People new to the keto diet are often curious to know which carbs they should eat and which carbs they should avoid.
If you are just starting out on the keto diet and you don’t know already, you should not be consuming your typical carbs, to begin with. This means that any types of bread, pasta, oats and other similar complex carbs are out of the question. Eating any of these carbs in moderate amounts will likely throw your body out of ketosis which would defeat the purpose of the keto diet.
However, there are other keto friendly foods that in fact, do contain carbohydrates. These foods are ok to eat in moderation since they have relatively fewer carbohydrates, to begin with. These keto friendly foods include vegetables, nuts, and dairy products.
This post covers the best sources of carbs for the keto diet from the least carbohydrate-rich to most by category (vegetables, nuts, and dairy).
Vegetables are a critical part of a balanced keto diet. However, not all vegetables are created equally in terms of nutritional value and amount of carbohydrates. Eating too many of the wrong vegetables can throw your body out of ketosis. Listed below you can find the lowest carb vegetables, followed by the highest carb vegetables for the keto diet.
Of course, there are many other vegetables great for the keto diet aside from the ones on the list. However, these vegetables are some of the most nutritious and common vegetables that beginners can try out.
Zucchini- 3.0 grams of carbs per 100 grams
Zucchini is a great source of essential vitamins.
This vegetable is one of the highest in potassium making it a great food to reduce the risk of heart disease. Zucchini also may be an effective food for lowering your blood pressure given its high potassium content.
Since zucchini is one of the lowest carbohydrate vegetables it is great for the keto diet.
Zucchini can be baked, sautéed or cooked in a soup. There are hundreds of different styles of good zucchini dishes.
Spinach- 3.6 grams of carbs per 100 grams
Spinach is a great source of fiber that has numerous health benefits.
This vegetable has been known to reduce constipation, improve blood glucose control, reduce blood pressure, improve eyesight and lower the risk of cancer.
Of course, since spinach only contains 3.6 carbs per a 100-gram serving, spinach one of the best low carb choices for the keto diet.
Spinach can be prepared in many ways as it can be tossed in a salad, ground up into a dip, or blended into a sauce.
Asparagus- 4 grams of carbs per 100 grams
Asparagus is a great low calorie, high fiber choice of vegetable. It is a vegetable extremely high in antioxidants which can make it an effective anti-aging agent and perhaps an effective anti-inflammatory agent.
Given that its carbohydrate level is so low you don’t need to be very concerned about eating too much asparagus on a keto diet.
The most popular way to prepare asparagus is by oven roasting the vegetable. Of course, you can also make a keto friendly asparagus casserole or prepare bacon wrapped asparagus for additional protein and fats.
Broccoli- 7 grams of carbs per 100 grams
Broccoli is a superstar in the vegetable kingdom.
There are numerous studies that suggest that broccoli decreases the risk of obesity heart disease, diabetes. There is even evidence that regularly consuming broccoli and similar vegetables can lead to longer life.
This vegetable is still great for the keto diet, however, it does contain relatively more carbs than other vegetables. That being said, it would be advisable to not exclusively eat broccoli as your vegetable source.
Steamed broccoli is one of the most common ways to prepare the vegetable.
Kale- 10 grams of carbs per 100 grams serving
Kale is a super nutritious vegetable that comes in a couple different varieties.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are nutrients found in kale that give have been known to protect against cataracts and muscular degeneration making it a great vegetable to prevent aging.
This vegetable is a highly nutritious vegetable that is great for the keto diet but it does contain a significant amount of carbs relative to other vegetables.
Kale is often sautéed but given that many people dislike the taste of it, the flavor can be neutralized in a smoothie.
Nuts are an excellent source of proteins and fats making them excellent for a low carb or ketogenetic diet. However, they are typically higher in fat than vegetables so make sure that you are careful not to overdo it.
Hazelnuts- 17 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving
Hazelnuts are a great low carb snack that you can munch on while on a keto diet.
These amazing nuts are filled with powerful antioxidants to wipe out any damaging free radicals in the body to prevent illness and disease.
Many people prefer to eat hazelnuts straight. However, they are also great to put on salads and yogurt as well. Mix things up a bit!
Almonds- 22 grams of carbs per 100 gram serving
Almonds are one of the most popular nuts for keto diets.
Although they contain high levels of many vitamins and minerals, almonds are known for their relatively high levels of vitamin E. Just one ounce of almonds is reported to provide 37 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E.
Of course you can eat almonds straight up, however, many people enjoy eating shaved almonds over various dishes.
Cashews- 26 grams of carbs per 100 gram serving
Keto dieters love cashews mainly because they are such a good source of healthy fats.
Cashews and many other nuts can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Being naturally cholesterol free, these nuts contain cardiovascular supporting fiber, fat and protein.
Cashews are good to add into just about any salad. In addition, one of the most popular ways to incorporate cashews into your diet is by dishing up a stir-fry with cashews sprinkled on top.
Dairy products are an excellent source of additional proteins and fats. However, you should keep in mind that the bulk of your proteins should come from meat.
Cheder cheese- 1.3 grams of carbs per 100 grams
Who doesn’t love cheder cheese?
Cheder cheese and cheese, in general, is a great source of proteins and fats making this dairy product a keto dieters dream.
Although you shouldn’t solely eat cheese on the keto diet, cheese is an excellent muscle building food. It contains quality proteins to support muscle growth and doesn’t contain many carbs at all which makes it great for the keto diet.
You can use cheese to cook in a million different ways but one of the simplest ways to start out is by sprinkling cheese on eggs and meats for added flavor.
Milk (2 percent)- 4.6 grams of carbs per 100 grams serving
Milk is a healthy source of proteins and fats as well. Depending on your fat intake you can get fat free milk, whole milk or any milk in-between.
As you likely know, milk is one of the best sources of calcium. Drinking milk on a regular basis can keep your bones strong and healthy.
Of course, you can drink milk straight but milk is also a great ingredient for fruit smoothies or protein shakes.
Greek yogurt- 5 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving
Greek yogurt (plain) is good for one thing on the keto diet… proteins!
Simple, plain, Greek yogurt contains loads of good quality proteins. However, it does not really any fats at all. This makes it a great source of proteins if you are getting your fat from other sources.
You may eat Greek yogurt plain of course but Greek yogurt is also another great ingredient for smoothies or protein shakes as well.