Vegetables, especially low carb vegetables, are an important part of any healthy eating plan. They provide fiber as well as enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Vegetables are recommended on every diet (not only low carb ones!) so eat as much as you can for optimal health. Which ones to include and which to avoid? Typically vegetables low in carbs are the green leafy veggies. Some contain only 1 gram of carbs per 1 cup serving! Starchy vegetables like potatoes are significantly higher. Below is a list of vegetables with under 20 grams per serving. As you can see, lot of these veggies can be included even on the strictest low carb diet, so throw those low carb vegetables on your plate and eat up! Low Carb Vegetables Gram counts are approximate Vegetable Carb Grams Acorn squash 1/2 cup 15g Artichoke (1) 14g Asparagus - 4 spears cooked 4g Beets 1/2 cup 8g Brocolli 1/2 cup 2.6g Butternut Squash 1/2 cup 9g Cabbage 1/2 cup 4g Carrots 1 med 8g Cauliflower 1/2 cup 3g Celery 1 stalk 1.5g Collard Greens 1 cup 12g Corn 1/2 cup 16g Cucumber 1/2 3g Eggplant 1 cup 7g Endive 1/2 cup 1g Green Beans 1/2 cup 5g Kale 1 cup 7g Lettuce 1 cup 1g Mushrooms 1 cup 4g Onion 1/4 cup 3g Parsnips 1/2 cup 15g Peas 1/2 cup 10g Peppers 1/2 cup 5g Pumpkin 1/2 cup 10g Radishes 1 cup 4g Spinach 1 cup 1g Tomatoe 1 small 5g Zucchini 1 small 6g Most vegetables are included in this list. But what about my favorite - potatoes? Definately NOT low carb, potatoes weigh in at around 30g of carbs per 1 cup serving. Sweet pototoes are a whopping 44 grams of carbs for each baked with skin. And French Fries? 33 Grams of carbs per 4 oz serving. Interesting in tracking your carb intake? Now that you have the scoop on what veggies you can add to your diet, you may want to make sure you are not overeating by using some tools that track your carb intake, your weight and have food lists. For customized diet plans, menus and trackers why not try they offer customized low carb plans so you can make sure you don't overdo it with carbs. Or, if you don't want to be tied down to a PC, try a handheld tracker that fits in your pocket! Health Benefits of Low Carb Vegetables Vegetables, especially when eaten raw, have numerous health benefits. It has been estimated that eating at least 5 portions a day of vegetables can reduce the risk of death from chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer by up to 20%. In 1998, the Department of Health's Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy and Nutrition in the UK concluded that eating more vegetables and fruits would reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and gastric cancer. There was also evidence that breast cancer could be reduced by higher consumption of vegetables and fruits. Research also suggests that eating more fruits and vegetables may have other benefits such as delaying the development of cataracts, lessening the symptoms of asthma and helping to improve diabetes. Why are Vegetables so beneficial to health? As well as vitamins and minerals, vegetables also contain many complex plant components. Some of these are also antioxidants, destroying free radicals in the body. And as we've all heard, free radicals are thought to have a role in the development of cancer so if eating vegetables helps to destroy them then that is very beneficial to your health! Do you need to eat low carb vegetables if you take vitamins? Apparently the benefits of vegetables and fruits come from the combination of the components that the food is made up of. Dietary supplements containing vitamins and minerals do not appear to have the same results as eating the low carb vegetables themselves. In some studies the supplements have caused more harm then good. I'm not recommending that you toss out your supplements but don't use them as a substitute for getting your RDA of low carb vegetables. How many low carb vegetables should I eat a day? Current recommendations are that you should include 3 to 5 servings of vegetables (preferably green leafy veggies like the ones in the low carb vegetables list above) a day. One serving is 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables, 1/2 cup cooked or chopped raw other vegetables and 3/4 cup vegetable juice. But since vegetables are so good for you it won't hurt to eat more than 5 servings! Low carb vegetables are a must for any healthy eating program. It's easy fit them into most meals! How about a healthy salad with low carb vegetables such as lettuce and cucumber? Or include vegetables right in with your eggs for breakfast. And don't forget healthy low carb vegetables like broccoli and zucchini in your Chicken Stir Fry. While you're at it, try my Low Carb Taco Salad recipe that includes low carb vegetables like Lettuce and Tomato. Or if you are in the mood for some comfort foods, try making some Potatoe-less Mashed Potatoes made with the tasty low carb vegetable - cauliflower! It's easy to work vegetables into your snacks too. Try having a bit of celery with cottage cheese or lite cheese. How about cucumber chips with dip? If you use your imagination you integrate low carb vegetables into all your meals and easily eat the recommended 5 serving per day. Just make sure to stay away from the starchy vegetables to keep your carb consumption to a minimum. Low carb vegetables are tasty, easy to buy and good for you! It's easy to see why the USDA recommends vegetables as part of the basic food groups.