Best and Worst Vegetables

How do vegetables help weight loss?

Vegetables tend to have a low energy density, which means that they provide a larger portion size with a fewer number of calories. Some vegetables, like cucumbers, are high in water, which provides stomach-filling volume but not calories. Many vegetables are also high in fiber, which help you to feel full long after you eat them.

Are there any vegetables I should avoid?

Try to eat more non-starchy vegetables (such as asparagus, broccoli and brussel sprouts) than starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn).

Be wary of canned veggies. Though many have words like “healthy” and “natural” on the label, many are drenched in sodium. 

As far as fresh or frozen veggies, you’re safe as long as they’re “naked,” that is, not covered with dressing or cooked in sauce.

What are the best vegetables for weight loss?

The best vegetables to help speed up weight loss are spinach, Swiss chard, watercress, mustard greens, and cabbage. It doesn’t get any more low-calorie than this bunch, so you can consume a much larger quantity of these produce varieties than high GI veggies like corn and potatoes.  Bonus: Hundreds of studies show that people who eat a diet high in produce significantly lower their risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Are there any “naked” vegetables that are bad for weight loss?

There are no “bad” vegetables, only bad ways of preparing them (frying, covering in dressing or sauces).  That said, potatoes are more calorie-dense than other varieties of vegetables and have a notably high GI ranking. As a rule, it’s best to limit starchy vegetables, as these contain more calories and carbohydrates than other vegetables.

Which vegetables are highest in fiber?

High fiber vegetables can further aid weight loss because they keep you feeling fuller longer. The highest fiber vegetables per calorie include broccoli (5 grams per cup) as well as brussel sprouts, eggplant, cauliflower and asparagus.

How can I work more vegetables into my diet?

Work vegetables into meals instead of just serving them as sides on a dinner plate. Use seasonal vegetables to make stir-fries, frittatas, risotto, pilafs, sauces, soups, or pile them onto sandwiches. And check out for thousands of innovative recipes that can help make everything from asparagus to cucumber more appealing.

How do I use the glycemic index when choosing vegetables?

Selecting vegetables lower on the glycemic index can help keep blood sugar stable between meals, curbing appetite. Foods that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream are considered high GI, while those that break down more slowly and release glucose more gradually into the bloodstream are considered low GI.  

See below for a comprehensive list of vegetable GI values.

Vegetable GI Guide

Low Glycemic Index Vegetables (under 20)

  •     Asparagus
  •     Bean sprouts
  •     Beet greens
  •     Broccoli
  •     Cabbage
  •     Cauliflower
  •     Celery
  •     Cucumber
  •     Endive lettuce
  •     Mustard greens
  •     Radishes
  •     Spinach
  •     Swiss chard
  •     Watercress

Medium Glycemic Index Vegetables (20-60)

  •     Aubergine
  •     Beets
  •     Brussles sprouts
  •     Chives
  •     Collard greens
  •     Dandelion leaves
  •     Greens
  •     Kale
  •     Kohlrabi
  •     Leeks
  •     Okra
  •     Onions
  •     Parsley
  •     Peas
  •     Peppers
  •     Pimento
  •     Pumpkin
  •     Rutabagas
  •     String beans
  •     Turnips

High Glycemic Index Vegetables (over 60)

  •     Artichokes
  •     Carrot
  •     Corn
  •     Dried beans
  •     Lima beans
  •     Oyster plant
  •     Parsnips
  •     Potato
  •     Squash
  •     Sweet potato
  •     Yam


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