Incorporating low carb fruits and vegetables into your meal plan can help you stick to your low carb goals while also receiving essential vitamins.

Getting enough fruits and vegetables each day can be a challenge for some, but we all know it’s important.

Not only do fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that support our bodies’ daily functions, but research has shown that these foods can help reduce the risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases.

In addition to conveying these health benefits, fresh fruits and vegetables are generally low in fat and calories, which may make them an appealing choice for people watching their weight. However, some dieters may be wary of them if they’re trying to cut carbs.

Although fruits and vegetables do contain carbohydrates, that’s no reason to leave them off your plate. Fruits and veggies contain varying amounts of carbs, so choosing the right ones, in the right amounts, means you can enjoy the health benefits of these delicious and versatile foods while you cut carbs.

Read on for our lists of the best low carb fruits and vegetables to incorporate into your healthy low carb eating plan.

Some low carb diets specifically say to avoid fruit, at least for a certain part of the diet. This is because fruit tends to have a higher carbohydrate content than most vegetables, due to its higher amount of naturally occurring sugars.

If your doctor has recommended that you avoid sugar, or fructose in particular, you should follow your doctor’s instructions. But if not, you can likely find a way to fit fruit into your low carb diet.

Here’s our list of the best low carb fruits.

1. Watermelon

This quintessential fruit of summer scores lowest in carbohydrate content, packing only 7.55 g per 100 g of fruit. It’s low in fiber, so most of this carbohydrate is absorbed. Watermelon is a source of vitamin A and has a high water content, which will fill you up while providing fewer calories. Even the rind has health benefits!

2. Berries

Berries are a popular choice for people watching their carb intake. Strawberries have the fewest carbs of all types of berries, while blackberries have the fewest net carbs.

For each 100 g of strawberries, you’ll get 7.68 g of carbohydrates and 2 g of fiber, yielding a net of 5.68 g of carbohydrates.

For each 100 g of blackberries, you’ll get 9.61 g of carbohydrates, but 5.3 g of fiber, netting only 4.31 g.

Raspberries are also an excellent choice, as they net only 5.44 g of carbohydrates per 100 g serving. They’re also a source of antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C among many other nutrients. And they contain phytochemicals, which are compounds that may prevent certain chronic diseases.

What does “net carbs” mean?

Some types of fruit have fewer carbs per standard serving, mostly due to their higher water, or have fewer absorbable carbohydrates due to their high fiber content. These absorbable carbs are often referred to as net carbs.

Fiber is a carbohydrate, but it’s one that your body can’t absorb, so it doesn’t affect your blood sugar like other carbohydrates do. So some people consider net carbs more important than total carbs.

To obtain a food’s net carb value, simply subtract the grams (g) of fiber it contains from its total carbohydrates.

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3. Cantaloupe

This popular orange melon is great on a hot summer day and contains only 8.16 g of carbohydrates and 0.9 g of fiber per 100 g of fruit, netting only 7.26 g of carbohydrates.

Melons are also considered to be low-fructose fruits. Some people like to eat cantaloupe or honeydew with tuna salad. Try blending cantaloupe with lime, mint, and water to make a refreshing agua fresca.

4. Avocados

Yes, avocados are a fruit, and they have relatively low carbohydrate content to boot. For each 100 g of avocado, you’ll get an estimated 8.53 g of carbohydrates and 6.7 g of fiber, netting only 1.83 g of carbohydrates!

In addition, that serving of avocado will give you healthy monounsaturated fats, which are known to be good for heart health. Slice avocado on top of a salad or wrap, make an avocado tomato salad, or serve it with boiled eggs. Learn 16 more reasons why you don’t want to miss out on avocados.

5. Honeydew

Honeydew, another melon, comes in at 9.09 g of carbohydrates and 0.8 g of fiber for every 100 g, netting 8.29 g of carbohydrates. It’s also a source of vitamin C as well as potassium, an electrolyte you need to maintain good blood pressure, pH balance, and a healthy metabolism.

