When we think about reducing carb intake, our thoughts are more likely to turn toward reining in bread consumption rather than carefully vetting our produce. But certain veggies can pack a major punch when it comes to carbs, and if you’re looking to keep your carb intake minimal, it’s important to know the difference between high-carb and low-carb vegetables. According to Andreas Eenfeldt, MD, “There’s a very simple rule: Vegetables growing above ground are low carb and can be eaten freely. Vegetables growing below ground contain more carbs, so you’ll have to be more careful with them (especially potatoes).” However, as Eenfeldt is quick to point out, “Like any rule, it's not perfect.” Here are 10 of the best low-carb vegetables from both categories.
The health benefits of spinach are virtually endless, and being low in carbohydrates is just icing on the (low-carb) cake. From eye health to antioxidants and from rich vitamin content to improved cardiovascular health, spinach can be consumed in a variety of ways. The carb concentration of spinach is at its lowest when consumed raw.
Also worth noting as one of the most nourishing low-cal veggies, cucumbers, contain just four grams of carbohydrates per cup. Enjoy this versatile veggie in salads, smoothies, or on its own as an energizing midday snack.
We love avocado for its deliciously healthy fats and incredible nutrient content. And for those looking to keep their carb consumption in check, avocados contain just four grams of net carbs per serving.
With spring on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to add this delicious and nutrition-packed spring veggie to your diet. In addition to being one of our favorite low-carb vegetables, asparagus is also rich in vitamins A, C, and K.
Whichever color you opt for, every variation of bell pepper is both low in carbs and high in nutrients. Work this versatile veggie into stir fries, pastas, salads, and more to reap a host of nutritional benefits with minimal impact on your carb intake.
While all bell peppers are virtually identical carb-wise, choose red bell peppers to get the highest dose of antioxidants.
One of those rare below-ground veggies to boast a low carb count, onions may also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. While onions are rarely consumed in excess because of their intense flavor, keep in mind that onions are higher in sugar than many other low-carb vegetables.
Scientific research is continuing to unearth the numerous health benefits of mushrooms. For those seeking to enhance a low-carb diet, mushrooms are not only nutrient-dense, but they also pack just two grams of carbs per serving.
In addition to being hydrating, nutritious, and famously low in calories, celery also offers one of the lowest carb counts of any food. With just one gram of digestible carbohydrates per serving, this versatile veggie is a terrific asset for those hoping to kick-start a healthy eating plan.
One of our favorite low-carb vegetables, artichokes also contain a substance called inulin, which acts as a prebiotic and helps to promote gut health. To experience all that this delicious veggie has to offer, here’s a quick guide on how to eat one.
Rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and even certain cancer-fighting properties, cabbage is an incredible low-carb vegetable that tends to fly under the radar. Add this veggie into refreshing slaws, seasonal stews, and more to enjoy its benefits all year round.
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USDA. Cucumber, With Peel, Raw. April 1, 2019
USDA. Avocados, Raw, California. April 1, 2019
USDA. Asparagus, Raw. April 1, 2019
USDA. Pepper, Sweet, Red, Raw. April 1, 2020
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