A diet rich in vegetables has various benefits because vegetables are rich in essential micronutrients. They are necessary for a low-carb diet as they fulfil the body’s nutritional requirements. Most vegetables in the Brassica family, like kale and brussels sprouts, are low in carbohydrates. Moreover, it is observed that vegetables with high moisture content, such as cucumber, cauliflower, zucchini, celery, and lettuce, are low in carbohydrates. You can include these vegetables in several recipes, including salads, desserts, and snacks.
Benefits of Low Carb Vegetables
A diet rich in low carbohydrate vegetables is more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets. It is successful because the body resorts to breaking down fat to make energy instead of carbohydrates. Low-carb vegetables have less sugar and low starch content without compromising other essential minerals, vitamins, and nutrients.
Low-carb vegetables can be eaten at any time, especially when you are gaining too much weight. Foods high in simple carbohydrates give the body an energy boost which does not last long. In contrast, low-carb vegetables give you enough energy to sustain yourself throughout the day.
Prevents Health Issues
A study shows that a diet rich in low-carb vegetables aid in preventing health issues such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Eating low-carb vegetables ensures that your blood sugar and cholesterol are at the recommended level.
Rich in Fibre
Low-carb vegetables offer an ample dose of fibre that aid in a healthy gut. A study shows that fibre is vital in maintaining human gut microbiota and metabolic regulation. Those who suffer from constipation and bloating should consume low-carb vegetables.
The HealthifyMe Note:
Low-carb vegetables play an essential part in keeping your body healthy. However, in everything, there must be moderation and control. Speak to your doctor before changing your diet and identify if low-carb vegetables suit you and in what amounts.
Low Carb Vegetables
Low-carb vegetables have several benefits, including suppressing the appetite and being nutrient-dense. Nutritionists and health experts often suggest these low carbohydrate foods to address specific health concerns of an individual. There are several low-carbohydrate vegetables all around the world. Here are some popular vegetables that have very few carbs.
According to the USDA, 100 grams of cucumber holds 3.63 grams of carbohydrate. Therefore, it is an ideal vegetable for weight loss as it is significantly low in calories and carbohydrates.
Cucumber is a very popular ingredient in vegetable salad. It contains various essential nutrients and high water content. It is rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body. Furthermore, cucumbers have benefits outside the body as well. It serves various skin benefits; it eases sunburn pain and swelling when applied topically. Peeling the cucumber before eating will reduce its carb content even more.
According to USDA, 100g of cucumber contains the following nutrients
Energy:15 kcalProtein: 0.65 gFat: 0.11 gCarbohydrate: 3.63 g
It is very low in carbs and cooking makes the carbs more concentrated because the leaves lose their volume. Spinach is a leafy green vegetable full of iron, potassium, and vitamins. It is considered very good for eye health and for coping with iron deficiencies. It also aids in digestion. The greener the spinach is, the more nutritional properties it will have. You can add spinach in a variety of ways to your diet. It can also be prepared as a healthy and nutritious snack, for example, baked spinach chips.
According to USDA, 100g of raw spinach contains:
Energy: 23 kcalProtein: 2.86 gFat: 0.39 gCarbohydrate: 3.63 g
Cauliflower is one of the most popular low-carb vegetables. Having a mild taste, it can be a great healthy alternative to white rice and potatoes. Cauliflower is a storehouse of vitamins and antioxidants. It is tasty and beneficial for the body in many ways. Furthermore, It helps to fight cancer and supports a healthy heart. It is low in calories and makes you feel fuller; hence, it is an ideal vegetable for those who want to lose weight or go for a low-carb diet.
Vitamins present in cauliflower help keep healthy skin. Minerals like calcium assists in keeping the bones and teeth healthy. It is a cruciferous vegetable and has several health benefits. However, cruciferous vegetables contain thiocyanates, which block iodine absorption. Therefore, it is not suitable for people suffering from hypothyroidism.
According to USDA, 100g of raw cauliflower contains:
Energy: 25 kcalProtein: 1.92 gFat: 0.28 gCarbohydrate: 4.97 g
Celery is a part of the Apiaceae family. Fibres present in celery are beneficial for digestive and cardiovascular system health. Celery is loaded with antioxidants and contains Vitamin C. It is also rich in phytochemicals known as phthalides. Phthalides enhance blood flow in different body parts and relax artery walls, lowering blood pressure. It has a very low carbohydrate count; therefore, it is suitable for a low-carb diet.