Try prosciutto-wrapped honeydew melon balls for a sweet-and-salty appetizer.

6. Peaches

A sweet and juicy treat, peaches surprisingly don’t have too many carbohydrates. For every 100 g of fruit, you’ll get 10.1 g of carbs and 1.5 g of fiber, netting only 8.6 g of carbohydrates. For a low carb snack, serve them up with some cottage cheese.

Vegetables get less of a bad rap than fruits do when it comes to carbs. They generally contain less sugar, and thus fewer carbs than fruits.

Even when you’re limiting carbs, vegetables should be an important source of nutrition in your diet. They’re high in fiber and lower in overall calories per serving than any other food group. Also, they contain an array of healthy compounds, including phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals.

In general, the higher the water content in a vegetable, the lower the carb content per standard serving.

These are the best low carb choices.

1. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a refreshing and nutritious addition to any salad — Greek or otherwise! Peeled, they contain just 2.16 g of carbs for every 100 g. If you prefer them with peel, that’s 3.63 g, which is still pretty low.

2. Iceberg lettuce

Perhaps one of the most popular — though least nutritious — vegetables, iceberg lettuce has only 2.97 g of carbohydrate per 100 g. Pair it with several other veggies on this list to get a low carb salad with plenty of nutrients.

3. Celery

Celery has the same number of carbs as iceberg lettuce (2.97 g per 100 g). Enjoy this versatile veggie with salads or in casseroles, or filled with an unsweetened nut butter.

4. White mushrooms

Mushrooms contain only 3.26 g of carbs per 100 g. Add them to an egg white omelet for a healthy, low carb breakfast.

5. Spinach

For every 100 g of spinach, you’ll get 3.63 g of carbohydrate. To put that in perspective, that’s only about 1 g per cup. So you can load up on spinach salads and top with lean chicken breasts and fresh strawberries.

6. Swiss chard

Another nutrient-dense leafy vegetable, Swiss chard packs only 3.74 g of carbs per 100 g. Swiss chard is great in soups and sautéed with garlic.

7. Broccoli

A nutrient-dense cruciferous vegetable, raw broccoli contains 6.64 g of carbs and 2.6 g of fiber, netting only 4.04 g of carbs per 100 g. Try it raw in a salad, lightly steamed, or in a stir-fry tossed with garlic, ginger, and a touch of olive oil.

8. Bell peppers

A light, crunchy snack when raw, or excellent sautéed with your other favorite vegetables, bell peppers have just 6.03 g of carbs per 100 g.

9. Zucchini

Zucchini can be “zoodled,” or turned into noodles with the help of a spiralizer or serrated peeler. This makes for a delicious and lower-carb alternative to pasta, at just 3.11 g of carbs per 100 g.

Or, try zucchini thinly sliced and grilled or roasted, and then layered with other vegetables and sauce for a low carb “lasagna.”

10. Cauliflower

Cauliflower has just 4.97 g of carbs and 2.0 g of fiber, netting only 2.97 g of carbs per 100 g serving! In addition to enjoying its florets, you can turn it into a tasty and low carb alternative to rice or other grains.

Just grate it using a food processor and then serve it, cooked or raw, either as a side dish or mixed in with other vegetables and protein, and topped with a dressing of your choice.

11. Asparagus

Asparagus has 4.11 g of carbs per 100 g. Try it steamed or brushed with a little olive oil and roasted in the oven or grill. Top it off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

12. Alfalfa sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts, which are the sprouted seeds of alfalfa, have 2.1 g of carbs per 100 g. This nutritious veggie is a perfect salad topper.

13. Radishes

Radishes have just 3.4 g of carbs per 100 g, and are an often overlooked, but tasty and nutritious vegetable.

Sliced radishes make a great addition to salads, or enjoy whole radishes with a pinch of sea salt or dipped into your favorite spread or dressing.

