How many servings of vegetables should I eat each day?

The American Diabetes Association recommends  a minimum of 3 servings of vegetables a day (5 is preferrable). 

Starchy vegetables have a high content of starch and sucrose (which are digestible carbohydrates).

Nonstarchy vegetables have a higher content of fiber (a nondigestible carbohydrate).   
While vegetables fit across a spectrum of “starchiness”, there are some general patterns you should be aware of. If you want to understand the differences between starch and fiber, review the understanding carbohydrates page.

Are there some vegetables that I shouldn't eat?

All vegetables have nutritional benefit, so there isn’t any vegetable that you need to avoid (unless you have any allergy of course). However, nonstarchy vegetables are preferrable over starchy vegetables for people with diabetes and people trying to watch their weight. 

What is the difference between startchy and nonstarchy vegetables?

Starchy vegetables have a high content of starch and sucrose (which are digestible carbohydrates). That means blood sugar will rise more, and the pancreas will need to work harder to make more insulin to handle the additional carbohydrate. Popular starchy vegetables include corn, 

On the other hand, nonstartchy vegetables have a higher content of fiber, which is a nondigestible carbohydrate, and a lower content of starch. Nonstarchy vegetables cause a slower rise in blood glucose, and therefore the pancreas can make less insulin (compared to a starchy vegetable). 

If you want to better understand the difference between starch and fiber, please read the section understanding carbohydrates.

Nutritional information and portions for nonstarchy vegetables

Acorn squash, 1 cup cubed. 55 calories, 13gm net carb

Artichoke hearts, cooked, 1 cup. 90 calories, 15gm net carb

    • 10gm fiber, 5gm protein, vitamin C (15% DV), vitamin K (22% DV), vitamin B1 (5% DV), vitamin B2 (6% DV), vitamin B3 (7% DV), vitamin B6 (5% DV),  folate (27% DV), magnesium (13%), potassium (10% DV), calcium (3% DV), iron (4% DV), zinc (3% DV)

Asparagus, 6 medium. 20 calories, 3gm net carb

    • 2gm fiber, 2gm protein, vitamin C (12% DV), vitamin A (18% DV), vitamin K (57% DV), folate (34% DV), potassium (6% DV), vitamin E (7% DV)

Arugula (rocket), 1/2 cup. 3 calories, 0gm net carb

    • vitamin A (5% DV), vitamin C (2% DV), vitamin K (14% DV), vitamin B2 (1% DV), vitamin B3 (0% DV), folate (2% DV), calcium (2% DV), iron (1% DV), magnesium (1% dv), potassium (1% DV), copper (0% DV), manganese (2% DV)

Bamboo shoots, 1 cup. 64 calories, 3gm net carb

    • 2gm fiber, 2.5gm protein, copper (19% DV), vitamin B6 (14% DV), vitamin E (9% DV), vitamin K (3% DV), vitamin B1 (3% DV), vitamin B2 (3% DV), potassium (3% DV), iron (3% DV)

Bean sprouts, 1 cup. 50 calories, 5gm net carb

    • 8gm protein, vitamin C (79% DV), folate (27% DV), iron (8% DV)

Beets, 1 cup. 60 calories, 11gm net carb

    • 2gm fiber, 2gm protein, vitamin A (2% DV), vitamin C (10% DV), folate (34% DV), vitamin B1 (4% DV), vitamin B2 (4% DV), vitamin B3 (4% DV), vitamin B5 (2% DV), vitamin B6 (4% DV), calcium (2% DV), iron (8% DV), manganese (28% DV), copper (6% DV), potassium (14% DV), magnesium (10% DV)

Bitter gourd (bitter mellon), chopped, 1 cup. 20 calories, 2gm net carb

    • 2gm fiber, 1gm protein, vitamin A (9% DV), vitamin C (130% DV), Vitamin B1 (2% DV), vitamin B2 (2% DV), vitamin B3 (2% DV), vitamin B5 (2% DV), vitamin B6 (2% DV), calcium (2% DV), iron (2% DV), magnesium (4% dv), potassium (8% DV), zinc (5% DV), copper (2% DV), manganese (4% DV)

