Understanding the ketogenic diet means that you need to understand which foods you can successfully eat. In this case, successfully means limiting carbs. Being successful can mean also losing weight if that is your goal. For many, it has keto become a lifestyle change.
For those on keto, they must understand that all vegetables are not always good.
I am sure you are asking why…
Because with all foods you need to watch your carb intake and vegetables have carbs.
Many people start keto assuming vegetables are safe because you have been told all your life that vegetables are healthy.
So, obviously saying you cannot have any and all vegetables is a shocker, right?
You will find carbs in each and every food item you consume from fruit to vegetables to meat, etc.
While they are obviously a more acceptable carb than bread or sweets, you still need to take them into account.
The purpose of this post is to educate those new to keto to the best options for veggies that will keep you in the safe carb range on the ketogenic diet.
What Vegetables Can You Eat on Keto?
The first important key to help you remember what vegetables you may have on keto is: if the vegetable is grown above ground, then the odds are in your favor that this is a keto friendly vegetable. However, keep in mind that an exception to this rule would be lettuce which can kick you right out of ketosis by consuming too much.
Grown below the ground: avoid.
I had to lead with this one as it happens to be my favorite keto friendly vegetable but is actually a fruit. However, most consider it a vegetable which is why I am listing it here.
Also important on keto, as you will learn is fat consumption. Not only are avocados are a fantastic source of fat, it’s a great way to meet your macros on keto and providing great fuel for your body.
What I personally love about avocados is that they are great regardless of time of day, adding to any meal including breakfast and are a great snack.
When I am looking for a snack, this is my first choice every time.
Cucumber is often my second choice when looking for a vegetable.
In fact, it’s so multi-purpose, it’s great!
You can, of course, have it on salad. Sliced is great when looking for a chip like dipper (with keto friendly dip). There are many options for the cucumber.
I also love the crunch it adds.
Another favorite is cauliflower and happens to be a staple of the keto diet because of its diverse usage.
Of course, it’s great to dip in a low carb ranch or have in a salad. But keto enthusiasts know it’s amazing as a substitute for pizza crust, rice, and even mashed potatoes.
And seriously, if you’ve never seasoned it and roasted it in the oven, you are missing out whether you are on keto or not.
When I make roasted for a meal, I make up extra to snack on it is seriously that good.
I also love me some zucchini!
Roasted or pan-fried zucchini is just about my favorite thing. Yes, I know I said that about avocado. And cucumber. And cauliflower. But as someone that spent the majority of life hating vegetables because my parents didn’t cook well, I now know what I was missing out on.
There are a whole host of other ways to have zucchini just look at Pinterest to see! Another favorite for zucchini is zucchini boats.
Like having a little pizza on zucchini. I kid you not. Try it.
I personally have only had cabbage 2 ways. Fried in a pan and with corned beef. Both of which I love!
While I am sure there are other ways to use cabbage on keto, I’ve just not taken the opportunity to explore it further. If you do or have, let me know. I’d love to try more.
Brussel sprouts are one of those things I just hated as a kid. In all honesty, it was just my parents poor cooking skills.
Where I work, meals are included and I absolutely love brussel sprout day. Except the smell of them cooking. Or even leftover when you open a container. The smell is horrid.
I am sure if you have ever been on a diet plan, you ate loads of celery. This is because celery is considered a zero calorie food. Zero taste too lol.
So, for me, obviously, I need to dip it. Which I do. In keto friendly dips. Like low carb ranch or peanut butter. Or Justin’s classic almond butter, to which I am addicted.
Another I am an avid fan of is spinach. It’s great in a salad and I love it with eggs. I really love mixing it in eggs along with other veggies and will eat it for breakfast lunch or dinner. Contrary to belief, eggs are not just for breakfast.
It’s another thing I hated as a kid but my parents’ idea of salad was greens and dressing. I need it dressed up a little more. How about you?
Not a huge fan of asparagus myself because I find too few can cook it correctly and I simply hate getting a woody piece.
It also smells when cooking or reheating.
However, I did make it one time. Wrapped in bacon. Bacon and anything is almost always good. Except for cupcakes. That’s just weird. And not keto friendly.
Roasted, boiled, salad, covered in cheese or ranch. Yum!
It’s also utilized frequently in keto friendly meals. Whether it’s a casserole or slow cooker meal, broccoli is a great option.
Kale gets a bad rap.
People hate it.
But, I think they’ve just not had it the right way.
Even my kids love making kale chips. Try it.
Remember That All Veggies Have Carbs
You’ll have to remember that just because it’s a vegetable doesn’t mean it’s good for keto. It’s important that you are aware that all vegetable have carbs and which options are safe to keep you in ketosis. It also doesn’t mean you can have an endless amount like those who look for zero carb foods. It all adds up on keto.
People on keto all follow a different carb count. Many try to stay under 50 while others try to stay under 20. I typically follow the under 20 rule unless I want to indulge in something that hikes me up a tad. And by tad I mean stay under 50. It doesn’t mean to have a cupcake!
Let me know what you are favorites are and how you like to eat them or prepare them! I’d love to hear from you!