14. Arugula

Arugula is a versatile leafy green that has just 3.65 g of carbs per 100 g. It’s flavorful, with a bit of a peppery-spicy quality, and is a particularly good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, and calcium.

Try it in salads mixed in with other greens, or cooked into sauces, soups, or stews.

15. Radicchio

Radicchio has just 4.48 g of carbs per 100 g, and its sturdy leaves can be used as lettuce wraps to fill with your choice of ingredients.

Radicchio can be enjoyed raw or cooked in a number of ways. It even holds up to grilling.

16. Tomatoes

Tomatoes have just 3.89 g of carbs and 1.2 g of fiber, netting only 2.69 g of carbs per 100 g serving!

Enjoy them raw as an easy, healthy snack with salt and pepper, as toppings on salads or sandwiches, or cooked into soups or used to make sauces.

Other vegetables

Pickled or fermented vegetables, from cucumber pickles to cabbage sauerkraut or kimchi, can be another low carb option to vary your vegetable intake. Opt for fermented, not just pickled, vegetables, which contain gut-healthy probiotics. Check the list of ingredients to make sure no sugar was added.

Vegetable nutrition chart

Below is a quick and easy guide to the nutritional value of low carb vegetables — feel free to bring it with you on your next food shopping trip! Remember, these values are for raw vegetables (carbohydrate content can shift slightly during cooking).

VegetableTotal carbohydratesFiberNet carbsCaloriesFatProtein
alfalfa sprouts2.1 g1.9 g0.2 g230.69 g3.99 g
celery3.0 g1.6 g1.4 g160.2 g0.7 g
iceberg lettuce3.0 g1.2 g1.8 g140.1 g0.9 g
zucchini3.11 g1.0 g2.11 g17.32 g1.21 g
white mushrooms3.3 g1.0 g2.3 g220.3 g3.1 g
radishes3.4 g1.6 g1.8 g160.10 g0.68 g
spinach3.6 g2.2 g1.4 g230.4 g2.9 g
cucumber3.6 g0.5 g3.1 g160.1 g0.7 g
arugula3.65 g1.6 g2.05 g250.66 g2.58 g
Swiss chard3.7 g1.6 g2.1 g190.2 g1.8 g
asparagus3.88 g2.1 g1.78 g200.12 g2.20 g
tomatoes3.89 g1.2 g1.69 g180.2 g0.88 g
radicchio4.48 g0.9 g3.58 g230.25 g0.25 g
bell peppers5.88 g1.2 g3.51 g180.0 g1.18 g
cauliflower4.97 g2.0 g2.97 g250.28 g1.92 g
broccoli6.64 g2.6 g4.04 g340.4 g2.8 g

* Nutritional values as determined by the USDA for raw, uncooked vegetables.

So now you’ve got your list of low carb fruits and vegetables. How much of these foods you’ll want to include in your meals depends on the type of low carb diet you’re following.

The main types of low carb diets include:

  • General low carb. According to the American Diabetes Association, the recommended daily allowance of carbohydrate intake is 130 g per day. Therefore, a daily intake of less than 130 g of carbs per day would be considered a “low carb” diet.
  • Caveman diets. Some diets, such as the “paleo” approach or the “primal” diet, call for reducing carbohydrate intake. However, specific numbers may vary from person to person, depending on individual needs and goals, resulting in a range of 100–150 g of carbs per day, to as low as 50 g per day.
  • Ultra-low carb. Some people on a very restrictive low carb diet, such as the ketogenic diet, are usually limited to 20-50 g carbohydrates per day.

No matter which diet you follow, you should be able to add a few servings of low carb fruits and vegetables to your meals every day.

It’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor before making any extreme dietary changes, including severely changing your carbohydrate intake.

Low carb dieting doesn’t have to mean only protein and fat all the time. Fruits and vegetables can play an important nutritional role in your low carb eating plan.

Keep these lists of low carb fruit and vegetable options handy to help make your plate more interesting and your nutrition more complete as you adhere to your low carb plan.