV
Plus, on top of the multitude of vitamins and minerals these peppers carry, they also deliver a small amount of fat, which is the goal of the low-carb diet.
9th GREEN BEANS
Green beans aren’t as versatile as a lot of the other vegetables on this list: you can really only do a few things with them. But what they lack in variety of preparation they make up for in content: 4 carbs per 100 grams and loaded with potassium, magnesium, sodium, vitamins A, B-6, C, calcium, iron, and a helping of protein. Green beans are self-contained electrolyte pods with all three essentials together in one place.
Less than 2 net carbs per 100 grams with a hearty helping of fiber, asparagus is a great low-carb diet vegetable because it’s so easy to make and serve as a side with a fat-filled main dish. But it’s also a veggie that works well in recipes for every meal of the day. These fun-shaped spears are also a giant in the world of potassium, one of the minerals a low-carber needs to round out their diet and keep their electrolytes balanced.
Kale is superfood that works well on the low-carb lifestyle. Kale is dark green, leafy, and full of the vital minerals you need to balance your high-fat diet. It can serve as its own snack, with many low-carbers making fried kale chips as a potato chip alternative, or you can easily sneak it into larger meals and soups.
Low-carb eating calls for deep greens, low net carbs, and cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli is the only veggie that hits all three categories. At 4 net carbs per 100 grams, broccoli brings an alphabet of vitamins and minerals with it: vitamin A, B6 and you’d better believe vitamin C, iron the list goes on. This is why your parents told you to eat your broccoli as a kid. And the best part of low-carb living: if you don’t care for the taste of broccoli, you can blanket it in cheese!
Now these guys are fun guys (fungi har, har!). Mushrooms are a great source of vitamins and minerals in a low-carb package. A tad over 2 net carbs per 100 grams, they pack a huge potassium punch, along with Vitamin C and the fiber that helps low-carb eaters going. But they are also considered a top antioxidant and a great resource in helping stop the growth of cancer.
Dark green, leafy, tasty, full of potassium and a good source of magnesium, spinach checks all the boxes for low-carb veggie perfection. A spinach salad is cheap, easy to make, delicious, and welcome as a side dish to nearly any meal. Having an abundance of potassium and a good amount of magnesium means spinach is a double shot of the electrolytes your low-carb adjusted body needs. Sprinkle some salt on a spinach leaf and you’ve just created the perfect electrolyte delivery system.
Last in the alphabet but top three in low-carb dieter’s hearts, zucchini is the perfect substitute for all of those comfort meals you think you’re going to miss on low-carb. Zucchini is here to be your pho noodles, your pasta, or even your breakfast potato stand-in. With a low glycemic score and a whopping 512mg of potassium per serving, zucchini is a jack-of-all-trades vegetable that no low-carb kitchen should be without.
Yes, technically the avocado is a fruit (and a member of the berry family, if you can believe that), but the way low-carb eaters use avocados makes it a vegetable and a fruit. With under 2 net carbs per 100 grams, avocados are ideal for a low-carb diet. But you don’t get to number 2 just by having a low carb count. Avocados have that amazing, rich taste that goes with everything, and they are filled with the good fats that low-carbers love for ketone creation.
It’s true that this big, white, brain-looking thing isn’t the prettiest and it’s not the most low-carb at 2.9 net carbs per 100 grams, but it is without a doubt the most versatile veggie in the low-carb world. Creative low-carbers have made pizza crusts with cauliflower, rice, mashed ‘potatoes’, mac and cheese and just about anything else you can think of. It’s a cruciferous vegetable which as we know, comes with a whole host of vitamins and disease fighting properties. And to top it all off, cauliflower is cheap and available everywhere. So, load up on the niKETO 1st place veggie: Cauliflower!