Vegetables You Should Avoid If You're On The Keto Diet

If you're trying to eat a keto diet — consuming only 20 to 50 grams of net carbohydrates each day — it can be tricky to deal with vegetables. Of course, vegetables are a staple in any healthy diet, and shouldn't be avoided. But certain vegetables have a higher carb count than others, so it's important to know what you're eating if you're hoping to remain in ketosis, where your body has shifted to primarily burning fat as fuel.

While most vegetables have low net carbs once fiber grams are subtracted, most root vegetables are still quite high in carbohydrates. The Atkins Diet — a diet similar to the keto diet — lists potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, peas, corn, artichokes, beets, beans, and parsnips as high-carb vegetables that should be avoided or eaten in moderation. Even onions can be high-carb if eaten in high enough quantities. And anytime vegetables are found in a soup or casserole, it's important to consider additive ingredients like sauces that may increase the carbohydrate count (via Atkins).

What vegetables should you eat on the keto diet?

The easiest vegetables to consume on the keto diet are dark leafy greens. They give you the best bang for your nutritional buck, since they're full of critical micronutrients but contain extremely low amounts of carbohydrates. Leafy greens contain vitamins A, C, and K as well as iron, and fibrous vegetables in general are critical for maintaining optimal gut health and digestion. And some vegetables, like cauliflower, can be used in place of old high-carb favorites: cauliflower can be mashed to taste similar to mashed potatoes, or can be finely chopped to emulate rice (via

It's important to remember, though, that even if foods aren't keto-friendly, they are still healthy, and if you're not on an extremely low carb diet, they're great additions to meals. Even on a relatively low-carb diet, they might be great substitutions for more carbohydrate-based options like grains or rice.