Vegetables for the keto diet

Vegetables form a large part of a ketogenic, or keto, diet. The best vegetables for keto diets include celery, tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms. A person may wish to avoid starchy vegetables, such as beets, potatoes, and sweetcorn.

Keto diets restrict the amount of carbohydrates a person can eat. Instead, a person eats a high amount of fats and a moderate amount of protein.

Keto diets aim to put the body into a state of ketosis. This occurs when the body burns fat for energy instead of carbs. Ketosis can lead to weight loss.

Generally, a person following a keto diet should aim to limit their carb intake to no more than 50 grams (g) each day, according to one 2018 review.

Therefore, not all foods are suitable for a keto diet, and that includes some vegetables.

This article looks into some of the best vegetables for keto diets and suggests some recipes a person can try to incorporate them.

Vegetables to include in a keto diet

Vegetables with a very low carb content include:


There are 3.88 g of carbs in 100 g of asparagus. A person can eat asparagus for its high iron, potassium, and vitamin C content as well.

People can eat asparagus raw. They can also steam or sautee it for inclusion in a wide range of dishes.


Celery contains 2.97 g of carbs per 100 g. It is very low in calories and contains many essential nutrients, such as calcium and potassium.

Celery may also help protect against cancer. A 2016 review states that the apigenin content in celery may contribute to a process called apoptosis. In cancer prevention, apoptosis is the death of damaged or potentially dangerous cells. Therefore, this could make it useful in the prevention of cancer.


Different types of tomato contain different amounts of carbs.

One cherry tomato contains under 1 g of carbs as well as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and vitamin C.

One 60-g Italian tomato contains 2.33 g of carbs, but even 100 g of tomatoes only contain 3.89 g of carbs.


Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that many people know for its high calcium and iron content.

Spinach also contains antioxidants, which can help prevent oxidative stress in the body, according to one small 2011 study.

The carb content of spinach stands at 3.63 g per 100 g.


Iceberg lettuce contains 2.92 g of carbs per 100 g.

Lettuce is usually the main ingredient in salads. Therefore, a person can combine it with other low carb vegetables to create a nutritious meal that does not take the body out of ketosis.


Mushrooms are a source of potassium, containing 318 milligrams per 100 g. They also contain 3.26 g of carbs per 100 g.

Mushrooms are a popular breakfast food. A person could pair them with egg whites to make a keto friendly omelet.


Cucumber is another popular salad vegetable. It contains many essential nutrients, including vitamin K.

Cucumber is also suitable for the keto diet, as its carb content is just 3.63 g per 100 g.

To make the carb content lower, a person can peel the cucumber before eating it.


Zucchini contains 3.11 g of carbs per 100 g.

Zucchini is a very versatile vegetable that a person can include salads, sandwiches, and garnishes. A person can also make zucchini noodles as a low carb alternative to pasta dishes.

Zucchini is easy to grill, boil, or bake into a range of nutritious dishes.


Recipe ideas

People can try the following recipes to incorporate the best vegetables for keto into their diet:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
eggs with spinach, leeks, and Greek yogurt celery soup cabbage rolls stuffed with cauliflower rice and beef
mushroom-baked eggs with tomatoes, thyme, and arugula cauliflower steaks with roasted red pepper and olive salsa Thai broccoli rice
tarragon, mushroom, and sausage frittata seared tuna and cucumber salad soy and butter salmon parcels with cucumber and sesame salad

Vegetables to avoid in a keto diet

People may wish to avoid starchy vegetables while following a keto diet. Vegetables with more than 5 g of carbs per 100 g of weight are starchy vegetables.

Some vegetables that a person following a keto diet may wish to avoid include:

Vegetable Carbs per 100 g
sweetcorn 5.31 g
potatoes 20.45 g
sweet potatoes 16.82 g
beets 9.56 g
parsnips 16.47 g
peas 14.45 g
yams 27.4 g

Other tips

People following a keto diet usually limit their daily carb intake to 50 g. However, to maximize the chance of staying in ketosis, a person can limit their carb intake to 30 g per day.

Females should limit their protein intake to 40–50 g per day, while males should limit their protein intake to 50–60 g per day.

A person generally does not need to limit the amount of fat they consume while following a keto diet.


Keto diets are low carb, high fat diets that force the body to burn fat for energy instead of carbs. This means that people must eat a low amount of carbs each day to put their body into a state known as ketosis.

Although vegetables are a healthy part of any diet, some vegetables contain too many carbs to be suitable for inclusion in a keto diet.

As a result, a person should check whether or not the vegetables they are pairing with other carbs in their meals will take them over their daily carb limit and stop them from keeping their body in ketosis.

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