Keto is a unique diet, one that comes with different limitations than most traditional ones. In particular, keto differs from the standard lifestyle changes by not making vegetables a ‘free food.’ In other diets, vegetables like peas, carrots, and corn are seen as low calorie and full of nutrition, meaning the dieters can eat as much as they want and not worry about ruining their dietary plan.

However, keto has different rules altogether. You see, vegetables are delicious and good for you, but they are also made of carbs.

As healthy carbohydrates, vegetables are an essential vehicle for nutrition and fiber, but they are still made of sugars that can affect ketosis. Someone following keto therefore needs to be careful about which vegetables they eat and in what quantities.

If you have tried other diets in the past and are new to keto, then this rule can be confusing. This is why this article focuses on the low-carb vegetables you can enjoy on a regular basis, and the high-carb ones you should avoid.

Positive Low-Carb Vegetables

There is some positive news about keto and vegetables, which is that many can still be eaten in moderation. A basic rule of thumb many followers apply to their diets is that vegetables that are grown above the ground are okay to eat. This means vegetables found aboveground are excellent to incorporate in recipes or eat as simple snacks. These options are low carb, high in fiber, and still provide amazing flavors and textures to recipes.

Positive low-carb vegetables include:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados (technically fruits)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard

In general, dark leafy green vegetables should be incorporated into every keto diet because it is easy to miss out on essential fiber and vitamins when trying to eat high-fat all the time.

Negative High-Carb Vegetables

The list of vegetables to avoid is just as long, if not longer, than the one of vegetables that are good to eat. As another rule of thumb, keto followers recommend avoiding vegetables that grow below ground, as these tend to be starchy and filled with more complex carbohydrates. Some of the negative vegetables include:

  • Artichoke
  • Beetroot
  • Beans
  • Cassava
  • Celeriac
  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes (of all varieties)
  • Rutabaga
  • Squash (of all varieties)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Yams

Eating even a serving of these vegetables will often cause you to reach your carb limit for the day, so they should be enjoyed in moderation.


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