Ah, the vegetable myth...
Want a list of low carb veggies you can have?
This is one that I hear way too often: "...but low carb diets don't let you have
vegetables! All you eat is meat and fat." I've even heard this from people already on
a low-carb diet. I've heard it from people in restaurants when I tell them I can't
have sugars and starches. I order my vegetables and totally confuse them.
And of course we hear it from the low-fat crowd, warning us that our ways will lead us
to health-related ruin..
While it's a certainty that a great deal of our readers already know this not to be true,
I decided it might be smart to devote a little time to the "veggie issue", especially with
the holidays coming up and great meals to be served!
It's really a simple concept: I eat more vegetables now than I did
before I started a low-carb way of eating. Green beans and spinach
are my personal favorites (and I certainly get a lot of them.) But there are many, many
others that I enjoy on a regular basis. I love broccoli (especially with cheese sauce),
and of course salads with different kinds of lettuce, cucumbers, etc. are a mainstay when
I go to a buffet.
Do I miss any veggies? Sure. I confess I always enjoyed (and still miss)
lima beans, sweet peas, and corn. But since I'm now healthy, full of energy, and not
at all overweight, I'm just not going to be sorry that I can't eat those kinds of vegetables
The amounts you can have vary depending on carb count and the plan you're on. If you
are on Atkins Induction, you can generally have two cups of salad vegetables each day. You can
usually also have a cup of additional veggies each day. As you progress past induction, most
of us can add even more vegetables.
According to Atkins, there are some general guidelines for veggies:
So the next time someone tells you our diet is void of the bountiful nutrition of
vegetables, you'll know how to answer them. (And I wonder how many of them, worried
for YOUR health will have a Krispy Kreme donut for a breakfast, and a Twinkie in their
- Consume veggies throughout the day instead of saving up your carb allowance for a giant
veggie splurge, which might produce a surge in your blood sugar.
- Eat vegetables with protein and fats, which slow their passage through your digestive
system and minimize their impact on your blood sugar. You'll feel satisfied longer with
a chef's salad than a green salad.
- Look for recipes in which a variety of vegetables are included, with meat, fish or
fowl as part of a complete entrée, such as stews and dishes based on Asian cuisine.
- Don't drink your vegetables. Juicing removes the fiber, which has the double merit of
helping you feel full and maintaining a healthy digestive system. Juices also concentrate
the sugars from vegetables, increasing the risk they'll spike your blood sugar.
- Cook carefully. Most vegetables are most nutritious when brightly colored and
crisp — not overcooked. An exception to this rule is the tomato, because the
cancer-fighting chemical lycopene becomes more bioavailable when heat breaks
down the cell walls.