- Dec 31, 2018
Low-Carb Vegetables for a Successful Keto Diet
Low-Carb Vegetables for a Successful Keto Diet
One of the most challenging things about sticking on a Ketogenic diet or green diet is figuring out a variety of foods that you can use to construct your meals and shopping list from. Finding these staple foods like asparagus or chicken creates a base for your entire daily menu and frequent recipes and can take a lot of stress out of maintaining a Ketogenic diet. As a low-carb source of Macros, there are lots of vegetables and other healthy foods out there that you can lean on for the best daily healthy, rich nutrition recipes. You can cook all of these recipes within the privacy of your own home.
Having food that you can consistently consume for a list of different recipes and meals while maintaining a state of ketosis and green diet can mean the difference between succeeding on Keto and failing. One of the most common reasons that people fail at dieting is a lack of motivation. Getting excited about finding the newest, best foods and making creative spins on old recipes can really help you keep your head in the game when it comes to sticking to the Ketogenic diet in 2019.
Once you have some foods that you know you can use for your meals, it also becomes easier to do meal preparation. Meal prep is a common practice for Ketogenic dieters because so much attention needs to be paid to the nutrition in the recipes that you are supplying your body. You need to know exactly what is in each meal and how it fits into your ketosis plan. This helps remove yet another roadblock to your success and makes it that much easier to follow the best Ketogenic lifestyle possible.
Before you can accomplish all of this, however, you need to know the ins and outs of what vegetables you can eat on the Keto diet, what recipes you can include them in, why you can eat them, and how much of them you can eat and still remain in ketosis. It would be best to make a list of this information. Understanding this is vital to achieving the best, maximum success on Keto and adequately planning healthy meals for yourself. Vegetables are some of the best sources of nutrition that you can consume, but on Keto you need to be slightly more selective. This complete guide will tell you everything that you need to know about vegetables and the Ketogenic diet in 2018 and beyond.
Keto Vegetables – Guide
We all know that we should eat our fruits and vegetables. And traditionally, this is true. It’s a good idea to include as many fruits and veggies as possible in your everyday diet to be healthy. For people on Keto, we need to be monitoring our list of Macros day in and day out with each of the meals and recipes. Vegetables like asparagus and others are not exempt from this scrutiny and we must make sure that anything we eat fits within our Keto plan. That includes healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.
What we’re looking for in a vegetable for our Keto diet or green diet is really pretty simple. Since the Ketogenic diet is centered around low-carb intake, we want vegetables that deliver nutritional value without containing a high amount of carbohydrates. In this way we can achieve all our nutrition goals while still remaining in a state of ketosis and constantly burning our body fat.
On a Ketogenic diet, you should be aiming to keep your carbohydrate intake at 5% or less of your daily total calories. This means that if you eat 2000 calories in a day, the total amount of calories from carbohydrates should be under 100. The average person will want to consume 20 grams of carbs or less per day for best results. Knowing this figure for your personal diet will allow you to determine which vegetables you can include with your diet and which ones you cannot. Feel free to protect this information with privacy. In the end, you are doing this for you, not others.
Using these 20 grams per day average figure, you can right off the bat figure out some suitable vegetables for your Ketogenic diet shopping list. If your goal is to keep your carbohydrate consumption at or below 20 grams, and your ideal day includes five servings of vegetables, you’ll want to target vegetables that have 4 grams in each serving size or less. This quick math gives you an excellent baseline from which you can build off of and explore the options that are available to you.
Another easy thing to remember that will help you narrow down your search for the best vegetables is that you should try to avoid vegetables that grow below the dirt in general. Vegetables that grow below ground tend to have higher carb counts and thus they are less likely to be Keto friendly. Vegetables that grow above ground are more likely to be Keto friendly because they are more likely to have a lower carbohydrate content per serving.
Understanding Serving Sizes
You should also have a good understanding of serving sizes before you start making decisions to include or exclude vegetables from your green diet plan and shopping list. Be sure to know what a serving size is for your selected vegetable and how many carbohydrates are in each serving size. Too often do people derail their ketosis just because they haven’t learned how to properly read nutrition labels or weigh their servings. You should know how to do this before beginning to plan meals that may require numerous calculations.
What Vegetables Can You Eat On Keto?
Once you have a rough idea of how vegetables work with a Ketogenic diet and shopping list and you’ve narrowed it down a little bit, you can start looking at specific vegetables that both work for you and your Ketogenic diet. Luckily, you have plenty of options for low-carb veggies that are sure to make your meals interesting, but Keto-compliant. Asparagus is a great example of this. All of these veggies are fresh, low-carb, and perfect for adding to your meals that you can cook from the privacy of your own home.
