Vegetables fit very well into the keto lifestyle. They are an excellent fat delivery food and are quite low in carbs. There are still some simple guidelines that you will need to follow, but it will be easier to figure out which vegetables to eat than which fruits to eat.
Let’s get started
There are really just two guidelines to follow when it comes to vegetables:
1) stick to the vegetables that grow above ground
2) stick to the green, leafy vegetables.
Vegetables that grow above ground tend to have fewer carbs than those below ground. They are also rich in fibre, so the net carbs you are consuming (carbs subtract fibre) are excellent.
Also, the green, leafy vegetables tend to be the lowest in carbs, so just eat as much as you want.
Fat Delivery Food
Vegetables can be a great way to get those good fats into your system. Put lots of butter on your veggies, or lots of olive oil on your salad. Not only will they taste better, you will be consuming more good fats, will help you stay in ketosis (burning fat for energy).
You can also saute’ your vegetables in butter, or coconut oil or lard or avocado oil for a delicious taste.
Since dairy is a great source of good fats, you can make a cheesy sauce for your vegetables with heavy cream and melted cheese. Yum!
Dipping your veggies in salad dressing (low in sugar, please!) or sour cream based chip dip is another way of getting good fats into your system.
Best Veggies for a Keto Lifestyle
There are lots of really good vegetables. For the keto lifestyle, the leafy types of veggies are great: lettuce, spinach, etc. Also, green vegetables are lower in carbs than coloured vegetables, so stick to the green bell peppers and the green cabbage, only having the red and yellow peppers and purple cabbage once in a while.
Some of my favourite are cauliflower, avocado, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, kale, green beans, zucchini, and brussel sprouts.
Also, even though tomatoes are technically a fruit, they can be eaten in a keto lifestyle. Just use caution and don’t over do it, since they are higher in carbs than some other veggies.
Remember, bacon is your friend! One of my favourite recipes is to cut the brussel sprouts in half, season with some salt, pepper and garlic powder, put bacon on top of them on a cookie sheet, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, turning or stirring once if desired. Nice and crispy and delicious!
Don’t forget about celery, carrots, and cucumbers. They are a great snack in the middle of the afternoon, and if you dip them in sour cream (not low fat, please!) they are very tasty!
What about beans, peas, lentils, quinoa, and corn?
As with all things in life, it’s not what you do once in a while, it’s what you do most of the time. So, even though they all grow above the ground, in the Keto world, they are considered grains, not vegetables. Just like wheat. They are all fairly high in carbs and should be avoided if we are trying to keep our carb consumption below 30 grams a day.
Remember, the grains will be digested as glucose and will raise our blood sugar, causing us to feel hungry in short order. Avoid these and anything made with wheat, even whole grains, in order to stay in ketosis.
The good, the bad, and the yummy!
AS I promised, vegetable consumption is much more simple than fruit consumption. Eat what grows above the ground, is leafy, and is green. Cook it a little in good fats (coconut oil, olive oil, or lard) and cover with butter.
Avoid the vegetables that grow under the ground (potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, onions, parsnips, etc. and remember that some foods that we thought of as vegetables, are actually grains (corn, peas, lentils, etc) and need to be avoided along with actual grain, whole or not, as the carb count is too high and they will be digested as glucose.
Simple. I hope this helps.
If you have any questions, please be sure to send them along.
I’ll see you in the next post!
Have a great day!