Raw Broccoli
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Broccoli

Serving: 1 cup chopped, raw or cooked

Carbs: 6 grams

You don’t have to boil it into a mushy mess. Try roasting it with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. You’ll keep coming back for this nutty-flavored treat.

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Sliced carrots
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Carrots

Serving: 1 cup, raw

Carbs: 12 grams

If soggy cooked carrots don’t inspire you, eat them raw. Leave small ones whole. Cut larger ones at an angle to make each slice bigger. Use either or both to scoop up a healthy, protein-rich dip made from low-fat yogurt, lemon juice, and fresh dill.

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Corn on cobb
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Corn

Serving: 1 cup chopped, or 1 large ear

Carbs: 30 grams

That’s a lot of carbs, but there’s also around 4 grams of fiber, which helps your body absorb them more slowly. It’s hard to beat fresh corn roasted on the grill in the summertime. Try microwaving whole ears in the husk for a few minutes before you grill them. It will cut your cook time and help keep them from drying out.

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Sliced sweet potato
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Sweet Potato

Serving: 1 cup, chopped or mashed, raw or cooked

Carbs: 27 grams

Like carrots, this starchy veggie is high in fiber. It’s also loaded with other nutrients like potassium, calcium, and vitamin C. Slice it thin and bake it under the broiler with a light brushing of olive oil for a side dish or snack that combines chew, crunch, and delicious flavor. Try it as a healthy substitute for french fries.

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Bowl of beets
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Beets

Serving: 1 cup, chopped or sliced

Carbs: 13 grams

If you want to cut your cook time, don’t cook your beets whole as many recipes suggest. Peel them and slice them into eight pieces. Lay them flat on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for around 20 minutes. Once they’re done, you can throw them into a salad with some arugula, pecans, and low-fat feta cheese.

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Roasted Parsnips
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Parsnips

1 Serving: 1 cup

Carbs: 23 grams

Though the carb count is high, these fall favorites also have 6.5 grams of fiber per serving. Roast them at 350 degrees for an hour. Mix them with other root vegetables like potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, and beets for a colorful side dish that’s a feast for your eyes and your belly.

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Brussel Sprouts
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Brussels Sprouts

Serving: 1 cup, raw or cooked

Carbs: 12 grams

A whopping 8 grams of fiber helps balance out those carbs. If you have bad memories of tasteless, overcooked sprouts, fear not. Mix them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast at 500 for 20 minutes, then drizzle on balsamic vinegar.

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Shredded Zucchini
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Zucchini

Serving: 1 cup, sliced

Carbs: 3.5 grams

Southerners look forward all year to this delicate summer squash. You can use raw slices, along with celery and cucumbers, instead of chips to scoop dips. Or for something different, get a spiral slicer (you can order one online or pick it up at a local discount store) and use zucchini noodles instead of pasta in all your favorite dishes. 

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Baked Butternut Squash
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Butternut Squash

Serving: 1 cup, cooked

Carbs: 21 grams

Along with vitamin C, it’s high in fiber at 6.6 grams. You can peel it, cut it into cubes, and roast it at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. It makes a great side dish or a tasty taco filling. Cut it in half and bake it whole at 350 degrees for an hour and 20 minutes, or until it’s fork tender.

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Baked Acorn Squash
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Acorn Squash

Serving: 1 cup, cooked

Carbs: 30 grams

That’s a high carb count, but they do have 9 grams of fiber to balance it out. A minute in the microwave on high will make each squash easier to cut in half. Put a couple of tablespoons of orange juice in each half, and bake them cut-side up for 30-45 minutes. A little cinnamon and nutmeg will finish it off.  Or use them as entree cups, and stuff them with goodies like chicken, mushrooms, and kale.

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Pumpkin smoothie
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Pumpkin

Serving: 1 cup, cubed

Carbs: 8 grams

If you want a sweet pumpkin treat that isn’t a latte or a slice of pie, try a pumpkin smoothie. Toss ice, 1 banana, a cup of low-fat yogurt, ¼ cup of pureed pumpkin, and a pinch each of cinnamon and ginger into your blender. You can thin it with low-fat milk if needed.