Broccoli, 1 cup. 40 calories, 4gm net carb

    • 2.5gm fiber, 2.5gm protein, vitamin C (140% DV), vitamin K (116% DV), vitamin A (11% DV), folate (14% DV), potassium (8% DV), selenium (3% DV)

Brussels sprouts, 8 small. 60 calories, 9gm net carb

    • 4gm fiber, 4gm protein, vitamin K (137% DV), vitamin C (81% DV), vitamin A (12% DV), folate (12% DV), manganese (9% DV)

Butternut squash, 1 cup cubed. 60 calories, 14gm net carb

Buttercup squash, 1 cup. 40 calories, 8gm net carb

Cabbage, chopped, 1 cup. 18 calories, 2gm net carb

    • 2gm fiber, 1gm protein, vitamin K (85% DV), Vitamin C (54% DV), folate (10% DV), manganese (7% DV), vitamin B6 (6% DV), calcium (4% DV), potassium (4% DV), magnesium (3% DV)

Carrots, chopped, 1 cup. 50 calories, 10gm net carb

    • 3gm fiber, 1gm protein, vitamin A (428% DV), vitamin C (13% DV), vitamin E (4% DV), vitamin K (21% DV), vitamin B1 (6% DV), vitamin B2 (4% DV), vitamin B3 (6% DV), vitamin B5 (3% DV), vitamin B6 (5%), calcium (4% DV), potassium (12% DV), magnesium (4% DV),  iron (2% DV), copper (3% DV), manganese (9% DV)
Cauliflower, chopped, 1 cup. 30 calories, 3gm net carb
    • 3gm fiber, vitamin C (77% DV), vitamin K (20% DV), vitamin B6 (11% DV), folate (14%), vitamin B5 (7% DV), potassium (9% DV), manganese (8% DV), magnesium (4% DV)

Celery, chopped, 1 cup. 15 calories, 2gm net carb

    • 1.5gm fiber,  vitamin A (9% DV), vitamin C (5% DV), vitamin E (1% DV), vitamin K (37% DV), vitamin B1 (1% DV), vitamin B2 (3% DV), vitamin B3 (2% DV), vitamin B6 (4% DV), folate (9% DV), vitamin B5 (2% DV)

Chard, chopped, 1 cup. 10 calories, 1gm net carb

    • 0.5gm fiber, 0.5gm protein, vitamin A (44% DV), vitamin C (18% DV), Vitamin vitamin # (3% DV), vitamin K (374% DV), vitamin B1 (1% DV), vitamin B2 (2% DV), vitamin B3 (1% DV), vitamin B5 (1% DV), vitamin B6 (2% DV), calcium (2% DV), iron (4% DV), magnesium (7% dv), potassium (4% DV), zinc (1% DV), copper (3% DV), manganese (7% DV)

Chayote squash, 1 cup. 40 calories, 6gm net carb

    • 4gm fiber, 2gm protein, vitamin C (26% DV), folate (47% DV), vitamin K (10% DV), vitamin B6 (8% DV), manganese (19% DV), copper (12% DV), zinc (10% DV), potassium (7% DV), magnesium (6% DV)

Cucumber, sliced, 1 cup. 15 calories, 2gm net carb

    • 1gm fiber, vitamin C (5% DV), vitamin K (20% DV), magnesium (3% DV), potassium (4% DV), potassium (4% DV), manganese (4% DV)

Daikon radish, sliced, 1 cup. 30 calories, 2gm net carb

    • 2.5gm fiber, 1gm protein, vitamin C (62% DV), folate (12% DV), calcium (5%DV), magnesium (7% DV), potassium (11% DV), copper (9% DV)

Delicata squash, 1 cup cubed. 70 calories, 12gm net carb

Dill pickles, 1 whole. 7 calories, 1gm net carb

    • 1gm fiber, vitamin K (5% DV), vitamin C (1% DV), iron (1% DV)

