Friday, November 9, 2012

Low Carb Vegetables

When you are eating Paleo, all vegetables are allowed and even encouraged.   In fact the only real rule is to get as colourful an assortment into your diet as possible.  But when you are eating Low Carb and trying to stay ketogenic, choosing the right vegetables is important.  Even though they are all good for you, vegetables vary greatly when it comes to carbs.

So here is a selection of the best low carb vegetables to include in your menu planning. This does not mean of course that you can never eat any of the others, just that these should be your mainstays.

The best vegetable choice for a low carb diet is salad.  Not only are leafy greens full of nutrients, they are also among the lowest in carbs.  You can add sliced cucumber, radishes, celery, spinach and cabbage to your salad and be confident that all of these vegetables are pretty low carb as well.

When you want a warm vegetable to serve with your dinner, you can choose from eggplant, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli and zucchini.  However, where you can probably eat as much salad as you want, with these vegetables you should limit yourself to one or two cups, depending on your carb requirement because they do have a few more carbs than the salad vegetables.

If you want to add tomato, peppers, mushrooms or green beans, you need to be aware that these contain even more carbs per serving, so if you are trying to stay very low carb it is probably best to indulge in them only occasionally.

Finally pumpkin, leeks, brussel sprouts, onions and carrots are on the higher end of the scale.  Adding a slice or two of onion or a few mushrooms to a recipe won't affect your carb count that much, but I would leave the rest of these until you are closer to your goal weight.

Unfortunately, that common staple on many dinner plates - peas - should be avoided completely until you can afford more carbs in your diet since it is right up their with starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes.  Pea pods on the other hand can be added to the other recommended hot vegetables to be used sparingly in something like a stir-fry.

Even though all of these vegetables are healthy and good for you in their own right, when your goal is to keep to a low carb diet, knowing where they fall on the scale will help you make the wisest choices when planning your menus or eating out.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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