These low-carb picks can help you stay in ketosis.

By Julie Upton, RD
December 18, 2018

Veggies should be the foundation of any healthy eating plan, including keto! But some vegetables are keto-friendlier than others of course.

To refresh your memory on the basics of the mega-popular diet, the keto diet replaces carbs with fat. Restricting carbs to a minimal amount sends your body into ketosis—a state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs. In order to maintain ketosis, you can only get about 5% to 10% of your calories from carbohydrates. That comes to 25 to 50 grams of net carbs per day. (To calculate net carbs per serving of a particular food, subtract the grams of fiber from the grams of total carbohydrates.)

While most vegetables are calorie-poor and nutrient-rich (packed with fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients), carby choices—like potatoes, corn, carrots, beets and squash—should be limited on the keto diet. Non-starchy veggies, however, can be enjoyed in large quantities.

Here are 10 vegetables you should definitely add to your keto grocery shopping list.

RELATED: Your Ultimate Keto Diet Grocery List

Arugula

Net carbs: 2 grams

Also known as rocket, this leafy green has a peppery flavor. A serving (four cups of fresh arugula) has just 20 calories and 2 grams of net carbs. Nutritionally, arugula is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and a good source of folic acid and calcium.

Asparagus

Net carbs: 2 grams

A serving of asparagus (5 spears) has a paltry 20 calories and 4 grams of total carbs, or 2 grams of net carbs. The veggie is loaded with folic acid, and supplies good doses of fiber and vitamins A and C.

Bell Peppers

Net carbs: 4 grams

There’s a reason why those living a low-carb lifestyle consider bell peppers a staple. A medium bell pepper has 25 calories, 4 grams of net carbs, and 190% of your daily vitamin C requirement.

RELATED: The Keto Diet Is Super Hard—These 3 Variations Are Much Easier to Follow

Broccoli

Net carbs: 3 grams

A serving of broccoli (3 ounces raw) has 30 calories and 3 grams net carbs. Like all cruciferous veggies, broccoli is considered a nutritional powerhouse, packing in vitamins A and C, B-vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. Broccoli also provides antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect your eyes from harmful UV damage.

Brussels sprouts

Net carbs: 3 grams

A cousin to broccoli, Brussels sprouts boast impressive nutritionals: A serving (4 sprouts) has 40 calories, 3 grams net carbs, 2 grams protein, 3 grams fiber and more than all the vitamin C you need n a day. As a bonus, they have anti-cancer, heart health, and anti-inflammatory benefits too.

Cauliflower

Net carbs: 3 grams

Another member of the cruciferous family, cauliflower is a versatile low-carb vegetable that can be used as a stand-in for rice, mashed potatoes, and even pizza crust and baked goods. Cauliflower has 25 calories per 3-ounce serving, 3 grams net carbs, 100% of the vitamin C you need in a day, and a good amount of folic acid.

Kale

Net carbs: 1 gram

A serving of the Queen of greens (3 cups fresh kale) provides 20 calories and 1 gram net carbs. Like most leafy greens, kale is a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, vitamin K, calcium and magnesium. The leafy green is also packed with beneficial antioxidants that may help protect against chronic diseases associated with aging.

RELATED: 9 Fruits You Can Actually Eat on the Keto Diet

Mushrooms

Net carbs: 2 grams

Think white veggies aren’t nutritious? Think again! One serving (5 medium mushrooms) has 20 calories, 2 grams net carbs, and 3 grams protein. Plus, the fungi pack in B-vitamins, copper, vitamin D, and selenium. Studies show that mushrooms can bolster immunity and may have anti-cancer benefits.

Spinach

Net carbs: 4 grams

Spinach really is a nutritional all-star. A serving of spinach (1½ cups fresh leaves) has 40 calories, 4 grams of net carbs, and 2 grams of protein. With 6 grams of fiber per serving, spinach helps you feel fuller longer, and is also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, iron, folic acid, and magnesium.

Tomatoes

Net carbs: 4 grams

Tomatoes are a healthy addition to any eating plan because they’re a rich source of lycopene, a phytonutrient that has potent heart health and anti-cancer properties. A medium tomato has just 20 calories, 4 grams net carbs, plenty of vitamins A and C. It's also a solid source of potassium.

To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

Advertisement