Eggplant, chopped, 1 cup. 20 calories, 3gm net carb

    •  3gm fiber, 1gm protein, manganese (10% DV), folate (5% DV), potassium (5% DV), vitamin K (4% DV), vitamin C (3% DV)

Fennel, sliced, 1 cup. 25 calories, 5gm net carb

    • 3.5gm fiber, 1gm protein, vitamin C (17% DV), iron (3% DV), calcium (4% DV), magnesium (3% DV)

Green beans, 1 cup. 40 calories, 8gm net carb

    • 2.5gm fiber, 2gm protein, vitamin C (25% DV), vitamin A (15% DV), iron (5% DV), vitamin B6 (5% DV), magnesium (6% DV), calcium (3% DV),

Green onions, chopped, 1 cup. 30 calories, 4gm net carb

    • 2.5gm fiber, 1.5gm protein, vitamin C (31% DV), iron (8% DV), vitamin B6 (5% DV), magnesium (5% DV), calcium (7% DV)

Green peas, 1/2 cup. 60 calories, 9gm net carb

    • 4gm fiber, 4gm protein, vitamin A (34% DV), vitamin K (24% DV), vitamin C (13% DV), vitamin B1 (15% DV), folate (12% DV), manganese (11% DV), iron (7% DV)

Jicama, sliced, 1 cup. 45 calories, 8gm net carb

    • 6.5gm fiber, 1gm protein, vitamin C (44% DV), folate (4% DV), iron (4% DV), magnesium (4% DV), potassium (6% DV), manganese (4% DV)

Kabocha squash, 1 cup cubed. 50 calories, 9gm net carb

Kale, cooked, 1 cup. 35 calories, 5gm net carb

    • vitamin A (354% DV), vitamin C (89% DV), vitamin E (6% DV), vitamin K (1328% DV), vitamin B1 (5% DV), vitamin B2 (5% DV), vitamin B3 (3% DV), vitamin B5 (1% DV), vitamin B6 (9% DV), folate (4% DV), calcium (9% DV), iron (6% DV), magnesium (6% DV), potassium (8% DV), zinc (2% DV), copper (10% DV), manganese (27% DV), selenium (2% DV)

Kohlrabi, sliced, 1 cup. 35 calories, 6gm net carb

    • Kohlrabi’s taste and texture are similar to broccoli and cabbage.
    • 5gm fiber, 2gm protein, vitamin C (92% DV), vitamin B6 (12% DV), potassium (10% DV), magnesium (6% DV), manganese (8% DV), folate (5% DV)

Leeks, sliced, 1 cup. 55 calories, 12gm net carb

    • 2gm fiber, 1.5gm protein, folate (16% DV), vitamin B3 (3% DV), vitamin B5 (3% DV), vitamin B2 (2% DV), vitamin B1 (5% DV), vitamin A (55% DV), vitamin C (20% D), vitamin E (6% DV), vitamin K (39% DV)

Lettuce, iceberg, shredded, 1 cup. 10 calories, 2gm net carb

    • 1gm fiber, vitamin A (7% DV), vitamin C (3% DV), vitamin E (1% DV),  vitamin E (1% DV), vitamin K (22% DV), vitamin B1 (2% DV), vitamin B2 (1% DV), vitamin B5 (1% DV), vitamin B6 (2% DV), folate (5% DV), calcium (1% DV), iron (2% DV), magnesium (1% DV), potassium (3% DV), zinc (1% DV), copper (1% DV), manganese (4% DV)

Lettuce, romaine, shredded, 1 cup. 8 calories, 1gm net carb

    • vitamin A (2% DV), vitamin C (19% DV), vitamin K (60% DV), vitamin B1 (2% DV), vitamin B2 (2% DV), vitamin B3 (2% DV), vitamin B5 (1% DV), vitamin B6 (2% DV), folate (16% DV), calcium (2% DV), iron (3% DV), magnesium (2% DV), potassium (3% DV), zinc (1% DV), copper (11% DV), manganese (4% DV), 

