Fresh fruits and vegetables are generally low in fat and calories, but they contain varying amounts of carbohydrates and sugars. For people trying to manage their intake, carb content is helpful to know.

Research indicates that eating a range of fresh fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of the most common causes of disease and death, including cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Many diets and eating plans require a certain carb intake. People following the ketogenic diet, for example, aim to consume around 20–50 grams (g) of carbohydrates from 2,000 calories per day.

Consuming the following fruits and vegetables can add color, flavor, and vital nutrients without canceling out the health benefits of a low carb diet.

In this article, we present 13 low carb fruit and vegetable options.

Fruits tend to have a higher carbohydrate content than most vegetables because they contain naturally occurring sugars.

However, this does not mean that people should avoid them.

People monitoring their carbohydrate intake should also note that some fruit has more water content. This means that they provide fewer carbs per 100 g serving.

The following are some low carb fruit options.

1. Watermelon

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This summer fruit has the lowest carbohydrate content, with only 7.55 g per 100 g of fruit.

It is also a good source of vitamin A and has a high water content, making it a great high volume food.

Watermelon can also lead to feelings of fullness while providing fewer calories.

2. Strawberries

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Berries are a popular choice for people watching their carb intake, and strawberries have the least of any berry.

Each 100 g serving of strawberries provides 7.68 g of carbohydrates.

They are also excellent sources of potassium and vitamin C.

Read more about strawberries here.

3. Cantaloupe

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This orange melon is a popular summer fruit and contains only 8.16 g of carbohydrates per 100 g.

Some people like to eat melons, including cantaloupe and honeydew, with tuna salad. Try blending it with lime, mint, and water to make a refreshing agua fresca.

Find out more about the health benefits of cantaloupe here.

4. Avocados

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Avocados are fruits with a relatively low carbohydrate content. For every 100 g of avocado, a person gets an estimated 8.53 g of carbohydrates.

Avocados are also a good source of monounsaturated fats. These may have protective effects on the heart and blood vessels.

Here, learn more about what avocados can do for health.

5. Honeydew

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Another type of melon, honeydew, provides around 9.09 g of carbohydrates for every 100 g.

It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as potassium.

Potassium is an electrolyte that helps maintain good blood pressure, balance acid levels, and encourage healthy metabolism.

6. Peaches

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Peaches have a surprisingly low carbohydrate content, considering that they are among the sweeter fruits available.

For every 100 g of fruit, a person gets 9.54 g of carbohydrates.

For a low carb snack, serve peaches up with some cottage cheese, or try a peach and blueberry smoothie.

Learn more about the health benefits of peaches here.

In any diet, vegetables are an important source of nutrition. They are particularly useful as part of a carb controlled diet for providing nutrients while restricting carbohydrate intake.

They are high in fiber and lower in overall calories per serving than any other food group. They also contain a wide range of healthful compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

In general, the higher the water content, the lower the carb content is per 100 g serving. The following are the vegetable choices with the fewest carbs.

7. Cucumbers

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Cucumber is a refreshing and nutritious addition to any salad. When a person peels the skin, a cucumber contains just 2.16 g of carbohydrates per 100 g serving.

Cucumbers with the skin attached provide 3.63 g of carbohydrates, making it a high-ranking low carb vegetable whether a person likes eating the skin or not.

However, most of a cucumber's nutrients are in the skin. For this reason, people should try to eat the skin along with the rest of the cucumber. Those following a carb controlled diet should consider a type of cucumber with thin skin, such as a Persian cucumber. English cucumbers tend to have thicker skin, which would increase the carb count.

Read more about the health benefits of cucumbers here.

8. Iceberg lettuce

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Iceberg lettuce is perhaps one of the most popular vegetables, despite being low in overall nutritional content.

However, iceberg lettuce has only 2.97 g of carbohydrates per 100 g.

Pair it with other vegetables on this list to create a low carb salad with a varied spread of nutrients.

9. Celery

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Celery is a versatile vegetable that goes well with salads and casseroles.

This vegetable provides the same amount of carbohydrates as iceberg lettuce (2.97 g per 100 g).

It can add a satisfying crunch to many meals as part of any low carb diet.

Here, learn about what makes celery nutritious.

10. White mushrooms

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Mushrooms provide only 3.26 g of carbohydrates per 100 g. People can add them to an egg white omelet for a healthful, low carb breakfast.

Some research suggests that mushrooms can preserve heart health and reduce the risk of some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

Learn more about the health benefits of mushrooms here.

11. Spinach

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Every 100 g of spinach provides 3.63 g of carbohydrates. That only comes to around 1 g per cup.

Spinach is a vital source of iron, calcium, and magnesium, and it can be especially useful for supplementing these essential minerals in a vegetarian or vegan diet. People can use spinach to fortify salads, pasta dishes, and wraps.

Learn more about the many health benefits of spinach here.

12. Swiss chard

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Swiss chard is another nutrient-dense leafy vegetable.

It provides only 3.74 g of carbohydrates in every 100 g serving. People can enjoy Swiss chard in soups or sautéed with garlic.

Read more about the powerful nutritional content of Swiss chard here.

13. Tomatoes

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Tomatoes are a type of legume. They only contain 3.89 g of carbohydrates for every 100 g.

Tomatoes are extremely versatile. People can consume them raw, roast them, or throw them into a salad.

Not only are they delicious, but they can also reduce a person's risk of stroke.

Find out more about tomatoes here.

People need not sacrifice their favorite fruits and vegetables when reducing their carb intake.

Also, a diet that reduces carb intake does not mean that meals should only consist of protein. Add some of the fruits and vegetables above to make a meal more interesting and boost its nutritional value.

Q:

Is low carb dieting the best way to lose weight?

A:

Following a low carb diet may not be the best way to lose weight, as it could be unrealistic and unsustainable. People should review their current food intake before attempting low carb diet. For example, they can look at how much of their diet consists of carbohydrates from grains and refined or processed carbs, such as pasta or bread.

If a person finds that their carbohydrate consumption is more than 45% of their intake and mostly coming from processed carbs, they should consider reducing their carb intake and incorporating more vegetables and fruits in their meals.

Going too far with low carb dieting can also hinder weight loss, as the body tries to conserve energy.

Miho Hatanaka, RDN, LD Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.