Vegetables vary widely in their carbohydrate content and low-carb vegetables are those that contain very small to small quantities of starches and sugars. Vegetables are healthy, there’s no doubt about that, and no healthy eating plan is complete without a generous proportion of vegetables. But they are not uniformly healthy for everyone.
Vegetables with high carbohydrate content are best avoided by people with diabetes. They also don’t help when you are trying to lose weight. When you are on a weight loss diet, it’s best to include low-carb vegetables which give you all the nutrients you need without the carbs.
Vegetables bring a lot to the table – carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and water. While most healthy eating and balanced diet plans recommend eating lots of vegetables and fruits, they don’t always specify which vegetables to include in your meals. It is up to you to figure out which vegetables best suit your needs.
Why Low-Carb Veggies?
Low-carb foods are a part of many diets for weight loss. For instance, the induction phase of the Atkins diet only allows you to include 15 to 20 gm of carbohydrates per day in your meals. So you need a good list of low-carb vegetables if you are on the Atkins diet. They are also good foods for people with diabetes. These vegetables do not cause sugar levels to spike as soon as they are eaten.
Vegetables with high carbohydrate contents are not bad, just as carbohydrates themselves are not bad. Carbohydrates provide energy to the body and organs like the brain depend completely on glucose (sugar) for energy. But in general, any excess sugar in the diet is converted to fat for storage by the body. So it might be a good idea to cut down on unnecessary sugars and starches. Low-carb vegetables do just that – they bring you all the goodness of natural foods while keeping out the extra sugars.
In addition, low-carb vegetables contain fiber that adds roughage to your meals. This is good for your digestion and keeps your stomach full for longer, making you less hungry.
The Low Carb Vegetable List
Unfortunately, there is no way to just look at a vegetable and tell if it contains high or low carbohydrates. But in general, root vegetables and tubers like potatoes are rich in carbs while green, leafy vegetables contain fewer carbohydrates. Here’s a list of low-carb veggies to include in your meals.
Green leafy vegetables
- Bell peppers – green, red, yellow
- Sweet corn
- String beans
- White mushrooms
The carbohydrate content of cucumber and broccoli is as little as 1 gm per 50 gm portion, while it is about 7 gm for onions. The others fall in between. Your best bet is to make salads that include combinations of these vegetables. Switch to low-carb vegetables, get your daily dose of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants and keep out those extra carbs.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.