Coach Jack’s List of Approved veggies

Since everyone is always asking “What veggies are OK to eat?” or saying “There aren’t any veggies we ca eat on the WOE!” I have compiled a list of safe and unsafe veggies.

Note: If you are unhappy because your favourite veggie is on the naughty list please don’t ask me why or ask if you can still have it. You are a grown up. Make your choice. I explained why they are where they are in the article. If you don’t agree, eat them to your hearts content. If you don’t understand, google “why are lectins bad”. I do my research before I post anything. There are a few links at the end of the article.


Always keep in mind that 20g total carbs is still the daily limit and I always recommend counting TOTAL not NET!

These are the Safe veggies and are all low in lectins or only have beneficial types of lectins:

Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cauliflower
Bok choy
Napa cabbage
Chinese cabbage
Swiss chard
Arugula
Watercress
Collards
Kale
Green and red cabbage
Radicchio
Onions
Leeks
Chives
Scallions
Chicory
Artichokes
Beets (raw)
Radishes
Daikon radish
Jerusalem artichokes
Hearts of palm
Cilantro
Okra
Asparagus
Garlic
Romaine
Red and green leaf lettuce
Kohlrabi
Mesclun (baby greens)
Spinach
Endive
Dandelion greens
Butter lettuce
Fennel
Escarole
Mustard greens
Parsley
Basil
Mint
Purslane
Perilla
Algae
Seaweed
Sea vegetables
Mushrooms
Celery

These are the Unsafe Veggies that should be avoided at all cost. They are inflammatory or high in damaging lectins:

Peas
Sugar snap peas
Legumes
Green beans
Chickpeas (including as hummus)
Soy
Tofu
Edamame
Soy protein
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
All beans, including sprouts
All lentils
Cucumbers
Zucchini
Pumpkins
Squashes (any kind)
Eggplant
Tomatoes
Bell peppers
Chili peppers

Related articles:

Inflammation Induced by Concanavalin A and Other Lectins

Dietary lectins are metabolic signals for the gut and modulate immune and hormone functions.

Characteristics and consequences of interactions of lectins with the intestinal mucosa.

Evidence of a correlation between mannose binding lectin and celiac disease: a model for other autoimmune diseases

Do dietary lectins cause disease?

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

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54 Replies to “Coach Jack’s List of Approved veggies”

  1. Hi Jack
    Do you have a list of what you, typically, would eat in one day.
    As you’ve been doing the Keto diet for extended period of time, I’m curious to see what a dedicated, 100% strict day looks like.
    Even on this group’s page I’m finding a little conflicting info, so thought I’d go to the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
    Thank you for any input you can give me.

    1. I don’t eat like a normal person. I eat simply to get the exact nutrients and macros I need to fuel my body. I also experiment alot. Any new technique I plan to use on my clients I first test on myself.

      My staple diet is:

      eggs
      Bacon (once a week because I tend to eat the whole package in one sitting)
      Goat cheese
      Some nuts (macadamia or pecans)
      Cream cheese
      Coconut milk
      Olive oil
      Desiccated liver

      1. Thank you.
        I’ve been really strict this week as I had a blowout over Australia Day long weekend.
        I’m pleased with how my body is reacting to the food and plan on continuing with this.
        Seeing your list helps me plan what to buy this week.
        Thanks again.

      2. So you don’t put a lot of emphasis on fibre or veggies in your daily nutrition? I was roughly calculating that 1 cup (91g) of broccoli is almost 1/2 of the gross total carbs allowed for CSK. Is it bad if you don’t hit your carb macros (meaning you are under)?

        1. carbs and fiber are non essential. You don’t need to eat a single carb. I have not had more than 20g of total carbs in over a decade and have not eaten any appriciable amount of fiber as a result. My bowel health is completely normal. Normal daily bowel movements.

          1. Do you take any supplements since you aren’t eating any vegetables? If so please share so I can try.

          2. Not eating veggies does not require you to take vitamins. Since animal foods are far more nutrient dense than plant food gram for gram it is not required. I do take several supplements but not because I do not eat veggies. I would be more apt to take more vitamins if I did eat a more plant based diet.

            I take desiccated liver for most all nutrients. I also take a B-complex vitamin, magnesium, sodium and potassium.

      3. I’m very new and sorry if I missed it anywhere, but what makes cream cheese a safe dairy? Looks like you don’t consume much other dairy.

        1. What makes any dairy safe? Either you are allergic to lactose or casein or you aren’t. Dairy in and of itself is not bad. Just like if you aren’t allergic to dogs you can be around them just fine. Just because some people are allergic to dog it does not mean that dogs are bad for everyone.

