Trying a low-carb diet? Especially if you're diabetic, trying the Atkins diet, or just trying to reduce your carb intake overall, these healthy vegetables — none serving up more than 5 grams of carbohydrates per cup — need to be in your fridge and meal plan. And yes, many of them are leafy salad greens (they're as low-carb as veggies come!), but you might be surprised to find crunchy peppers, califlower, and radishes rounding out the list as well.
This article was originally published on dLife.com—a website dedicated to helping people with diabetes live happier and healthier lives—as "Lowest Carb Veggies," and is reposted with permission from the author.
Also on Z Living: A Low-Carb Or Low-Fat Diet, Which One’s Better To Lose Weight?
The Top 10 Lowest Carb Vegetables
One cup of arugula contains 1g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Arugula is rich in phytonutrients, which may reduce the risk of several kinds of cancers, including breast, stomach, and colon.
One cup of shredded romaine lettuce contains 1.5g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which work together to prevent the oxidization of cholesterol. It is also rich in potassium, which has been shown to lower blood pressure. This makes romaine a heart-healthy vegetable.
One cup of shredded iceberg lettuce contains 2g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Iceberg lettuce is an excellent source of potassium, which has been shown to lower blood pressure, and manganese, which is essential for bone health and may help regulate blood sugar levels. It is also a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Two medium stalks of celery contains 2.5g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Celery is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also rich with nutrients such as phthalides, which may lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and coumarins, which may protect against some forms of cancer by preventing damage from free radicals.
One-half cup of sliced yellow pepper contains 3g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Yellow peppers are a good source of vitamins C and A, two powerful antioxidants, and vitamin K. It is rich in folic acid, which helps lower levels of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine can contribute to heart disease, stroke, dementia, and peripheral vascular disease.
One cup of sliced cucumber contains 4g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: The flesh of a cucumber is mostly water but also contains vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling. The skin is rich in fiber, magnesium, and potassium — a combination that may help lower blood pressure.
One cup of raw sliced white mushrooms contains 4g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Mushrooms are extremely dense with nutrients, including selenium, a trace mineral that may help fight cancer. They are also rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and may help prevent cardiovascular disease.
One cup of sliced raw radishes contains 4g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Radishes are an excellent source of vitamin C and calcium. Like other cruciferous veggies, they are thought to have cancer fighting properties, and have been used as medicinal food for liver disorders.
One cup of sliced green peppers contains 4g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Green peppers are a great source of vitamins C and A, and vitamin K, which is essential for bone health. The folic acid found in green peppers can reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that damages blood vessels and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
One cup of cooked cauliflower contains 5g of carbs.
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WHY EAT IT: Cauliflower is a potent cancer fighter. It provides special nutrient support to the body's detox, antioxidant, and inflammatory systems — all of which are connected to cancer development. With 6 grams of fiber (and only 50 calories) in 2 cups of raw cauliflower, it also comes with all the benefits of fiber foods.
Ready to explore more healthy, low-carb food options? Don't miss these articles:
where each week two chefs face off in a competition to give one family's high-calorie recipe a new low-calorie twist. Watch a sneak peek here.
Tell us in the comments: What other low-carb vegetables do you regularly add to your meals?