Microgreens, mixed, 100gm. 28 calories, 2gm net carb

    • It is eay to grown your own microgreens, and you can harvest them in a couple weeks!
    • 2gm fiber, 2gm protein, vitamin A (9% DV), vitamin C (7% DV), folic acid (17% DV),  calcium (7% DV), iron (88% DV), magnesium (16% dv), potassium (2% DV), zinc (6% DV), copper (3% DV), manganese (7% DV)

Mung bean sprouts, 1/2 cup. 15 calories, 5 gm net carb

    • vitamin C (2% DV), magnesium (1% DV)

Mushrooms, white button, 4 ounces (about 1 cup). 20calories, 2gm net carb

    • 1gm fiber, 3gm protein, vitamin C (3% DV), iron (2% DV), magnesium (2% DV), vitamin D (3% DV), vitamin B2 (17% DV), vitamin B3 (13% DV), vitamin B6 (4% DV), folate (3% DV), vitamin B5 (10% DV)

Okra, 1 cup. 30 calories, 6gm net carb

    • 3gm fiber, 2gm protein, magnesium (14% DV), folate (15% DV), vitamin A (14% DV), vitamin C (26% DV), vitamin K (26% DV), vitamin B6 (14% DV)

Onions, chopped, 1 cup. 70 calories, 15gm net carb

    • 3.5gm fiber, 2gm protein, vitamin C (20% DV), vitamin K (1% DV), vitamin B1 (5% DV), vitamin B5 (3% DV), vitamin B3 (1% DV), vitamin B6 (10% DV), foalte (8% DV), vitamin B5 (2% DV), manganese (10% DV), calcium (4% DV), iron (2% DV), magnesium (4% DV), potassium (7% DV), zinc (2% DV), copper (3% DV), selenium (1% DV)

Peppers (all varieties), chopped, 1 cup. 40 calories, 8gm net carb

    • 1gm protein, 2gm fiber, vitamin C (200% DV), vitamin A (11% DV), vitamin E (3% DV), vitamin K (14% DV), vitamin B1 (6% DV), vitamin B2 (2% DV), vitamin B3 (4% DV), vitamin B6 (17% DV), folate (4% DV), vitamin B5 (1% DV), calcium (1% DV), iron (3% DV), magnesium (4% DV), potassium (7% DV), zinc (1% DV), copper (5% DV), manganese (9% DV)

Pumpkin, 1 cup cubed. 30 calories, 5gm net carb

Radishes, sliced, 1/2 cup. 10 calories, 1gm net carb

    • 1gm fiber, vitamin C (14% DV), vitamin K (1% DV), vitamin B2 (1% DV), vitamin B3 (1% DV), vitamin B6 (2% DV), folate (4% DV), vitamin B5 (1% DV), potassium (4% DV), calcium (1% DV), iron (1% DV), magnesium (1% DV), zinc (1% DV), copper (1% DV), manganese (2% DV)

Ridge gourd (luffa, patola, chinese okra), sliced, 1/2 cup. 50 calories, 10gm net carb

    • vitamin A (14% DV), vitamin C (20% DV), vitamin B1 (4% DV), vitamin B2 (2% DV), vitamin B5 (4% DV), vitamin B6 (5% DV), folate (2% DV), calcium (2% DV), iron (4% DV), magnesium (4% DV), potassium (3% DV)

Rutabaga, chopped, 1 cup. 50 calories, 10gm net carb

    • 3gm fiber, 2gm protein, vitamin C (53% DV), vitamin K (1% DV), vitamin B1 (9% DV), vitamin B2 (4% DV), vitamin B3 (6% DV), vitamin B6 (9% DV), folate (6% DV), vitamin B5 (3% DV), calcium (8% DV), potassium (16% DV), calcium (8% DV), iron (5% DV), magnesium (10% DV), zinc (4% DV), copper (3% DV), manganese (15% DV), selenium (2% DV)

