When you're looking to cut carbs, veggies are your best bet. High in fibre and flavour, low in carbs and fat, vegetables are also a natural way to improve your health while watching your carbohydrate intake.
Want to get the most out of your low-carb veggies? With a little knowledge and ingenuity, you can eat low-carb and have a tasty, varied diet too. Here's how:
Check the fibre
You may already know that you can subtract the fibre from your food's carbohydrate count. Unless you are sensitive to fibre, your body doesn't process it; if your food has more than 5 grams of fibre per serving, subtract the entire fibre content from the number of carbohydrates to find out what you're really getting.
For example, if your food has 28 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of fibre per serving, you're only processing 22 fibre grams.
Vegetables are famously high in fibre and low in carbs -- as long as you choose wisely. Avocado (technically a fruit) is your best choice, with 17 grams of carbs and 11 grams of fibre. Also try artichokes, beans, broccoli and leafy greens.
When you're trying to lose weight, your options can sometimes seem limited. But lifetime veggie lovers know there are tons of interesting flavours in the vegetable realm.
For example, miner's lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata), pictured here, is a native green in Western states. It's got more flavour than lettuce, and more nutrition -- plus, it dresses up any salad.
Take your next chance to go to a farmer's market and talk to the growers about their crops. Ask them what tastes best, what's in season, and how they prepare it. You might pick up some new favourite foods and recipes.
Try roasting your veggies with plenty of spices, making veggie kebabs, chopping up a slaw-style salad and mixing new flavours.
Low-carb veggie list
Here's a general list of vegetables that are low-carbohydrate (all the veggies listed have 10 net carbs or less) and high in fibre: Artichoke Arugula Asparagus Avocado Bell Peppers Bok Choy Broccoli/Broccoli Rabe Cabbage Cauliflower Celery Chard Corn Cucumber Daikon Edamame Eggplant Endive Fennel Green Beans Hearts of Palm Jicama Kale Lettuce Mushrooms (most varieties) Okra Onion Peas (Green, Snow, Sugar Snap) Pumpkin Radicchio Radishes Rhubarb Spinach Squash (some varieties) Tomatoes Turnips Zucchini