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Which vegetables on keto are worth eating and which ones to avoid?

Which vegetables can and should be eaten on a ketogenic diet? What is their role? Which foods to bet on during keto adaptation? What are the benefits of combining vegetables with fat? Be sure to read the article below and find out the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Many people think that the ketogenic diet is all about meat, fish and fat in various forms. However, we should also eat a variety of vegetables. On a ketogenic diet, you need to provide your body with small doses of carbohydrates, mainly to prevent blood glucose spikes and a rise in insulin levels. Among other things, healthy carbohydrates can be found in vegetables – especially green ones.

Why are vegetables on the keto diet so important?

Vegetables are a source of many nutrients, minerals and fibre needed for the body to function properly.

Many people make the mistake and avoid vegetables altogether when on a ketogenic diet. By doing so, they forgo the supply of fibre to the body, which is very beneficial to health, especially to the digestive system. Fibre is so important because it has been proven to reduce body fat stores, help control diabetes, increase insulin sensitivity, reduce the risk of heart disease, also increase the feeling of satiety and promote the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system. In addition, ketogenic short-chain fatty acids are produced in our intestines during the fermentation of fibre.

Which Vegetables for a keto adaptation?

The keto diet is a low-carbohydrate diet, the main idea of which is to significantly reduce carbohydrates and establish fats as the main source of energy. In order to enter a state of ketosis, the process of obtaining energy from fat, we should not exceed the recommended amount of carbohydrates in our food intake per day. This leads to the fact that already in the initial phase of the ketogenic diet, which lasts 2-4 weeks, we need to limit certain foods, especially those high in carbohydrates. There are two ways to undergo keto adaptation – gradual or drastic reduction of carbohydrate intake. It is definitely healthier and more beneficial to gradually give up high-carbohydrate foods.

What is worth emphasising is that if you want to start a ketogenic diet properly, you should absolutely not give up vegetables, especially those low in carbohydrates. They will help the body to function properly and make it easier to get through the initial, difficult process of the diet. Fresh foods rich in water – tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, spinach or broccoli – are great during the keto adaptation period. A good option is to add MCT oil to these vegetables, which will make it easier to reach a state of ketosis and support the production of ketone bodies.

Which NA keto vegetables are prohibited?

In following a ketogenic diet, those vegetables that are high in starch should be avoided in particular. Root vegetables, among others, are inadvisable because they have a lot of sugar in them, which is not desirable on a keto diet.

Vegetables banned on the keto diet are:

  • potatoes (both regular and sweet varieties, including yams),
  • legumes,
  • beet,
  • parsnips,
  • cassava,
  • turnips.

Can you eat carrots on keto?

Although carrots are widely regarded as a healthy addition to the diet, they will not work well on a ketogenic diet due to their carbohydrates. There are approximately 9g of carbohydrates in 100g of carrots, which is much higher than in other vegetables. Furthermore, although cooking carrots does not affect the carbohydrate content, it does increase the glycaemic index of this vegetable, and this negatively affects the ketogenic diet. Therefore, the consumption of carrots is acceptable, but in limited quantities – a maximum of 100 g per day. Only then can we be sure to remain in a state of ketosis and thus meet our goals.

How much is 100g of a vegetable?

When planning menus on a ketogenic diet, the distribution of macronutrients should be planned meticulously, paying particular attention to the net carbohydrate content of individual products. How not to get it wrong? As the amount of carbohydrate is often quoted per 100 grams of product, it is useful to know how much is 100 g of vegetable. For example, a large pepper, stripped of inedible parts, weighs about 230g, so 100g will be less than half a pepper. Spinach and broccoli are best measured by the glass. 100 g of spinach is about two cups of fresh leaves. In contrast, to find out how much 100 g of broccoli is, fill a glass to the tip with chopped florets. 100 g of olives is about 40 pieces (without seeds).

Vegetables allowed on a ketogenic diet

What vegetables can we safely eat on the keto diet? It turns out that the list of allowed vegetables is very extensive. The best vegetables are those that facilitate a state of ketosis and have a positive effect on the production of ketone bodies. In addition, they should be vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals essential for any reduction diet, including the ketogenic diet. Vegetables allowed are primarily:

