May 24, 2024

Let’s make one thing very clear: Vegetables are carbohydrates—carbohydrates that are good for you.

Any diet that tells you that you shouldn’t eat certain vegetables, or entire groups of certain vegetables, isn’t healthy even if you’re going to or already are losing weight on that diet. (Yes, losing weight and being healthy are not the same thing.)

So, before we continue, once more YOU SHOULD EAT VEGETABLES.

Now, the ultra-restrictive keto diet—which demands that you follow a high-fat, low-carb eating plan—tends to suggest that you might want to avoid certain higher-carbohydrate vegetables that could potentially knock you out of ketosis.

As Kayla Girgen, R.D., bariatric dietitian and mindset coach, explains, the ketogenic diet dates back to the early 1900s and was originally used as a nutritional treatment for children with epilepsy.

“With the rise of low-carb eating and the Atkins diet over the past several decades, the keto diet has reappeared on the scene but with less stringent guidelines and more generous carbohydrate allowances for people looking to lose weight,” Girgen says.

Reducing veggies from your diet can also be detrimental for your gut health thanks to vegetables being rich in fiber. “Vegetables consist primarily of carbohydrates, notably fiber, which is important for any dieter, but especially helpful for the keto crowd, as constipation can be an uncomfortable side effect of the keto diet,” says Girgen. “When considering keto-friendly carbohydrates, it’s important to examine net carbohydrates which factor in the fiber content of a food. You can calculate net carbs by subtracting fiber from total carbs (total carbs – fiber = net carbs).”

Again, while vegetables are among the most nutritious foods you can eat, there are a few starchy and carbohydrate-dense ones that can definitely throw you out of fat-burning mode—even in small servings. These starchy foods include potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

In order to remain in ketosis and eat a healthful diet, consider the vegetables on the list that follows.

Many of them are rich in gut-filling fiber and they’re all loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants. Plus, most of these keto-friendly foods also have a high water content, which, in addition to helping you maintain good hydration, can also help you with your feelings of fullness (and thereby help you eat less at mealtime and avoid mindless snacking after mealtime.) All these vegetables incredibly flavorful on their own—no ranch dressing needed—and are easy to work into healthful meals.

Feast upon them and you can even go ahead and call yourself “plant-based,” even though experts still aren’t entirely sure what the heck that actually means.

Instead, fill up your plate with these keto-friendly vegetables, all of which have few net grams of carbs and bring some more of the good stuff to your meals.

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