Top 15 Low-Carb Vegetables
The vegetables you’ll see below contain less than 10 grams of net carbs per 100 grams of raw product. Net carbs are total carbs minus the fiber (because fiber doesn’t affect ketosis). They are ranked in order of the lowest to highest carb content. Read about their micronutrient profile and health benefits.
1. Bok choy (1 gram)
Bok choy is 95% water but is still one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables out there. One study ranked bok choy second for nutrient density out of 41 nutrient-rich plant foods. You only get 13 calories from 100 grams of raw bok choy but plenty of vitamin A, C, K, and more.
2. Spinach (1.4 grams)
Spinach is exceptionally rich in vitamin A, containing 188% of the daily value (DV) for this vitamin. It is also rich in vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, magnesium (20% DV), and potassium. One study review states that besides providing antioxidant protection, compounds in spinach are shown to suppress appetite and aid in weight loss.
3. Avocado (1.8 grams)
Avocados are a keto staple for three main reasons: they’re low in carbs, high in fat, and moderate in protein. Sounds like the perfect keto food. Avocados are also rich in the antioxidants vitamins C and E and as well as the minerals magnesium and potassium.
4. Celery (2 grams)
Celery is mostly water (95%) but still rich in key nutrients. Celery is an excellent source of folate, potassium, vitamin A, and fiber . Dipped in almond butter or buttery sauces, celery is great for making tasty keto-approved snacks.
5. Asparagus (2 grams)
Asparagus has a unique, earthy flavor that goes well with keto-friendly sauces like Hollandaise and mustard. It also pairs perfectly with eggs and bacon. Nutrition-wise, asparagus is rich in fiber, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and folate . Studies on asparagus show that it contains compounds that provide antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and liver health protection.
6. Cauliflower (2.8 grams)
Cauliflower is an excellent low net-carb source of dietary fiber, with 100 grams providing 10% DV. It is a popular rice substitute in keto cooking and its neutral taste makes it an ideal base for almost any meal. Make sure not to cook but steam, stir-fry, or microwave cauliflower to preserve its nutrients.
7. Cucumbers (3.1 grams)
Cucumbers are mostly water and contain just 1% carbs. Their high-water content makes them very refreshing, and they pair perfectly with yogurt and cream. Their seeds and peels are the most nutrient-dense part, so it’s best to eat them whole. In terms of health benefits, studies show that they have an anti-diabetic and lipid-lowering effect.
8. Cabbage (3.3 grams)
Cabbage is another low net-carb, high-fiber keto staple. It’s exceptionally rich in vitamin C but has garnered more attention due to its powerful phytochemicals. Studies show that these phytochemicals can fight cancer and heart disease. It is also a versatile ingredient; you can use it to make soups, stews, stir-fries, casseroles, salads, and more.
9. Cremini mushrooms (3.5 grams)
Botanically, mushrooms are a fungus. But in culinary terms, they’re a vegetable. Besides being low in carbs, cremini mushrooms are rich in migraine-preventing riboflavin, skin-improving vitamin B5, and heart-healthy potassium. Little wonder the Romans believed them to be “Food of the Gods.
10. Green beans (3.7 grams)
Beans are a no-no on a keto diet, but green beans are ok. They’re low in net carbs and rich in dietary fiber, which helps regulate bowel movements. Green beans are rich in vitamins A, C, and K and the mineral manganese. Studies show that cooking green beans increases their antioxidant content, so go ahead and make some green bean soup .
11. Artichokes (3.9 grams)
Globe artichokes are rich in dietary fiber, providing 16% of the DV per 100 grams. They’re also an excellent source of folate (31% DV) and contain disease-fighting antioxidants. Steam them and serve with butter for a quick snack or use them as a pizza topping. Make sure not to confuse them with Jerusalem artichokes – those are loaded in carbs.
12. Broccoli (4 grams)
Along with bok choy, cabbage, and cauliflower, broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, all widely touted as powerful functional foods. Broccoli is richer in vitamin C than most citrus fruit (150% DV). However, just like with cauliflower, cooking broccoli can lower the vitamin C content. Steam or stir-fry broccoli to preserve its nutritional value.
13. Fennel bulb (4.2 grams)
Fennel bulb is an exception to the no below-ground-vegetables rule. It contains very little net carbs but a whole lot of vitamins, minerals, and gut-benefiting fiber. It has an anise aroma and licorice-like flavor, making it an ideal addition to soups and salads.
14. Brussels Sprouts (5.2 grams)
Brussels sprouts are another low-carb cruciferous vegetable. They’re known for their powerful detoxifying properties, which prevent the risk of certain cancers. They retain their detoxifying abilities even after heating. Roast them in some butter and olive oil for a tasty keto treat.
15. Kale (8 grams)
Kale is a popular smoothie ingredient that is also keto-friendly. Although 8g of net carbs per 100 grams may seem too much for a leafy green, keep in mind that usual daily serving for kale is around 80 grams. Kale is nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich, and a good source of hard-to-get minerals like calcium and magnesium.