The Best Vegetables To Eat On Keto
Leafy greens are an excellent vegetable for someone on the Ketogenic diet in 2019. Specifically, the dark, leafy greens are great for a green diet. They tend to be low in carbs and dense with nutrients. So not only are they Keto-friendly, you can get a ton of other nutrients from them. This diversity of nutrients can really maximize the effects of Keto and put you in the right frame of mind for healthy eating.
The best leafy greens that you should aim to include in your diet are spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens, and Swiss chard. Per serving, spinach has 1.43g of carbs, kale has 5.15g, broccoli with 4.01g, collard greens have 1.4g, and Swiss chard has 2.14g. These are all within the range that you want your vegetables to be per serving.
Among some of the other greens that you should feel free to consume are lettuces like arugula (2.05g), romaine (1.19g), and butterhead (1.1g). You can also eat edible green leaves like watercress (.79g), dandelions (5.7g) and sprouts like alfalfa sprouts (3.78g). All of the green vegetables on this list are Keto-friendly and have a low per-serving carb content.
Along with being Keto-friendly, greens are also best known for being rich in vitamins and nutrients. In particular, green vegetables contain an abundance of iron and vitamins A, C and K. They can also help fight inflammation and promote bone, heart, and brain health. The Keto diet is known to help prevent and treat these types of diseases, especially neurological disorders and anything relating to the brain. They are a great addition to any green diet.
Leafy greens can also improve or preserve your eyesight and a Keto diet has been linked to cataracts prevention. Your skin elasticity, blood clotting, and aging process can all be impacted positively by the consumption of leafy greens and the Keto diet. In addition to all of these health benefits, you will also feel more full and provide more volume to each of your meals by adding these vegetables to them.
You can also include cruciferous vegetables, which are vegetables in the cabbage family. These veggies tend to be low in carbs but high in other vitamins and nutrients, so they give a great bang for your buck. Some of these options include bok choy, radishes, zucchini, mustard greens, kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, cucumbers, white cabbage, green cabbage, and cauliflower. Vegetables from this family are high in vitamin C, E, and K. They also contain a good amount of folate, fiber, and healthy minerals. There are studies to suggest that cruciferous vegetables can help protect your cells from DNA damage, have antibacterial qualities, and can even help prevent and delay tumor growth.
Beyond leafy greens and cabbages, there are some other great Keto-friendly vegetables that taste great and are good for you! On this list are garlic, celery, asparagus, summers squash, white mushrooms, olives, eggplant, bell peppers, bamboo shots, artichoke hearts, okra, green beans, sauerkraut, and snow peas. Each of these are tasty and versatile and you shouldn’t have any problem finding a place for them in your Keto diet. They each also are below 5g of carbs per 100 gram serving. These are great veggies for a green diet.
Vegetables To Be Enjoyed In Moderation
There are also vegetables that are a little bit higher in carbs but could still be included in a Keto diet in moderation. These should be monitored closely and your serving sizes for these veggies will have to be smaller due to their increased carb content. These include carrots, pumpkin, winter squash, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and onions. If these vegetables are something you want to include in your diet, you should limit them to one serving per day at the most.
There are dozens of vegetables that are suitable for inclusion in a Keto-friendly diet, but you may have to be creative and resourceful for how you work them into your dishes. You should look at this as a fun challenge to see what unique dishes you can create while sticking to your Ketogenic diet! This is made a little bit easier in 2019, where we can do some quick research on the internet. Many of these vegetables are very versatile and tasty, like asparagus. The main thing to remember is that you want vegetables that have a low carb content per serving so that you can include them without having to worry about being kicked out of ketosis.
What Vegetables Should You Avoid On Keto
Just as there are vegetables that you should steer towards on a Keto diet, there are also vegetables that you want to steer clear of in 2019 and the coming years. These are vegetables that are not friendly with the Keto philosophy of lowering carbohydrate consumption and shouldn’t be included in any recipes or shopping lists. Consuming vegetables that are high in carbs puts you at risk of being kicked out of ketosis and losing out on ketones and the fat-burning process. Therefore, it’s best to know what veggies you should be staying away from in your everyday diet.
One of the vegetable groups that you should avoid altogether are any that are listed as starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables include cassava, corn, green bananas, green lima beans, green peas, parsnips, plantains, potatoes, taro, water chestnuts, and yams. There are obviously more than this, but these are the most commonly found ones. You should avoid these for your green diet because of their high carb content that can prevent or end ketosis.
