10 Keto-Friendly Vegetables You Should Eat More Of

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.

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