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sauteed spinach
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Spinach

Serving: 2 cups, raw

Carbs: 2 grams

It has almost no carbs and lots of nutrients. Saute it, fresh or frozen, in garlic and olive oil, for a simple side dish that works with nearly anything. You can also use it in salads or fold it into omelets and casseroles to make sure the whole family gets their greens. 

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Bowl of Hummus
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Chickpeas

Serving: 1 cup, cooked

Carbs: 45 grams

Also called garbanzo beans, they’re packed with protein and fiber. Use them in salads, soups, and spicy Indian curries. Or add some olive, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini (made from sesame seeds) and throw it all into a food processor. The resulting thick paste, known as hummus, is perfect for dipping with pita bread, chips, or even raw veggies.  

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Grilled red peppers
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Red Bell Pepper

Serving: 1 cup, raw or cooked

Carbs: 9 grams

Cut them lengthwise for a delicious and simple raw snack, alone or with a dip. Throw them in with most any stir-fry for color and flavor. You can also blacken one on the grill or in the oven. For a side or main dish that stands alone, stuff them with beans, rice, meat, or whatever sounds good. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

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Navy Bean salad
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Navy Beans

Serving: 1 cup, cooked

Carbs: 47 grams

Add them to a simple salad of cooked chicken, cucumber, onion, oil, and lemon juice for a refreshing, light summer lunch. Soak dry beans overnight to make them easier to digest (read: less gassy). If you’re in a hurry, use 10 cups of water for each pound of beans and boil for 3 minutes. Then set aside for an hour or more before you start cooking.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 05/17/2018 Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on May 17, 2018

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

Thinkstock Photos

 

SOURCES:

ChooseMyPlate.gov: “10 Tips: Kid-friendly Veggies and Fruits,” “All About The Vegetable Group.”

American Heart Association: “What is a Serving?”

Dairy Council of California: “Health Benefits of Broccoli.”

PBS Parents: “How to Grill Corn on the Cob Quickly.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release: “Basic Report: 11090, Broccoli, raw,” “Basic Report: 11124, Carrots, raw,” “Basic Report: 11477, Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, raw,” “Basic Report: 11486, Squash, winter, butternut, cooked, baked, without salt,” “Basic Report: 11507, Sweet potato, raw, unprepared (Includes foods for USDA's Food Distribution Program),” “Basic Report:  1900, Corn, sweet, white, raw,” “Basic Report: 16038, Beans, navy, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt,” “Basic Report: 16057, Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture Branded Food Products Database: “Full Report (All Nutrients): 45051842, HANOVER, WEIS, BABY BRUSSELS SPROUTS, UPC: 041497034185,” “Full Report (All Nutrients): 45299392, SPINACH, RAW, UPC: 707185002002,” “Full Report (All Nutrients): 45300220, BEETS, RAW, UPC: 740695904244.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture What’s Cooking: “Cooked Beans,” “Cool Cucumber Yogurt Dip,” “Crustless Pumpkin Pie,” “Fiesta Hummus,” “Mediterranean Chicken and White Bean Salad,” “Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries,” “Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes, and Chicken,” “Roasted Root Vegetables,” “Sweet Acorn Squash.”

American Diabetes Association: “Beet and Arugula Salad with Feta,” “Stuffed Acorn Squash.”

Johnson & Wales University: “Roasted Brussels sprouts and Shallots with Balsamic Vinegar.”

Michigan State University Extension: “Get the most out of pumpkins by adding them to your diet,” “Oodles of vegetable noodles.”

Iowa State University: “How to Select, Peel, and Use Butternut Squash.”

Sutter Health: “Baked Butternut Squash Recipe.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture EatFresh.org: “Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Bell Peppers,” “Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Spinach.”

North Dakota State University: “Stuffed Bell Peppers.”

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on May 17, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.