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Low Sugar Low Carb Fruits and Vegetables

Updated on December 15, 2013

Carbs in fruits and vegetables

Within limits, carbohydrates have a vital duty in maintaining a healthy diet, because they provide your body with energy. If you’re monitoring your carb content each day to help you lose weight it’s useful to know which fruits and vegetables are low and high in carbohydrates.


Carb Content in Vegetables

Vegetables are divided into 4 groups depending which part of the plant they belong.

Leafy vegetables provide the lowest amount of carbohydrates. Most contain a huge amount of fiber that there is less effect on blood sugar levels. Lettuce, kale, herbs, chard and spinach belong to this group and are full of essentials nutrients and phytochemicals.

Stems and Flowers
These types of vegetables also contain a low carb count, but slightly higher than the amount present in leaves. Stem and flower veggies include broccoli, leek, fennel, cauliflower, water cress, rocket and asparagus.

The fruit of a plant is the part containing the seeds. Fruits provide an average amount of complex carbohydrates. Artichoke, squashes, marrow, lentils, green beans, okra and tomatoes belong to this group. Avocados can be considered a fruit for instance; however they do not provide carbohydrates unlike the other vegetables.

Roots provide the highest amount of carbs from these 4 groups. Beetroot, parsnips, sweet potatoes, shallot, yams, and white potatoes all fall into this group and have high levels of carbohydrates and starches. Garlic, celery root, jicama, onions, carrots and radishes are joining the root category as well, but they contain lower amounts of carbohydrates than the other vegetables mentioned.


Excellent List of Low Carb Veggies

This leafy vegetable is high in beta-carotene, vitamin K and iron. It is best for a diabetic diet. To get the best nutrition, buy it garden-fresh or frozen and avoid the precooked ones. Spinach is excellent for salads or in omelets.

Tomatoes are low carb and low calorie with just 31 calories per cup. Full of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Tomatoes contain lycopene a powerful anti-oxidant that helps defend against prostate cancer and other heart diseases. Eat tomatoes fresh or included in your meat and sauce recipes.

Broccoli is a low carb green, rich in vitamins A, C and D including calcium, fiber, and iron. Try to find the freshest broccoli the one with cabbagey odor and a dark green color. Broccoli doesn't keep well, use it within a day or two after you have bought it.

One cup of cucumber provides 5 grams of carbohydrates. Rich in vitamin K, potassium and vitamin C make cucumbers a nutritious snack food or salad. Include cucumbers in sandwiches or make them in-between-meal snacks.

This low-carb vegetable is full of phytochemicals, vitamin K and C, fiber, manganese, vitamin B6. In choosing the best cabbage pick the one with well-defined veins in their leaves, no spots and blemishes, has a compact, shiny, crispy leaves. Refrigerate these to keep them fresh.

Brussels sprouts
Not only is it very low in carbohydrates, brussel sprouts are good source of vitamins A and C, folic acid and fiber. It is even claimed that the nutrients inside brussel sprouts helps to combat certain cancers.

Although they are not on the most popular veggie lists, cauliflower is not to be left out because it is packed with vitamin C. One serving can give you more than half your daily need for vitamin C. Cauliflower can be eaten fresh or cooked. Cauliflower is best steam for steam and roast recipes.

Having only 26 calories and just 5 grams of carbohydrates per cup, asparagus is a superb low-carb option. These stalks are heavy in vitamins A and K. Buy bundles with shiny green stalks and compact heads. Remove the both ends before preparing and eating asparagus.


More Low Carb Veggies

Here are the second list of best low carb veggies not mentioned above.

  • Sprouts
  • Greens: kale, mustard greens, collard greens
  • Herbs: parsley, cilantro, cayyenne pepper, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, cinnammon, mustard seed, tumeric, garlic, black pepper, ginseng
  • Bok Choy
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Endive
  • Leeks
  • Sea vegetables
  • Wax Bean
  • Fennel
  • Zucchini
  • Kohlrabi
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Green onions
  • Snow peas
  • Radicchio
  • Tomatillos
  • Artichokes
  • Pumpkin
  • Rutabaga
  • Rhubarb
  • Radishes
  • Peppers


High Carb Vegetables

It is best to stay off from these starchy vegetables in case you are on a diet program.

  • Beets
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Gourd
  • Squashes
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Three-bean salad
  • Corn
  • Plantains
  • Swede
  • Water chestnuts


Low Carb Fruits

This one’s not just for anyone who eat low carb diet! If you enjoy sweets and always use Splenda, enjoy these selection of fruit as an alternative.

Berries – they’re all high in antioxidants and vitamins. These little fiber-rich fruits are the best, most nutritionally-dense fruit you can eat. Go for a half-cup to one cup every day. Remember these fruits, particularly strawberries and raspberries, they are great for grilled meats and in salads, so just do it and have fun!

All berry counts provided here are for 1/4 cup. These are reliable carb counts, with the fiber already removed .

  • Acai berry (1oz) - 4g
  • Backberries - 2.6g
  • Blueberries - 4.0g
  • Boysenberries - 12g
  • Cranberries - 2.1g
  • Currant - 4.1g
  • Elderberries - 4.2g
  • Goji berry (5Tbsp) - 21.2g
  • Gooseberries - 8.9g
  • Huckleberries (100g) - 7.8g
  • Loganberry (100g) – 8.1g
  • Pokeberry shoots - 1.2g
  • Raspberries - 1.4g
  • Salmonberry (100g) – 8.2g
  • Strawberries - 1.7g

Cherries are very much like berries when it comes to their detox busting value. They have a higher natural sugar content, but they’re extremely low-carb and are a very good source of essential fiber. Cherries are perfect with bacon, feta and vegetables; or try them smothered atop barbecues.

Apples are low in sugar and contain a really good amount of fiber. Although antioxidants aren't really abundant, apples (and pears) remain the best way to quench your a craving for sweets without threatening your pancreas.

Nearly all citrus fruits are high in sugar, but grapefruits are not. As a matter of fact, their effect on blood sugar level is lower than apples and pears at only 24. Just don’t spoil it by a sprinkling of sugar on top! Grapefruit is best in salads, especially when combined with avocado slices.

Apricot and Peaches
With the same nutritional value like apples and pears, these fruits are a great way to secure a good amount of vitamin C and fiber. Stay away from nectarines, which will surely spike your sugar level and are more similar to mangoes and papayas.


Fruits High in Sugar

Some low-carb articles will advise melons, however you really must keep an eye on which ones you’re looking for. Both cantaloupes and watermelons are extremely high in sugar. Try to make melons a rare treat.

Mangoes and Papayas
Though significantly less sugary as pineapples, these fruits should be appreciated rarely. A more rewarding choice is the banana, which even though starchy and have glycemic index of 56 is a better energy source.

Pineapple is a good source of bromelain, a pineapple extract that helps with joint health and inflammation. Pineapple is definitely high in sugar, but it’s loaded with essential nutrients besides bromelain, so treat yourself every once in awhile.


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    • Shanif Khan profile image

      Shanif Khan 2 days ago from India

      Thank you for providing this article on low-carb foods. I've also found some low-carb foods here:

    • profile image

      Carl 3 years ago

      Thanks for the nutritional value of the leafy green veggies.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      yr photos are great.