Q:

Are vegetables a good option for people looking to lower their carb intake?

A:

Quick Answer

Certain groups of vegetables, such as leafy greens, are low in carbohydrates, while others such as potatoes have high starch contents. Vegetables are often recommended as a part of a low-carbohydrate diet for their high levels of nutrients per calorie.

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Are vegetables a good option for people looking to lower their carb intake?
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Full Answer

Leaves, stems, and flowers are vegetables that are highly recommended for those on a low-carbohydrate diet as they contain high levels of nutrients and few calories. Leaves are especially useful, as they have high levels of phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins. In addition, high levels of fiber in these vegetables keep them from being rapidly digested and prevents rapid spikes in blood sugar. Examples of these vegetables include chard, spinach, lettuces, herbs, mushrooms, broccoli and asparagus.

Fruits and roots are other classes of vegetables that have higher ratios of carbohydrates to nutrients. Many of these vegetables are composed of starches or complex carbohydrates, and thus do not have significant effects on blood sugar. Nonetheless, they may contain more than the daily amount of carbohydrates for individuals on a low-carb diet. These food include tomatoes, peppers, okra, yams, potatoes and parsnips. Certain vegetables are outliers to these classifications and may be consumed as part of a low-carb diet. Avocados are recommended for their low carbohydrate content but are high in fat. Roots such as carrots and celery may be eaten as they do not contain much starch.

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