  • Avocado – rich in Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9 fatty acids and contains a lot of potassium, which regulates and is good for blood pressure. Provides us with vitamins A, C, E, i.e. powerful antioxidants that have anti-cancer effects. It has a beneficial effect on the condition of the eyes. Avocado, through its fatty acid content, is an ideal complement to a ketogenic diet.
  • Aubergine – helps to keep blood cholesterol at the desired level due to its fibre content, which is very necessary on a ketogenic diet. It is very low in calories as it consists of 90% water.
  • Broccoli – rich in fibre and in vitamins K, C, E and A. It has anti-cancer properties. It is an ideal base for keto casseroles.
  • Brussels sprouts – has anti-cancer effects, both at the stage of formation and development of cancerous lesions. It is a source of folic acid. It influences the quality of sperm – among other things, it increases sperm motility. Brussels sprouts have antibacterial, analgesic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Onions – are a source of many B vitamins (which play a key role in metabolism) and minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. It is low in calories. This vegetable is particularly rich in vitamin C which has a significant impact on immunity, but also on collagen production and tissue repair.
  • Courgette – is a low-calorie and easily digestible vegetable, which is an ideal combination for the keto diet. It contains a lot of vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C and many minerals such as phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium and iodine. Courgette is also desirable in an anti-cancer diet.
  • Garlic – a natural antibiotic. It supports the body’s immune system and has anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects. Garlic contains numerous nutrients: vitamins A, B1, B2, C, PP, flavonoids, amino acids, mucous compounds, in addition to mineral salts, and rare elements such as nickel, chromium, cobalt. Garlic has a rejuvenating effect, as it fights free radicals and also prevents their formation.
  • Pumpkin – a low-starch vegetable that contains only 6g of net carbohydrates per 100g. By its structure, a very versatile vegetable that will be a great addition to a ketogenic diet. Rich in antioxidant vitamins, especially A, C and E. It has a lot of minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium and selenium. In addition, pumpkin contains protein and fibre.
  • Fennel – a.k.a. fennel, is low in carbohydrates and is particularly beneficial for women’s health. It not only promotes weight loss, but also helps with sleep problems and combats the negative effects of menopause.
  • Cauliflower – rich in sodium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Cauliflower is a source of many antioxidants, such as vitamin A, C, E. It can protect against ulcers and cancer. It can also be served sweet in the form of keto cauliflower oatmeal.
  • Kohlrabi – a low-calorie source of fibre, which is very important for a keto diet. It provides us with many vitamins: A, C, E, as well as B vitamins. Has fungicidal and antibacterial effects. Great for eyesight. Like green vegetables, kohlrabi has anti-cancer properties.
  • Cabbage – has antibacterial, antioxidant, cleansing, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antiseptic, healing, anti-ulcer, tonic and regenerative properties of the body.Excellent for strengthening immunity. It is low in calories and lowers blood sugar levels, which accelerates entry into ketosis.
  • Cucumber – accelerates the process of removing toxins and consists of 96% water. The ingredients it contains reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Olives – are ideal for ketogenic diets due to their healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and increase good cholesterol levels. Olives are a source of antioxidants and vitamins. They benefit our health and beauty, are a natural probiotic and also regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Tomato – is a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals. Tomatoes are full of antioxidants, improve immunity, accelerate wound healing. They have a beneficial effect on sleep and mood. Tomatoes, due to their high water content, are great for a keto diet.
  • Peppers – have a low amount of carbohydrates and can safely be included in the daily menu of a ketogenic diet. In addition, it contains a lot of water and fibre, which has a positive impact on the weight loss process.
  • Leek – prevents atherosclerosis and inhibits inflammation. It is an excellent deacidifier of the body. It can have a detoxifying effect. Consuming enough leek reduces the risk of stroke. Leek poultices are ideal for people suffering from rheumatological problems.
  • Celery – low in calories, reduces inflammation and lowers blood pressure. Celery is rich in quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that increases glucose uptake in the liver and stimulates insulin secretion, thus promoting ketosis.
  • Asparagus – speeds up metabolism. They help with irritable bowel syndrome and are also rich in magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus.
  • Green leafy vegetables (lettuce, kale, lamb’s lettuce, rocket, spinach, botanical leaves) – rich in lutein, which is good for the eyesight. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and K, potassium and folic acid. Green leafy vegetables soothe the nerves and help to cope with stress. They are very strong detoxifiers for the body. They are low in calories and can relieve inflammation. They support the liver. They are an ideal base for keto salads.
  • Green peas – although legumes usually contain quite high amounts of carbohydrates, green peas can be used in small amounts in a daily keto diet due to their positive effects on building and repairing cell tissue. In addition, it is a valuable source of vitamins and folic acid.
  • Mushrooms – although not a vegetable, they are worth including in the daily keto diet – and not only for taste reasons. They provide our bodies with B vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins, namely vit. A, D and E, as well as small amounts of vitamin C. They are also a valuable source of minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. They are low in calories and will blend perfectly into the diet, giving keto dishes a deep flavour and aroma.

As you can see, the choice of vegetables allowed on the keto diet is considerable. The vegetables that are not allowed are much fewer.

They are worth eating not only for health and to maintain a state of ketosis, but also to add variety to the keto menu. Furthermore, it is a good idea to combine vegetables with fats in a ketogenic diet. It is best to choose keto diet-friendly oils such as coconut oil, palm oil, flaxseed oil or extra virgin olive oil. Not only do they increase energy levels, but they also reduce hunger and have antibacterial and antiviral effects.

In addition, they will improve and add flavour to our keto dishes, such as:

  • keto shakshuka,
  • broccoli and cheese casserole,
  • salmon salad,
  • omelette with avocado and camembert.

Where can I find more inspiration for using vegetables on the keto diet?

You can find more inspiration and ideas on how to incorporate vegetables into a ketogenic diet and in what quantities to use them in our recipe section. You can also enjoy BeKeto catering, which is sure to solve many of your keto vegetable selection dilemmas. And it’s delicious too!

What OTHER foods are worth eating on keto?

If you’re wondering about additional ingredients, we encourage you to take a deeper look at our list of keto products. This will allow you to compose varied and appetising meals that will contribute to your health goals.

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