The 16 Best Low Carb Vegetables- Eat as Much as You Want
In this article I’m going to take you through 16 of the best low carb vegetables. All the vegetables in this video are so low in carbohydrate that you can pretty much eat as much as you want, even on the most restrictive of low-carb diets, such as the ketogenic diet.
Now all the vegetables in this video contain less than five grams of net carbs per 100 grams of food and net carbs are the digestible bit that our bodies actually can use for energy.
It’s a really low amount of carbs, which means you’re more than likely be full before you start to overeat these foods. And as you’ve probably noticed, I’m British, which means we call some of our vegetables by different names from pretty much most of the rest of the world. I’ll try and use the common international names for these things, but hopefully it should be obvious from the pictures what I’m talking about.
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This member of the squash family is particularly low in carbohydrates and it’s really versatile. Compared to other members of the squash family, such as pumpkin’s, which have 6.5 g of net carbs and butternut squash, which has 10g, courgettes have just 2.1g net carbs per 100 grams.
You can roast them, fry them, grill them, but they’re perhaps most famous in the low-carb world as an alternative to pasta.
You can use a spiralizer to turn courgettes into spaghetti, which we call courgetti, but I guess if you call courgette zucchini, I guess zoodles works just as well. You can try this courgetti bolognese recipe or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, then use them as a noodle substitute in this ramen noodle recipe.
Now, fun fact, red peppers are just ripe green peppers, they go through yellow on the way to get there. And the ripening process means that more sugars will be present in the flesh of peppers.
Green peppers are a really solid low-carb choice at 3g net carbs, whereas red and yellow peppers only just make this list at 5g per 100g.
You can slice them up and eat them raw in salads or fry them up as part of this awesome beef fajita dish.
Avocados are one of my low-carb superfoods. They’re just loaded with healthy fats and are perfect in salads, blended in smoothies for an extra creamy texture or squashed up to make guacamole. If you have never tried making guacamole at home, it’s really easy and it’s so much better than the shop-bought stuff. There’s a recipe for it as part of the beef fajitas recipe that I mentioned earlier, so make sure you check that out. And all the recipes, by the way are available on the website.
Is it a Vegetable or a Fruit?
Before we go any further, I want to talk about the elephant in the room. Not all of these vegetables are technically vegetables. Yeah, it’s true. Some of them are actually technically fruits, but we talk about them as vegetables because they have similar nutritional profiles to vegetables, even though they’re not.
But here’s a little challenge for you, let me know in the comments down below which of the items on this list, is technically neither a vegetable or a fruit? Be a fungi and drop me a message in the comments below.
Again, it’s not a vegetable, but it is a fruit. Lots of people seem to get upset about tomatoes on low-carb diets and I’m not really sure why that is. Yeah, there are certain varieties which are a bit sweeter than others and may have a slightly higher carb count, but most are pretty low in carbs.
And of course, there’s hundreds of different ways that you can use tomatoes such as raw in salads or cooked, but beware of sun dried tomatoes.
For the same reason that we avoid dried fruits, the sugars that are there are just so much more concentrated in anything that’s been dried.
Green leafy vegetables
Lettuce and Cucumber
This vegetable is one that I think is frequently overlooked as a great low-carb option. This includes the radishes’ Oriental cousin, the daikon radish or mooli.
I always used to think of using radishes in salads and we’ve used them in this awesome salmon Nicoise salad, but they can also be roasted and stir-fried, get creative with them.
I may have saved the best till last. Cauliflower is quite possibly the king or queen of low-carb vegetables.
It can be mashed as a potato substitute, blend it with Parmesan and use it to top off this amazing shepherd’s pie.
It can even be used as a pizza base, and if cauliflower can be used for pizza then anything is possible!
If you’ve one, pulse it up in a blender, or chop it up finely, or even grate it and use it as a low-carb rice substitute. And I just love to chunk it up into florets or steaks and roast it in the oven with some salt, pepper, and oil.
It’s such a quick, easy and tasty side dish.
So that is the list of my top 16 low carb vegetables and hopefully a bit of inspiration about how to use those in various recipes. And all the recipes that I’ve mentioned are available on the website
Knowing which foods are lower carb options and which are higher carb options is half the battle when you’re starting out on a low-carb diet.
So I’ve put together this downloadable cheat booklet, which tells you the low carb contents of most of the common foods you’ll find in the supermarkets. There’s a traffic light system to show you which foods are all good, which you need to be careful with the quantity and which you should avoid altogether in order to be successful on a low-carb diet.