          I eat cheese and drink heavy cream as well. A fair amount.

      1. Dr Gundry and others have noted it is in the peel and seed. I use tomato and cucumber peeled and seeded. Your comment? What do you say?

        1. Peeling and seeding reduces lectins but does not get rid of them completely. It is better.

  2. 50 y/o, 5’9″, 290 lbs, Type 2 Diabetes. just started a low-carb diet (semi Paleo), thinking about going Keto

  3. There is some contradictory pins here:
    These are the Unsafe Veggies that should be avoided at all cost. They are inflammatory or high in damaging lectins:

    Peas
    Sugar snap peas
    Legumes
    Green beans
    Chickpeas (including as hummus)
    Soy
    Tofu
    Edamame
    Soy protein
    Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
    All beans, including sprouts
    All lentils
    Cucumbers
    Zucchini
    Pumpkins
    Squashes (any kind)
    Eggplant
    Tomatoes
    Bell peppers
    Chili peppers

    and then here https://www.facebook.com/groups/commonsenseketogenics/723628047830494/
    Veggies are optional
    If having choose green leafy salad greens
    Count all carbs as fiber does trigger an insulin response
    Broccoli ,cauliflower , cabbage ,cucumber ,spinach, lettuce of all kinds, zucchini , yellow summer squash , asparagus , artichoke are some of the lower carb choices . Cauliflower is one of the most versatile veggies.
    Remember that veggies are optional not mandatory.

    1. Yes, I’m new at this and ran into these two lists and went out and bought some green and yellow squash and finished off the cucumber that I had in the fridge…Then found the other list that said those are “unsafe veggies”. I’m assuming that is correct, because it appears that most of the unsafe veggies have seeds inside.

      I’m still trying to figure out about seeds, as I’ve gotten contradictory info on that too, just as I was adding Sunflower seeds to my Kale, sausage, egg, mushroom, cheese and spinach omelette! Yes, I know… a bit much!

      1. Seeded veggies are actually fruit and fruit expresses genes that signal winter is coming and to store fat. Also these veggie fruits are full of lectins and lectins are inflammatory.

        1. Thank you for such a concise and clear answer! Jack, would you be willing to explain if/how Sunflower seeds and Chia seeds fit or don’t fit into this diet? I am totally a foodie and am really wanting to be clear what ingredients I have to work with as I am seriously thinking that this will work out as a new way of eating for the long haul…not just to loose weight and go back to “normal” eating.

    2. The only thing that is certain in nutrition is that it changes. As I do further research I change my direction based on evidence I find. If I didn’t I would be no different from those that still follow the calories in vs calories out and the eat your heart healthy grains crowd.

  4. How about tomatoes?
    I know theyre a fruit, but theyre used like veggies.

    1. They are on the no list and they are a fruit. HIgh in lectins and very inflammatory. If you peel them and deseed them it lessens the impact but there is still an impact.

  5. So, no fruits period?
    I thought maybe strawberries, blueberries, raspberries.

    Do you have a list for fruits?

    1. Hot sauce seems to be ok except for chilli peppers. The pure hot sauces like franks seem to be ok.

  6. I see coconut milk on the list of your staples , is this coconut milk in the can and if it is are there any other ingredients listed?
    Trying to get a handle on this way of eating. I have been researching so far your site is the only one that makes sense. Most of the websites have more dessert recipes listed than anything else I don’t care what way of eating you have chose dessert should not be your first consideration.
    Thank you for all that you do in helping people find true health.

  7. How many/much vegetables do you eat a day. Just confused if only counting total carbs (not Net) how do I get in enough vegetables and nutrients?

    1. I eat little to no veggies and haven’t for nearly 20 years. Animal foods have far greater nutrient content as well as bioavailability of those nutrients than plants do gram for gram. The idea that plants somehow have some monopoly on nutrients is patently false.

      See the comparisons I’ve broken down below. You can also check this yourself. Take 100g of any veggie and 100g of liver or even ground beef and compare the nutrients.

      Plants are not necessary for nutrition part 1

      Plants are not necessary for nutrition part 2

  8. Thank you for this list… it makes since now why my joints are inflamed today… I ate a lot of zucchini over the weekend… I was thinking it was the dairy… I hoped it isn’t the dairy 🙂

    1. As far as I know they are fine but watch the carb content. They can get high and even though it is fiber it still has an impact.

    1. Jerusalem Artichokes are grown for the edible portions which are the fat, misshapen tubers that grow below ground.
      Regular Artichokes are grown for the edible “spiny” piece grown above ground.

