Which Root Vegetables Are Good to Eat on a Low-Carb Diet?

How potatoes, turnips, and carrots stack up against each other

Various root vegetables on white background
Bruce McIntosh / Getty Images

When you think of root vegetables, you often think of potatoes. When you think of high carbohydrates, you often think of potatoes. The good news is that a few root vegetables are low in carbs and can be substituted for potatoes, like radishes, which can be roasted much the same way as potatoes. Also, there are other types of vegetables, like the cruciferous cauliflower, which can be substituted for potato for an even lower carb count.

Root vegetables are plant roots used as vegetables. There are different kinds of root vegetables, such as taproots, which include carrots, beets, and turnips; tuberous roots, which include sweet potatoes, yams, and yucca; and modified plant stem tubers, which includes the common potato.

Potatoes are very high in starch and have a high glycemic index. In fact, the only root vegetable with a higher glycemic index is parsnips.  When a food has a high glycemic index that means the carbohydrates in potatoes are rapidly turned into sugar and absorbed into your blood. 

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Root Vegetables

The source of the root vegetable carbohydrate and fiber counts is the USDA food database. The following counts are compiled as a result of averages from a variety of samples.

Preparation of root vegetableCarb and fiber counts

Potato

1 cup raw cubed potato

1 cup boiled or mashed potato

 

22 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber

29 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber

Turnip

1 cup raw chopped turnip

1 cup boiled or mashed potato

 

6 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber

7 grams carbs, 5 grams fiber

Rutabaga

1 cup of raw chopped rutabaga

1 cup boiled or mashed rutabaga

 

7 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber

17 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber

Sweet potato

1 cup of raw cubed sweet potato

1 cup of boiled or mashed sweet potato

 

23 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber

50 grams carbs, 8 grams fiber

Yam

1 cup of raw chopped yam

1 cup cooked pieces of yam

 

36 grams carbs, 6 grams fiber

25 grams carbs, 5 grams fiber

Celery Root (Celeriac)

1 cup of raw celery root

 

7 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber

Carrot

1 cup of raw chopped carrot

 

8 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber

Parsnip

1 cup of raw slices of parsnip

1 cup of boiled slices of parsnip

 

17 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber

20 grams carbs, 6 grams fiber

Beet

1 cup of raw cubed beet

1 cup of boiled slices of beet

 

9 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber

14 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber

Radish

1 cup raw sliced radish

 

2 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber

Continue Reading