Are you trying the keto diet but aren’t sure what keto-friendly foods you can eat? Luckily, there are quite a few keto-friendly fruits and vegetables that can be consumed regularly in the keto diet. Read on to learn our recommendations for the top 10 best keto friendly fruits and vegetables.
What is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet has been touted for its many benefits, including helping with weight loss and reducing inflammation. This high-fat, low carb diet forces your body to use different types of fuel for energy. Rather than using glucose from carbs to produce energy, your body uses energy from fat which puts the body in a metabolic state called ketosis. To achieve ketosis, the keto diet requires limited carb consumption, along with high fat and moderate protein amounts. This means that many high-carb fruits and starchy vegetables are off-limits.
To achieve ketosis and maximize its health benefits, the keto diet mandates a restriction on carb consumption. This means making sure you are eating only keto friendly food, and consuming about 25-30 net carbs per day, which is calculated by subtracting the amount of fiber from the net carbs in a specific food. While this means that some fruits like apples, bananas, pineapples and mangoes are off limits, the good news is that there are some delicious keto friendly fruits that you can eat on the keto diet. Likewise, while some high starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and beets are to be avoided, there is an abundance of keto-friendly veggie options that can be enjoyed on the keto diet.
Top Ten Keto Friendly Fruits and Vegetables
These keto-friendly fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, micronutrients and antioxidants that can keep you healthy and prevent chronic disease. Plus they taste delicious, so go ahead and enjoy these keto-friendly foods!
Keto Friendly Vegetables
Arugula is not only great in a salad, but this keto friendly food is also packed with vitamins and minerals such as calcium, fiber, potassium and vitamin K. Arugula is also high in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and protect against illness. 100 grams of arugula (which is about 5 cups) contains around 2 net carbs, making this healthy green a keto friendly addition to your daily diet.
Broccoli is another keto-friendly vegetable that contains lots of super good for you nutrients. And broccoli has more protein than most other veggies, with a high dose of fiber. Broccoli is also rich in a sulfur rich compound, sulforaphane, which increases the body’s “killer cells” that fight against pathogens that enter the body. The total carb content of broccoli is very low, with only 3.5 grams of net carbs per cup.
We all know that kale is good for us, and you can rest assured that kale is good on the keto diet as well! Kale comes in a lot of different varieties including curly kale, lacinato (Italian kale) and red kale. All of these nutrient dense varieties provide healthy amounts of antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals. Kale also actually contains healthy omega-3 fatty acid (alpha linolenic-acid), which can help lower cholesterol and risk for heart disease. All the different varieties of kale are keto friendly, with net carbs varying depending on how you cook your kale. One cup of raw kale has less than 1 gram net carb, while a cup of cooked kale has 1.53 net carbs.
4. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are yet another keto-friendly and healthy vegetable that you can eat on the keto diet. Bell peppers contain large amounts of Vitamin A and C that both work to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Red bell peppers actually contain more Vitamin C than citrus fruits as well as antioxidants such as capsanthin and quercetin, which are both helpful in preventing chronic illness. Green peppers are the most keto friendly, as they contain the lowest amount of carbs (around 2.9 grams per 100 gram serving), and red and yellow come in a little higher with 3.9 net carbs per 100 gram serving.
Garlic has been used for centuries as a remedy to help fight a variety of illnesses, from coughs to skin disease. (Even the ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates was a fan of garlic’s healing properties.) The active compounds in garlic are helpful in preventing the common cold, the flu, and other unwelcome sicknesses. Another benefit of garlic is that it contains anti-viral properties that help to reduce symptoms and minimize the length of an illness. Garlic is keto friendly and a great superfood to include in your daily diet. 1 clove of garlic contains less than 1 net gram of net carbs, so feel free to use a generous amount of keto-friendly food in your recipes.
Keto Friendly Fruit
Berries are an excellent source of important nutrients such as Vitamin C, folate, and fiber. Making sure you get enough Vitamin C is key to the proper functioning of the immune system. Additionally, Vitamin C is essential for the growth, development and repair of body tissues. Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are the most keto friendly, with about 3-4 net grams per one half cup. Blueberries are a little higher on the net carb count. Limit your portion to ½ cup of fresh berries (no dried berries and pie filling doesn’t count!).
Tomatoes are another rich source of Vitamin C, which helps to strengthen our immune system. Additionally, tomatoes are full of antioxidants, specifically lycopene, which has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. 3.5 ounces of tomatoes contain around 2-3 grams net carbs, so feel free to include 1-2 tomatoes daily in your keto diet. Raw tomatoes are your best bet, as many store bought tomato products such as canned tomatoes, tomato sauce or tomato paste can contain added sugars.
Due to their high fat content and low net carbs, avocados are a staple of the keto diet.These keto-friendly fruits provide 6% of the recommended amount of Vitamin B6, which aids in the creation of antibodies that protect against bacteria and viruses in the body. Avocados also contain unsaturated fat which helps to increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, and E. One avocado contains just 2.8 net carbs, and avocado oil contains 0 net carbs.
While you might not think of lemons as a fruit, lemons are a healthy citrus fruit that can be part of your keto diet. Lemons are a great source of immune boosting vitamin C, but they also have half the amount of calories and sugar than other sources of vitamin C. Additionally lemons are high in potassium, vitamin B2, and pectin, which is a healthy fiber. The juice of one lemon has about 3 grams of net carbs.
Not only does it taste delicious, but cantaloupe is filled with antioxidants and high in fiber, potassium and vitamin C. One cup of cantaloupe contains around 11 net carbs, making it the most carb-rich fruit on this list, so make sure to keep this in mind as you monitor your carb intake.