It’s a common misconception that you can’t eat a lot of vegetables while on a keto diet. In fact, you can and should eat plenty of vegetables! But not just any vegetables. Some are high-carb/high-sugar (Hint: most root vegetables, like carrots, beets, yams, parsnips and turnips are high in carbs). Avoid those veggies and focus your sights on keto-friendly selections listed below. Just remember, carbs add up fast and you want to stick to about 20 grams of net carbs per day (more if you’re regularly athletic or can stay in ketosis with more carbs–you can test to figure that out), so mind your macros while enjoying vegetables.
Low-Carb Vegetables (3 or less net carbs per 1/2 cup, raw)
- Avocado (technically a fruit ..:-)
- Bell pepper
- Bok choy
- Broccoli rabe
- Green beans
- Mustard greens
- Swiss chard
- Sugar snap peas
- Summer squash
Higher-Carb Vegetables (6 or less net carbs per 1/2 cup, raw)
Highest Carb Vegetables (more than 7 net carbs per ½ cup, raw)
- Sweet potatoes
Not too savvy on how to cook vegetables? Now’s a great time to learn! You can steam them, then finish them with butter and spices, or toss in coconut oil and spices and roast them, or even cut them up and serve them as a salad with your favorite keto-friendly dressing or a simple mix of olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper. You can get started on your newfound enjoyment of vegetables anytime by sprinkling some salt or a little keto-friendly vinaigrette on ripe avocado slices. It’s pure, simple pleasure!
If you’re craving effortless solutions, head to the grocer’s frozen food section for two keto lifesavers: cauliflower rice and zucchini “zoodles.” Cauliflower rice is nothing more than tiny bits of cauliflower, packaged and ready for you to use in place of rice (you can make your own by fine-chopping cauliflower florets). It cooks quickly, is mildly flavored, and very low carb. Meanwhile, zoodles, or spiralized zucchini, is the perfect replacement for pasta. Buy it readymade in stores or invest in a spiralizer (from $15 to $30 on Amazon.com) to make your own. Microwave for about 30 seconds to warm, then top with cream sauce or meat sauce, it’s awesome and satisfying. You’ll be amazed at how these two stylized vegetables alone can bring diversity to your keto meals!