If you’re sticking to low carb foods, it’s important to have an idea of what those sneaky high carb vegetables are, before you start adding them to your low carb meals and thinking you’re golden!
Because, when it comes to carbs, not all veggies are created equal…
And as delicious and “healthy” as those parsnips, potatoes and carrots are, they may not be doing you low carb meal plan a favor! Read on for the high carb vegetables lowdown — everything you need to know, from what to watch out for, to delicious low carb vegetables and keto vegetables to use in their place! Trust me friends, there are plenty of swaps to curb your potato cravings!
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List of High carb Vegetables
For those of us counting our carbs, or who’d rather invest our daily carb intake elsewhere, this list of high carb vegetables is for you!
Because starchy vegetables are out there, making their appearances in restaurants, comfort food dishes, and snacks. Here’s the full breakdown (based on a 1 cup serving size)…
The high carb vegetables are:
|Vegetable (1 Cup)||Carbs||Sugar||Fiber||Net Carbs|
|Artichokes (1 medium)||13.4||1.2||6.9||6.5|
|Spaghetti Squash (cubed)||7||1.5||2.8||4.2|
|Bell Peppers (green)||4.2||2.2||1.6||2.6|
|Lettuce (green leaf)||1||0.2||0.5||0.5|
|Lettuce (red leaf)||0.6||0.1||0.3||0.3|
*Nutritional information in this chart and throughout the high carb vegetables article was pulled from the USDA Nutritional Database. Please leave me a comment below if I missed your fave!
It’s worth mentioning that these high carb vegetables may still deserve a spot on your low carb shopping list (of course depending on your eating plan and dietary restrictions). You can always consume smaller portions of them to fit within your goals!
Or, try some of the swaps below, you’ll be amazed at how delicious they can be!
The Low Carb Vegetables to Consider
Luckily for us, most veggies fall into the low carb vegetables department, as vegetables are typically high in water content, making them naturally lower in calories and carbs. Here are some of the top vegetables to add to your low carb meal prep:
- Watercress – With just 0.4 carbs per cup, this vegetable is perfect for low carb salads or low carb wraps!
- Red leaf lettuce – This is the perfect vehicle to use when making keto wraps for portable low carb lunch ideas!
- Arugula – Perfect for keto salads or to toss into your keto quiche.
- Kale – Pack this power green into low carb smoothies, or use it to make your very own kale chips (may not sound appealing, but trust me on this one, they’re our family’s favorite low carb chips!). You can also use it to make a low carb kale quiche!
- Green leaf lettuce – Subtle and great for any basic low carb recipes — use it to whip up a low carb taco salad, cover it in homemade ranch dressing, or toss a handful into your keto smoothies.
Psst – for the full low carb vegetables breakdown, check out this article!
Keto Vegetables (Lowest Net Carb Veggies)
Most of you on a low carb or keto meal plan know the difference between TOTAL and NET carbs — but if you’re new here, just know that NET carbs are calculated by subtracting the fiber and sugar alcohols from the TOTAL carbs of any given food.
A keto diet counts NET carbs, so your keto vegetables list will look a little different than the list above. Here are a few veggies that contain less than 1 NET CARB (per cup)! Can you believe it?!
- Kale – net carbs= 0
- Broccoli Raab – net carbs= 0
- Watercress – net carbs=0.2
- Spinach – net carbs= 0.3
- Red leaf lettuce – net carbs= 0.3
How to Tell if a Veggie is The Highest or lowest carb vegetables
You probably wont always have this handy lowest carb vegetables chart in front of you while shopping for groceries or ordering meals. So when in doubt, consider where the vegetable was grown: vegetables grown above ground are typically lower in carbs, where as veggies grown below ground are typically high carb vegetables.
This trick doesn’t always apply! But it will help to narrow down your options…
How to add in more keto veggies to Your Meal Plan
For those of you sticking to a keto eating plan, it can be hard to find room for veggies (high carb vegetables and low carb vegetables alike) among all the cheeses, meats, and high fat (more tempting) options.
But, these keto veggies add a TON of flavor, and are an awesome way to pile on the nutrients while adding variety to your everyday low carb dinners, breakfasts and lunches!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Slice your veggies of choice, and serve them alongside guacamole or veggie dip (think cucumbers, celery, and bell peppers!).
- Toss in olive oil, salt/ pepper and bake or saute for tasty low carb side dishes.
- Turn them into low carb rice! Hello cauliflower rice and broccoli rice (my fave is cauliflower fried rice!)
- Toss some greens into your next low carb quiche or omelet!
- Make keto chips using your favorite vegetables (think kale, eggplant chips, etc.).
Recipes Swaps Using non starchy vegetables
It’s truly shocking how well these non starchy vegetables can work as ingredient subs for high carb vegetables! I’ve already shared a few of my favorite swaps in the sections above, here are a few more, that even picky eaters will enjoy!
Cauliflower + Turnips are INCREDIBLE subs for high carb vegetables like potatoes! Check out this cauliflower potato salad or this turnip paleo potato salad (seriously, don’t knock it till you try it!) for great keto side dishes!
For french frt cravings, check out these low carb french fries using zucchini (amazing, I swear).
To curb those potato chips cravings, check out my eggplant chips, kale chips, and of course, low carb tortilla chips always do the trick!
Vegetables are chock full of vitamins and nutrients, making them an important additional to every eating plan! I hope this article helped to shine light on the fact that you shouldn’t sacrifice that extra dose of greens just because you’re on low carb diet or sticking to a low carb lifestyle.
With all the low carb vegetables to choose from, avoiding high carb vegetables, or eating smaller portions of them is a great way to stick to your goals and reap some healthy benefits!
What’re your favorite veggies? How do you incorporate them into your meal plan? Let me know in the comments below!