According to USDA, 100g of celery contains the following nutrients
Energy: 14 KcalProtein: 0.69gFat: 0.17gCarbohydrate: 2.97g
Zucchini is a vegetable that is very low in carbs. It belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family and is a fantastic source of essential micronutrients. You can prevent gastrointestinal issues with zucchini since it is rich in fibre. Some other benefits include controlling diabetes, improved vision, and promoting digestion. It is high in fibre and has a low-calorie count.
According to USDA, 100g of zucchini contains the following nutrients
Energy: 17 kcalProtein: 1.21 gFat: 0.32 gCarbohydrate: 3.11 g
There are various types of lettuce available; however, iceberg lettuce has the lowest number of carbs among them.
Romaine lettuce can also be considered a low carbohydrate leafy vegetable because the carb content is 3.29 grams per 100 grams. This green vegetable serves many health benefits. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A (502 IU). Vitamin A improves eye health and may help cure conditions such as night blindness.
According to USDA, 100g of iceberg lettuce contains the following nutrients.
Energy: 14 kcalProtein: 0.9 gFat: 0.14 gCarbohydrate: 2.97 g
This vegetable is very low in carbohydrate count. Therefore, you can include it in a keto or a low-carb diet. Asparagus is rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Since it is nutrient-dense and low in calories, it is excellent for weight loss. It has a significant amount of fibre, folate, vitamin A, C, and K. It has several health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, managing diabetes, and improved digestion.
According to USDA, 100g of asparagus contains the following nutrients-
Energy: 20 kcalProtein: 2.2 gFat: 0.12 gCarbohydrate: 3.88 g
Kale is a vegetable belonging to the Cruciferae (Brassicaceae) family. It is a dark green coloured, leafy vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. Kale has immense health benefits as it is full of nutrients. It is excellent for digestion, diabetes, eye health, immunity, etc. Moreover, it has a very low carbohydrate content which supports a low-carb diet, keto-diet, or assisting in managing health conditions such as high blood glucose levels. It is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Therefore, people suffering from hypothyroidism must avoid it.
According to USDA, 100g of kale contains the following nutrients-
Energy: 43 kcalProtein: 2.92 gFat: 1.49 gCarbohydrate: 4.42 g
Radish is an excellent example of a low-carb veggie. It is low in calories and high in fibre, protein, minerals, and vitamins. It comprises a significant amount of calcium and potassium, reducing high blood pressure and supporting bone health. Radishes can be a good substitute for potatoes.
According to USDA, 100g of radish contains the following nutrients-
Energy: 16 kcalProtein: 0.68 gFat: 0.1 gCarbohydrate: 3.4 g
Tomatoes are very low in total carbohydrates. It comprises mere carbs of 3.89 grams per 100 grams. Therefore, people following a low-carb or keto diet can include tomatoes in their diet.
The health benefits of tomatoes are no secret. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
According to USDA, 100g of tomatoes contains the following nutrients-
Energy: 18 kcalProtein: 0.88 gFat: 0.2 gCarbohydrate: 3.89 g
The HealthifyMe Note:
The best foods with significantly low carbohydrate count include cucumber, spinach, cauliflower, celery, zucchini, iceberg lettuce, asparagus, kale, radish, and tomato. The carbohydrate content of these vegetables ranges from 2.97 to 4.97 grams per 100 grams.
Healthy Low-Carb Vegetable Recipes
Tomato and Celery Soup
Total time: 50 minutes
Olive oil: 1 tbspOnion: ½ cup Celery stick: 1Garlic cloves: 2Vegetable stock: 500 mlChopped tomatoes: 2 cupsSalt: to tastePepper: to taste
Method of Preparation
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, cook the onions for 3-4 minutes over medium heat till soft, add celery and garlic and cook for another 5-7 minutes.Add tomato and vegetable stock to the pan, and bring to a boil. Turn it to low heat, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.Remove from the heat to cool a little, and use a hand mixer or a food processor to make puree.Add the salt and pepper, then reheat the soup but not bring it to a boil. Serve it warm.