Another group of vegetables that you should try to avoid on Keto are beans and legumes. These are notoriously high in carbohydrates and they can have well over 10 grams of carbs per 100g serving. These include sweet potatoes, yams, white potatoes, parsnips, green peas, and leaks. They each have too high of a carbohydrate content to justify considering including them in any Keto diet.
As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid vegetables with a sweet taste. That sweet taste comes from a high sugar content that will be detrimental to your Ketogenic mission. Staying away from these altogether in your meals and on your shopping list will make things easier for you to maintain a green diet.
Are Green Beans Keto-Friendly?
One of the more popular, best vegetables for a green diet out there are green beans. They are definitely trending for green diets in 2018. Green beans are nutritious, versatile, and taste great in almost any dish, recipes or even by themselves. For all you green bean lovers out there, we have great news for you. Green beans are 100% okay to have on a Ketogenic diet!
While regular beans are discouraged on a Keto diet, green beans are quite the opposite. They contain 3.7 grams of net carbs for each 100-gram serving, so they’re well below the 5-gram goal that you should set for vegetable carb consumption per serving. In addition to being low-carb, they’re also a great source of dietary fiber, which is great for regulating bowel movements.
Green beans are also a good source of potassium, folate, protein, iron, zinc, vitamin C, and anti-oxidants. The benefits on this list are linked to heart health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention. Plus, they give a nice fresh texture to any dish you want to add them to! Green beans are a super vegetable that is always welcome on the Keto diet.
What Fruits Can I Eat On Keto?
If you love fresh fruits, chances are you’ve been waiting for this section with anticipation. Fruits are an amazing element to include in your diet, but if you are on Keto you’ll need to do a bit of research to find the best ones. As with vegetables, we are looking for fruits that are low in total carbs as well as carbs per serving. We want to include fruits in our diets and shopping lists for all the health benefits that they carry with them, but we don’t want to cost ourselves ketosis time just to do it. Not to worry—we can both enjoy the benefits of fruit and have our ketosis.
Naturally, fruits and berries are generally high in carbs. Have you ever wondered why they taste so sweet? It’s because of the natural sugar. Because of this, it can be more difficult to find the best fruits for your Keto diet than the process of finding veggies.
Can I Eat Berries On Keto?
For organizational purposes, it’s helpful to break these into two categories: fruits and berries. First, we’ll take a look at berries. This is going to include raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Berries are pretty simple. The only one out of these that you should avoid are blueberries. They have about 12 grams of net carbs for each 100-gram serving. This is insanely high compared to other fruits and vegetables and you should avoid these at all costs in recipes or meals or enjoy them very infrequently.
As for the other berries, you are good to go! Along with being delicious and Keto-friendly, these berries have enormous nutritional value and can help prevent many health problems. Berries are linked to nervous system protection, cancer prevention, decreased inflammation, reduced risk for heart disease, improved memory, regulated blood sugar, and much more. Raspberries and blackberries each have 5 grams of carbs per serving and strawberries have 6g. Enjoy these berries, but don’t go overboard.
What Fruits Should I Avoid?
When it comes to fruits, the news is not as good. There are very few fruits that you can consume on a daily basis and remain safely in ketosis on a green diet. Among these are cantaloupe, coconut, lemon, and plums. Cantaloupe has 7g of carbs per serving, coconuts and lemons have 6, and plums have 7. While you don’t have a lot of versatility with these options, you can still use these to spruce up some recipes. All of these fruits have numerous health benefits and you may have fun experimenting making dishes with these lesser-utilized fruits.
There are quite a few fruits that you should avoid altogether while on a Ketogenic diet. This list includes bananas (20g), grapes (16g), pears (12g), apples (12g), oranges (10g), peaches (9g), cherries (10g), clementine (10g), kiwi (12g), mangos (13g), pineapple (12g), and watermelon (10g). Each of these fruits, while very tasty, will put you in danger of being kicked out of ketosis and losing out on the potential weight loss. So, while it saddens us that we can’t enjoy the nutritional value of these fruits, it’s best that you avoid these fruits completely in your everyday diet.
Though fruits taste good and are fun to eat, the nutrients that they provide can be completely replaced with nutrients that you can get from vegetables. Vegetables often contain a lot of the same best vitamins and nutrients as fruits and have way less carbs and sugar. This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever enjoy fruits. Fruits are a great substitute as a snack or treat instead of processed foods or junk foods. This also means that you should generally avoid fruits in your Keto recipes if they play a large role. Enjoy a sweet fruit as a reward after a long day, but keep tabs on the carbs that you eat!
