9 best fruits and veggies to eat on a low-carb diet
Wondering which fruits and veggies are best for a low-carb diet? Put these nutrient-dense beauties in your shopping trolley.
Fruit and vegetables are crucial to staying in good health.
But if you’re going carb free, some varieties may help you reach your weight loss goals faster.
These nine fruits and veggies will help make meals interesting when you’re following a low-carb diet:
Creamy in texture, avocado is a perfect option with only 9g of carbohydrates per 100g.
“Avocados have what we would call healthy fats, but they are low carb,” Menu Concepts dietitian Nicole Moore says.
“The fats can be very filling and help you to feel satisfied.”
Avocado is also incredibly healthy, rich in vitamins C, E and K, as well as folate, and fibre.
Packed with protein, mushrooms bring a lot to a meal and most varieties are extremely low in carb content.
Pine mushrooms have about 11g per 100g, button 3g, shiitake 7g, oyster 6g and king trumpet mushrooms have about 5g.
Nicole says they are an ideal substitute for bread in certain dishes.
“They are quite versatile; some people use mushrooms to put their eggs on, so they’re not having the bread at breakfast, or they use them as a burger bun,” she says.
Mushrooms are also nutrient dense, containing beta-glucan, antioxidants, ergosterol, which produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, and ergothioneine, which helps protect cells.
When it comes to low carb and great taste, berries top the list of ingredients.
“Blackberries are going to be your lowest when it comes to carbohydrates, along with strawberries,” Eat Play Thrive nutritionist Vicky Kuriel says.
Strawberries have 8g per 100g, blackberries 10g, and blueberries 14g.
All types of zucchinis are great for a low-carb diet, with just 3g of carbohydrates per 100g.
“Zucchini noodles can make a great substitute for pasta,” Vicky says.
You can also grill, bake, or sauté them to add flair to your veggie menu.
- Try this: Chargrilled Zucchini with Avocado Hummus
Green leafy vegetables
All leafy greens are low-carb options and can be used to make a plethora of tasty salads.
Types like spinach carry extra nutrients, including iron and folate, vital for healthy red blood cells.
However, some don’t pack much nutritional punch, such as iceberg lettuce.
Collard greens have 5g carbs per 100g, lettuce 2.9g, kale 9g, and spinach 4g.
Oranges, lemons, and limes are tart and refreshing and also don’t load you up on carbs.
Lemons are the lightest with 6g of carbohydrates per 100g, limes have 11g, and oranges 12g.
They’re also jam-packed with vitamin C, which wards off colds, prevents infections and helps you absorb iron.
- Try this: Low-Carb Keto Chicken Soup
Looking for a refreshing low-carb snack on a warm day? Chomp into a tasty slice of watermelon.
It has 8g of carbohydrates per 100g, but it does contain sugar so don’t go overboard, Nicole warns.
- Try this: Basil and Watermelon Granita
Not only is this kitchen staple low in carbohydrates with 5g per 100g, but cauliflower also makes a great alternative for carb loaded foods such as potatoes, pasta, rice, and bread, Nicole says.
But don’t go eating too much, Vicky warns.
“Some people can have a certain tolerance level for cauliflower,” she says.
“You may feel bloated or have discomfort in your guts if you have too much of it.”
- Try this: Turkish Cauliflower Pizza
This winter vegetable has around 6g of carbohydrates per 100g but has an impressive nutritional profile.
It contains fibre, potassium and immune-boosting vitamin C, and antioxidants, including polyphenols.
These have been shown to improve heart health and reduce the risk factors for developing diabetes.
- Luke Hines: How to cut through carb confusion
Written by Alex White.