Calories: 204 kcalProtein: 5.83 gFat: 16.38 gCarbohydrate: 16.92 g
Baked Kale Chips
Total time: 30 minutes
Kale: 1 bunchOlive oil: 1 tbspSalt: to taste
Preheat the oven to 300°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.Wash the kale thoroughly and dry it. With a knife, carefully remove thick stems and tear kale to bite-size. Drizzle olive oil and toss. Spread it on a baking tray to avoid overlapping. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Calories: 58kcalProtein: 2.5gFat: 2.8gCarbohydrate: 7.6g
A low carbohydrate vegetable primarily limits carbohydrates and focuses on other macronutrients. Vegetables such as cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, spinach, cauliflower, and radish are a few examples of low-carb vegetables. You can include these vegetables in a balanced diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle with suitable modifications. Diabetic patients or people trying to lose weight can incorporate these veggies into their diet.
While a low-carb diet may help with weight loss and control your blood sugar levels, it can also increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies. Therefore, if you reduce your carbs, eating plenty of low-carb vegetables is crucial to ensure you receive the essential nutrients your body needs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What vegetables have almost no carbs?
A. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, celery, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes contain very few or almost no carbohydrates. The carbohydrate count ranges from 2.97 to 3.89 grams. One cup of raw kale contains 0.9 g of carbohydrates (0% DV), making it a low-carb option.
Q. Are carrots low carb?
A. Carrots belong to the celery family and have immense health benefits. According to USDA, 100g of carrots contain 9.58 grams of carbohydrates, and one cup contains 11.5 g of carbohydrates. Therefore, it belongs to a moderate-carb vegetable category.
Q. Does avocado have carbs?
A. Avocados contain a significant amount of carbs. According to USDA, 100g of avocado contains nearly 8.53 g of carbs. However, in small amounts, avocados are often included in a keto or a low-carb diet. Besides low carb content, avocados are a great source of folate, magnesium, and potassium. You can use kale as a base for salads with eggs and avocados for a low-carb lunch.
Q. Are Bananas high in carbs?
A. Yes, bananas are high in carbohydrates. If the banana is raw, it contains few carbs and calories, but if it is fully ripe, it comprises a good amount of carbs. According to USDA, a ripened banana contains about 22 grams of carbs.
Q. What is the lowest carb fruit?
A. Starfruit (carambola) and lemon have the lowest carbohydrate content among other popular fruits. According to USDA, 100 grams of starfruit comprises 6.73 grams of carbohydrates, and lemon contains 9.32 grams of carbs per 100 grams. Another option is watermelon. Watermelon is 92% water with 7.5 carbs for every 100 grams.
Q. Is Sweet Potato low carb?
A. Sweet potatoes have a very high carbohydrate content. Sweet potatoes taste sweet due to some sugar present in them. Not only sweet potatoes but regular white potatoes are also very high in carbs. Sweet potatoes hold 20.1 grams of carbohydrate, per 100 grams, according to USDA.
Q. Do celery have carbs?
A. Celery contains a very negligible amount of carbohydrates. Celery is a good source of fibres and other micronutrients. A 100g of celery contains only 3g of carbs and 2g of fibres. It is low-carb and keto diet-friendly.
Q. Are onions high in carbs?
A. Onions are nutritious vegetables. These are cheap and good sources of quercetin that help manage blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Onions have a low amount of carbs. According to USDA, 100g of raw onions contains about 10g of carbs. Onions provide a flavorful punch without increasing net carbs, which is why they are good in tomato sauces, stir-fries, and dressings of low-carb meals.
Q. Is oatmeal rich in carbohydrates?
A. Oatmeal is prepared from oats, a good fibre, protein, and micronutrient source. However, oatmeal generally contains low amounts of carbs in them. For example, a 100g of oatmeal has 12g of carbs. Therefore, one can consider it a low-carb diet, but one must take care of its portion size. Too much consumption of oats may exceed the limit if you are on a low-carb diet.
Q. How many net carbs are in eggs?
A. Eggs are one of the most loved proteins and fat sources for a person on a keto diet. They contain about no carbs. An egg weighing 50g contains approx 0.5g of carbs. Most animal proteins, such as eggs, are low in carbs and appropriate for the keto diet. Therefore, one need not care about carbs while including eggs in their diet.