To recap, fruits and berries are not as Keto-friendly as most vegetables are, but you can still find a way to enjoy them either in moderation or as an occasional special treat in 2018. The best five fruits that you can choose to incorporate into your Keto diet and shopping list would be raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and plums. Each of these has a low amount of net carbs per serving and bonus—they all taste great!
Why Do Low-Carb Diets Work?
Understanding why the Keto diet works is a crucial part of experiencing success on a green diet. It can be hard to picture what’s going on in your body when you deprive it of carbohydrates and replace it with nutrient rich foods that promote the burning of fat in the absence of carbs. This is the entire basis of the Keto diet and recipes and other diets like it.
When you eat carbohydrates, your body turns them into glucose which it then uses for energy. Energy from carbohydrates is the best source of energy for the body since carbs are easy to break down and efficient in providing energy. Throughout the day, your body draws upon carbohydrates as a source of energy and burns them before anything else. So, when you eat food that are high in carbs, you are giving it an abundance of energy.
By this same logic, if you eat less carbs, your body will still need to draw upon what you eat for energy. If there are no carbs to burn for quick energy, then your body will have to draw on something else. When there are no carbs, your body turns to fat. Fats are less efficient, but still just as good of an energy source. This is the reason that Keto and other low-carb diets work for weight loss.
When your body is constantly drawing on fat for energy, you will begin to lose body fat and in turn, body weight. These are the best results that you can expect, at least in the short term, from a well-executed Keto or other low-carb diet. Obviously, long-term benefits are going to depend on your dedication to the diet, how many good recipes and meals you can come up with, and your ability to continue adapting to what your body is telling you.
An important part of the low-carb dieting process is Ketosis. Ketosis is the state of having ketones in your bloodstream. Ketosis is the result of fat metabolizing and producing ketones, which can be used for energy in the body. The goal of the Keto diet and other low-carb diets is to force the body to go into a state of ketosis. Training your body to more efficiently burn fat in exchange for energy as a substitute for carbohydrates is the entire goal of the Ketogenic diet.
Ketosis is so important because ketones have been proven to have so many health benefits. Ketosis helps us burn fat for a variety of reasons. It helps increase fat oxidation, regulate our hormones, suppress our appetite, and regulate our blood sugar. These factors in combination speed up the weight loss process and have other positive health effects.
Ketosis can also help exercise become more efficient and easier for the Ketogenic dieter on a green diet. This is done through increased endurance, elimination of crashing during prolonged exercise, blood glucose regulation, efficient use of oxygen, and glycogen preservation. This aspect of ketosis is so appealing to athletes that the Ketogenic diet has become increasingly popular with high-performance athletes and they often include the best Keto-friendly recipes into their workout plans. Actual athletic enhancement is a huge draw to the Keto lifestyle in 2018.
Keto doesn’t just have physical effects, it also can help the mind. When you have an unbalanced or unhealthy diet, your mind is actually negatively affected. On a Keto diet, your diet is best balanced and healthy and receiving all the necessary vitamins and nutrients that it needs. Ketones help to improve the function and energy of the mitochondria. Mitochondria produce energy for the body and brain, so Keto can have a positive effect on memory and focus. These studies have been done behind a veil of privacy in the past but now are being made public.
The increased ketone levels that result from a Ketogenic diet have undeniable and far-reaching benefits on your mind and body and these should never be underestimated when considering a Ketogenic diet and Ketogenic recipes. A Keto diet is not only suitable for those looking to lose weight, but for anyone who wants to improve the performance and efficiency of their body while also taking steps to increase resistance to future diseases.
Why Are Low-Carb Diets Popular?
Low-carb diets such as the Ketogenic diet and the Atkins diet continue to survive and thrive because quite simply, they work and they make sense to people. There are hundreds of studies that prove the health benefits of a low-carb diet and recipes and even more studies that show how bad carbohydrate consumption can be for the human body. Retraining your body to use alternative sources of energy is a huge step In the right direction towards a longer, healthier life. A large barrier to the Ketogenic diet or any diet is altering your diet to include the right foods. For Keto dieters, this is especially difficult due to the strict guidelines that you have to follow on that plan.
With our in-depth analysis into the best fruits and vegetables that are suitable for consumption on Keto, you will be fully equipped to optimize your new diet for weight loss, improved health, and a better understanding of how your body works.