Are you looking to improve your overall health and well-being, lower your risk of dozens of diseases (including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer, to name a few), achieve and maintain your ideal body weight, and feel amazing to boot? Then a low-carb (aka Keto) lifestyle is a great choice!
Going low carb/Keto means getting plenty of healthy fats (see What to Eat for more details on this), eating enough protein to maintain your “Lean Body Mass” (LBM) – your muscles, bones, tissues and organs (check out How Much Protein Should You Eat? for more on this) – and filling the rest of your plate with nutrient dense, low carb vegetables while keeping your total carb intake low. This typically means having <20g of carbs per day at first, in order to get into and maintain fat-burning mode, for most people.
- dark leafy greens – spinach, kale, etc.
- cruciferous vegetables, aka brassicas – see my infographic, Beautiful Brassicas, for a list of the many wonderful, healthy veggies in this family
- fresh salad greens – all lettuces, arugula, mizuna, radicchio, frisee, watercress, mache, claytonia (aka Miner’s lettuce) and the like
- most of the above-ground veggies that grow spring through fall – peppers, eggplant, summer squashes, etc.
- all types of radishes, including daikon, scarlet, icicle, French breakfast, and so many more
- small amounts of higher carb vegetables: onions, tomatoes, carrots, beets, winter squashes (if including these, it is advised to carefully track your total carb intake, at least at first, since it is very easy to go over 20g)
Here’s some more detail on the carb content of many of the lowest carb vegetables. These are listed in ascending order by carb content per serving:
|Low-Carb Vegetable||Serving Size||Carbs per Serving|
|Mustard Greens||1/2 cup||0.1|
|Parsley, Chopped||1/2 cup||0.1|
|Bok Choi||1/2 cup||0.2|
|Lettuce, Romaine||1/2 cup||0.2|
|Sprouts Alfalfa||1/2 cup||0.2|
|Lettuce, Boston / Butterhead||1/2 cup||0.4|
|Turnip Greens||1/2 cup||0.6|
|Radishes (sliced)||1/4 cup||1.0|
|Pepper, Jalapeno||1/2 cup||1.0|
|Cabbage, Green||1/2 cup||1.1|
|Mushrooms, Shiitake||1/2 cup||1.1|
|Squash, Summer||1/2 cup||1.3|
|Cabbage, Red||1/2 cup||1.4|
|Mushrooms, Button||1/2 cup||1.4|
|Cabbage, Savoy||1/2 cup||1.9|
|Artichoke Hearts||4 pieces||2.0|
|Broccoli Rabe||1/2 cup||2.0|
|Collard Greens||1/2 cup||2.0|
|Bean Sprouts||1/2 cup||2.1|
|Green Beans||1/2 cup||2.9|
|Yellow Wax Beans||1/2 cup||2.9|
|Peas, Snow||1/2 cup||3.4|
|Pepper, Green Bell||1/2 cup||3.5|
|Pepper, Red Bell||1/2 cup||3.5|
|Mushroom, Portabello||4 oz||4.1|
|Brussels Sprouts||1/2 cup||4.7|
Want more guidance on which fruits and veggies are best to eat? Check out my infographic, Low Carb Fruits & Veggies Cheat Sheet.