  9. By chili peppers dies that include all hot peppers as well? Jalapeño? Serrano?

  10. Thank you for this! Confirmed a lot for me. Interested in what to do with daikon. Ive sliced it thin and air fried it, which was good, would love other ideas. Been keto since July 2017 and down 50lbs. Improved bloodwork as well.

  11. Thanks for this list. I’m curious about tomatoes. I see they are on the no list but a few people mentioned removing the skin and seeds lessens the lectins. Lessens by how much?

    1. It does lessen the impact of the lectins. This is how traditional Italian cuisine would use tomato. How much, I have no idea.

  12. Hi, please clear out.. so to calculate the grams we need to eat daily…where do I get the equivalences? or should I just get a food scale? Thank you so much for your help! 3rd day trying to get Keto right… uuufff and it has been a bit difficult. + Hashimoto.

    Greetings from Ecuador, South America

  13. Hi I’m getting confused now. I struggle to eat enough fats without going over on my 57g of protein. I take spoonfuls of mct oil to boost up my fats and I don’t eat a lot of meat and definately no innards. So all i have left is dairy and nuts and seeds all of which contain protein. I’ve also just discovered my go to veg, bell peppers and zucchini, are on the naughty list. Please help.

    1. It is not that hard. I have no female clients that eat over 50g and they all meet their fat. They also don’t eat spoonfuls of any fats.

      Here are some easy ways to get fat with low protein:

      Fat sources:

      3 cups spinach with 4 tbsp of olive oil – 54g of fat
      coffee with 4 tbsp HWC – 20g fat
      2 eggs fried in 1 tbsp butter – 26 grams of fat
      4 egg yolks – 18g fat
      0.5 cups macadamia with 2 oz cream cheese – 57g fat
      2 oz triple cream brie – 24g fat
      hollandaise sauce – 31g fat (2 egg yolks, 30g melted butter, lemon juice to taste and whisk together. Put on meat or whatever you want)
      Boursin cheese 2 oz – 24g fat
      0.5 cup macadamia sauteed in 2 tbsp butter – 62g fat
      Half an avocado – 11g fat
      10 olives – 5g fat
      1 tbsp butter – 12g fat
      1 tbsp avocado mayo – 11g fat
      1 tbsp almond butter mixed with 1 tbsp MCT or coconut oil – 22g of fat
      Liver pate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liver_pâté – tons of fat with little protein and tastes amazing

      This is 377g worth of fat.

      Spinach with olive oil
      0.5 cups pecans with 2 tbsp butter
      Coffee with 5 tbsp hWC
      2 eggs friend in butter
      Hollandaise

      over 200 grams of fat with zero fat bombs or zero fat shakes.

      As for veggies. There are over 50 different veggies on the good list. Surely you can find something.

      1. Thank you for this, I also struggle to get in the fat I need daily while keeping my carbs and protein low…it has definitely been a struggle…again thank you

  14. Doing Keto again after finishing my 1st year a month ago. Stopped for 1 month and I will try your plan!

  15. Wow, thanks for this info. I’ve done keto x4 years and missed the boat on lectin!!

  16. Nightshade family lectin veggies can in general be made safe/uniflammatory by simply peeling and deseeding. Tomatoes can be simply skinned by immersing in hot water then cold water – use plum variety to get higher pulp to seed ratio so if you can’t get all the seeds out its minimal lectins. Cucumbers are super easy to peel and then seed by cutting length wise and cutting out the central region. Great fiber and nutrients that the microbiotica love and will reward you with more population growth rates to better digest foods and elevate mood (hormone signaling happy feelings) and also by feeding gut tissue with short chain fatty acids (the only real thing that feeds these cells).

    1. Yes you can dramatically reduce lectin content by seeding and peeling. You don’t need any plant matter though for short chain fatty acids or microbiota health. I have not eaten plants in over a decade and my colon is immaculate.

      Note on short chain fatty acids and plants in the human diet: Humans have almost no cecum and a very small colon as compared to hebivorous animals. We are not good hind gut fermenters so we do not produce much short chain fatty acids and of those that we do produce it is documented that we don’t absorb it well from teh digestive tract. It is mostly excreted. As much as 75% of the short chain fatty acids we do get from fermentation is found in feces. If you eat a high fat and moderate protein diet containing fatty meats you will get all the short chain fatty acids you need and they will be extremely well absorbed by the small intestine where they are meant to be absorbed by the carnivorous digestive tract that we have.

  17. Thank you for this. I mistakenly thought cucumbers were a great choice. Will correct now.

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