Knowing how many carbs are in your vegetables is important for managing your carbohydrate intake. As you probably know by now, a diet that is low in carbohydrates is an essential component for optimizing your mental and physical health. Too many carbs (even complex) lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, unwanted weight gain and obesity, cancer, depression, anxiety disorders, hyperactivity, insomnia, candida overgrowth, SIBO, adrenal fatigue, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and dementia, alcoholism, drug addiction, sugar and carb addiction, compulsive overeating, PCOS, OCD, autoimmune disorders, and much more.
If you are following the Paleo diet as I hope you are, then your carbohydrate intake will just inherently be lower and healthier, and the average bear can consume most vegetables pretty freely. However, there are some vegetables that are high in carbs and individuals who have any of the aforementioned conditions or those who are following a ketogenic diet must be more stringent with their carb intake, so knowing which vegetables are high or low in carbohydrates is a vital ingredient for meal planning.
Please note that all the numbers I provide below in my list and chart are total carbs, not net carbs, and all foods are cooked unless stated otherwise; due to the fact that most of the conditions I mentioned earlier respond best when the majority of their foods are cooked rather than raw.
Contrary to popular belief, you should be counting total carbs, not net carbs. Calories can be acquired from soluble fiber. Soluble dietary fiber is fermented by bacteria into short-chain fatty acids that can be used in gluconeogenesis. One particular type of fatty acid (propionate) is converted into glucose, while another fatty acid (acetate) is partially converted to glucose, which means soluble fiber can contribute to the glucose load. Furthermore, the soluble fiber encourages the proliferation of bacteria if an overgrowth is involved conditions like SIBO. Soluble fiber can also disrupt ketosis if you’re trying to adhere to a ketogenic diet. Therefore, for our purposes, it is best to count total carbs.
If you replace a cup of cooked vegetable with a cup of raw vegetable, please note that the carb content would be lower or vice versa, because more vegetables are condensed into a cup of cooked vegetables than a cup of raw.
So here is a list of carbs for the most common vegetables presented from lowest to highest.
Vegetables Low in Carbs
- Radishes – 1 medium (raw) 0.2 grams
- Alfalfa sprouts – (raw) 1 cup 0.7 grams
- Lettuce – 1 cup (raw) 1 grams
- Celery – 1 stalk (raw) 1.2 grams
- Green onion/scallion – 1 large (raw) 1.8 grams
- Bok choy – 1 cup 3 grams
- Garlic – 3 cloves 3 grams
- Leeks – 1/2 cup 4 grams
- Zucchini – 1 cup 4.8 grams
- Tomato – 1 medium (raw) 4.8 grams
- Green bell peppers – 1 cup sauteed 4.8 grams
- Cauliflower – 1 cup 5.2 grams
- Celery – 1 cup 6 grams
- Mustard greens – 1 cup 6 grams
- Summer squash – 1 cup 6.8 grams
- Spinach – 1 cup 7 grams
- Kale – 1 cup 7 grams
- Swiss chard – 1 cup 7 grams
- Sweet red pepper – 1 cup sauteed 7 grams
- Spaghetti squash – 1 cup 7 grams
- Okra – 1 cup 7.2 grams
- Asparagus – 1 cup 7.4 grams
- Turnips – 1 cup 8 grams
- Green Cabbage – 1 cup 8.2 grams
- Eggplant – 1 cup 9 grams
- Green beans – 1 cup 10 grams
- Onion – 1 medium 10 grams
- Red cabbage – 1 cup shredded 10 grams
Medium Carb Vegetables
- Cucumber – 1 average (raw) 11 grams
- Collards – 1 cup 11 grams
- Jicama – 1 cup slices (raw) 11 grams
- Rutabagas – 1 cup 12 grams
- Pumpkin – 1 cup mashed 12 grams
- Broccoli – 1 cup 12 grams
- Carrot – 1 cup slices 12 grams
- Brussels sprouts – 1 cup 12 grams
- Artichokes – 1 medium 14 grams
- Tomato sauce – 1 cup 16 grams
- Beets – 1 cup 16 grams
High Carb Vegetables
- Butternut squash – 1 cup 22 grams
- Acorn squash – 1 cup 22 grams
- Sweet potato – 1 medium 24 grams
- Parsnips – 1 cup 26 grams
- Potato – 1 medium (baked) 37 grams
- Yam – 1 cup 37 grams
- Plantains – 1 cup slices 48 grams
Please note that avocados and olives are technically fruits, so you can find them in my list of carbs for fruits rather than this page. Although tomatoes are technically a fruit as well, I forgot to include them in my fruit chart so I have presented them here.
Below you will find a handy little chart depicting the carbs in vegetables presented above that you can print out for your convenience if you like.
If it is difficult for you to reduce your carb consumption because of cravings, then you may want to take a look at my toolkit for overcoming cravings.