Spaghetti Squash, 1 cup. 30 calories, 6 gm net carb

Spinach (raw), 3 cups. 20 calories, 2gm net carb

    • 2gm fiber, 3gm protein, vitamin A (150% DV), vitamin C (44% DV), vitamin E (9% DV), vitamin K (540% DV), vitamin B1 (6% DV), vitamin B2 (9%), vitamin B3 (3% DV), vitamin B6 (9%), folate (45%), calcium (9% DV), iron (15% DV), magnesium (18% DV), potassium (15% DV), zinc (3% DV), copper (6% DV), manganese (39% DV), 
    • Spinach, 9 oz. 60 calories, 6gm net carb
  • Snow peas, 1 cup (~5.5 oz). 50 calories, 8gm net carb
    • 2.5 gm fiber, 3gm protein, vitamin A (22% DV), vitamin B1 (10% DV), vitamin B2 (5% DV), vitamin B3 (3% DV), vitamin B6 (8% DV), folate (10% DV), vitamin B5 (7% DV), vitamin C (100% DV), vitamin K (32% DV), folate (12% DV), magnesium (6% DV), potassium (7% DV), potassium (7% DV), manganese (13% DV), iron (11% DV), zinc (2% DV), selenium (1% DV), copper (4% DV)

Sugar snap peas, 1 cup. 50 calories, 8gm net carb

    • sugar snap peas are a hybrid of the snow pea and the garden pea. Snap peas have essentially an identical nutrition profile to snow peas
    • 2.5 gm fiber, 3gm protein, vitamin A (22% DV), vitamin B1 (10% DV), vitamin B2 (5% DV), vitamin B3 (3% DV), vitamin B6 (8% DV), folate (10% DV), vitamin B5 (7% DV), vitamin C (100% DV), vitamin K (32% DV), folate (12% DV), magnesium (6% DV), potassium (7% DV), manganese (13% DV), iron (11% DV), zinc (2% DV), selenium (1% DV), copper (4% DV)
  • Summer squash, chopped, 1 cup. 20 calories, 4gm net carb
    • Summer squashes include yellow (crookneck) squash, zucchini, yellow zucchini, pattypan squash, and globe squash. All varieties have essentially identical nutrition profiles. 
    • 1gm fiber, 1.5gm protein, vitamin A (5% DV), vitamin C (32% dv), vitamin E (1% DV), vitamin K (4% DV), vitamin B1 (4% DV), vitamin B2 (9% DV), vitamin B3 (3% DV), vitamin B5 (2% DV), vitamin B6 (12% DV), folate (8% DV),  calcium (2% DV), magnesium (5% DV), potassium (8% DV), manganese (10% DV), iron (2% DV), zinc (2% DV), copper (3% DV)

Tomato, chopped, 1 cup. 30 calories, 6gm net carb

    • (coming soon)

Turnips, chopped, 1 cup. 35 calories, 6gm net carb

    • (coming soon)

Water chestnuts, sliced, 1 cup. 70 calories, 15gm net carb

    • (coming soon)

Zucchini, sliced, 1 cup. 20 calories, 3gm net carb

    • (coming soon)

Is it OK to eat frozen or canned vegetables?

I recommend eating either fresh or frozen vegetables. Freezing vegetables does an excellent job preserving the nutrient content, though it can cause some vegetables to have a less than desirable texture. The least preferred source of vegetables (though still healthy), are canned vegetables. This is for two reasons. First, the canning process neutralizes some of the nutrients, and second, it often causes the vegetables to have an inferior flavor and texture.

Is vegetable juice healthy?

You should avoid drinking canned vegetable juices. These are typically spiked with added sugar, and are stripped of fiber. Vegetable juices you make yourself are always ok, but I strongly recommend having a vegetable smoothie instead (which leaves in the insoluble fiber). There are example veggie smoothies in the breakfast section.