Counting Macros

Should I Count The Macros In Every Vegetable I Eat?

By Ted KallmyerUpdated September 26, 2022
How to count vegetable macros

Many popular diets label certain vegetables as ‘free’ foods.

You can eat as many of these kinds of vegetables as you wish on these diets.

With a macros-based diet, the idea of a ‘free food’ does not apply. If a vegetable contains macros, you need to count it.

Is a vegetable a negative calorie food?

Certain vegetables, like celery, are mostly fiber and water. These veggies were marketed as a “negative-calorie food,” aiding weight loss.

The idea of a negative-calorie food has been debunked.

People lose weight on a so-called negative calorie diet because they are maintaining an overall calorie deficit. Not because they were eating celery.

All vegetables have energy, whether carb, fat, or protein. You must track them.

Macros of common vegetables

CaloriesCarb (g)Protein (g)Fat (g)Fiber (g)
1 cup raw spinach8 1 1 0 0.7
1 cup baby greens20 5 1 0 2
1 cup chopped cabbage22 5.2 1.1 0.1 2.2
1 cup celery16 3 1 0.2 1.6
1 cup cucumber16 4 1 0 1
1 cup raw kale33 6 3 1 2.4
1 cup iceberg lettuce8 1 0.5 0.1 0.7
1 cup broccoli 31 6 2.5 0.3 2.4
1 cup cauliflower25 5 2 0 3
1 cup alfalfa sprouts8 1 1.3 0.2 0.6
1 cup green beans3171.80.13.4

Macros in starchy veggies

Starchy vegetables contain more carbohydrates.

CaloriesCarb (g)Protein (g)Fat (g)Fiber (g)
1 cup chopped carrots 53 12 1.2 0.3 3.6
1 cup parsnip (sliced)100 24 1.6 0.4 7
1 cup potatoes (diced)116 26 3 0.2 3.4
1 cup pumpkin (cubes)30 8 1.2 0.1 0.6
1 cup peas1182180.67

It’s essential to track vegetables as many supply protein and even a little fat. This all adds up over a day.

Not tracking them would affect your calorie deficit, slowing results. Remember to track all foods.

Best vegetables for macro tracking

Vegetables that have a high proportion of protein are best. It’s easy to exceed your carbohydrate target when counting macros.

The best veggies for macros are broad beans, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and kale.

CaloriesCarb (g)Protein (g)Fat (g)Fiber (g)
1 cup broad beans111 22 10 0.9 9
1 cup broccoli316 2.5 0.3 2.4
1 cup cauliflower (chopped)27 5 2.1 0.3 2.1
1 cup brussels sprouts38 8 3 0.3 3.3
1 cup curly kale (chopped)3362.90.62.4

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