The ketogenic, or keto, diet is a very low carb, high fat eating plan on which carb intake is often restricted to less than 20–50 grams per day.
1. Avocados<p>Though <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado" target="_blank">avocados</a> are often referred to and used as a vegetable, they're biologically considered a fruit.</p><p>Thanks to their high content of heart-healthy fats, avocados make a great addition to a ketogenic diet.</p><p>They're also low in net carbs, with around 8.5 grams of carbs and nearly 7 grams of fiber in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/341528/nutrients" target="_blank">1Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>Avocados provide an array of other important nutrients as well, including <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-k2" target="_blank">vitamin K</a>, folate, vitamin C, and potassium (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/341528/nutrients" target="_blank">1Trusted Source</a>).</p><h4>Summary</h4><p>A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of avocado contains around 1.5 grams of net carbs. They're also high in vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, and potassium.</p>
2. Watermelon<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/watermelon-health-benefits" target="_blank">Watermelon</a> is a flavorful and hydrating fruit that's easy to add to a ketogenic diet.</p><p>Compared with other fruits, watermelon is relatively low in net carbs, with around 11.5 grams of carbs and 0.5 grams of fiber in a 1-cup (152-gram) serving (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167765/nutrients" target="_blank">2Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>That said, depending on your daily carb allotment, you may need to adjust your portion sizes to fit watermelon into your diet.</p><p>Watermelon is likewise rich in a variety of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and copper (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167765/nutrients" target="_blank">2Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>Plus, it contains <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lycopene" target="_blank">lycopene</a>, a plant compound that acts as an antioxidant to decrease cell damage and fight disease (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464475/" target="_blank">3Trusted Source</a>).</p><h4>Summary</h4><p>A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of avocado contains around 1.5 grams of net carbs. They're also high in vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, and potassium.</p>
3. Strawberries<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/strawberries" target="_blank">Strawberries</a> are nutritious, delicious, and brimming with health benefits.</p><p>Low in carbs and high in fiber, strawberries can fit seamlessly into a low carb or ketogenic diet.</p><p>In fact, a 1-cup (152-gram) serving of strawberries provides just 11.7 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/341668/nutrients" target="_blank">4Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>Strawberries are an excellent source of other micronutrients as well, including vitamin C, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/manganese-benefits" target="_blank">manganese</a>, and folate (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/341668/nutrients" target="_blank">4Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>Plus, like other types of berries, strawberries are loaded with antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and procyanidins (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5890122/" target="_blank">5Trusted Source</a>).</p><h4>Summary</h4><p>Each cup (152 grams) of strawberries provides 8.7 grams of net carbs. They also contain a host of antioxidants, as well as vitamin C, manganese, and folate.</p>
4. Lemons<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-lemon-health-benefits" target="_blank">Lemons</a> are a popular citrus fruit used to flavor drinks, meals, and desserts.</p><p>Lemons can be a great addition to the ketogenic diet, with approximately 5.5 grams of carbs and 1.5 grams of dietary fiber in each fruit (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/341433/nutrients" target="_blank">6Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>They're especially rich in <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/pectin" target="_blank">pectin</a>, a type of fiber that can help stabilize blood sugar levels, fight inflammation, and slow the growth of cancer cells (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6401843/" target="_blank">7Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>Lemons are also high in several other nutrients, including vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6 (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/341433/nutrients" target="_blank">6Trusted Source</a>).</p><h4>Summary</h4><p>Lemons can be a great addition to a ketogenic diet, with 4 grams of net carbs in each fruit. They also contain pectin, a type of fiber associated with several health benefits.</p>
5. Tomatoes<p>Despite being used as a vegetable in many meals and recipes, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tomatoes-on-keto" target="_blank">tomatoes</a> are botanically classified as a fruit.</p><p>With a significantly lower carb count than many other fruits, tomatoes are easy to fit into a balanced ketogenic diet.</p><p>One cup (180 grams) of raw tomatoes contains about 7 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/342502/nutrients" target="_blank">8Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>What's more, tomatoes are low in calories and high in beneficial plant compounds, including lycopene, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/beta-carotene-benefits" target="_blank">beta carotene</a>, and naringenin (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22129335" target="_blank">9Trusted Source</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17165839" target="_blank">10Trusted Source</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6469163/" target="_blank">11Trusted Source</a>).</p><h4>Summary</h4><p><strong></strong>Tomatoes provide only 5 grams of net carbs per 1-cup (180-gram) serving. They also contain antioxidants like lycopene, beta carotene, and naringenin.</p>
6. Raspberries<p>In addition to being one of the healthiest berries, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/raspberry-nutrition" target="_blank">raspberries</a> are a great addition to a low carb or ketogenic diet.</p><p>In fact, 1 cup (123 grams) of raspberries provides only 7 grams of net carbs, as this serving size has around 15 grams of carbs and 8 grams of fiber (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167755/nutrients" target="_blank">12Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>Each serving also offers a good amount of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin K, and copper (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167755/nutrients" target="_blank">12Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>What's more, raspberries are high in antioxidants that can decrease inflammation and reduce your risk of chronic disease (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26773014" target="_blank">13Trusted Source</a>).</p><h4>Summary</h4><p>A 1-cup (123-gram) serving of raspberries contains only 7 grams of net carbs. These berries are rich in vitamin C, manganese, vitamin K, copper, and antioxidants.</p>
7. Peaches<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/peach-fruit-benefits" target="_blank">Peaches</a> are a type of stone fruit known for their fuzzy skin and sweet, juicy flesh.</p><p>They're relatively low in net carbs, with 14.7 grams of carbs and 2.5 grams of fiber per cup (154 grams) (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/341586/nutrients" target="_blank">14Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>By moderating your portion size and pairing peaches with other low carb foods, you can fit this tasty fruit into a healthy keto diet.</p><p>Furthermore, they're rich in other important micronutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/niacin-benefits" target="_blank">niacin</a> (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/341586/nutrients" target="_blank">14Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>According to a study in 1,393 people, regularly eating peaches along with other fruits and vegetables high in flavonoids and stilbene may even be linked to improved triglyceride and cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23522824" target="_blank">15Trusted Source</a>).</p><h4>Summary</h4><p>One cup (154 grams) of peaches provides 12.2 grams of net carbs. This stone fruit also offers a wealth of other nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and niacin.</p>
8. Cantaloupe<p>The <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-of-cantaloupe" target="_blank">cantaloupe</a> is a type of muskmelon closely related to other varieties of melon, such as watermelon and honeydew.</p><p>Each serving of cantaloupe is relatively low in net carbs, with just 12.7 grams of carbs and 1.5 grams of fiber per cup (156 grams) (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/341538/nutrients" target="_blank">16Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>Plus, just a single serving provides a hearty dose of folate, potassium, and vitamin K (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/341538/nutrients" target="_blank">16Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>It's also one of the best sources of beta carotene, a type of plant pigment that plays a central role in immune function and eye health (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3139236/" target="_blank">17Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>Still, depending on your daily carb allowance, you may want to opt for a smaller portion size to fit cantaloupe into your diet.</p><h4>Summary</h4><p>With 11.2 grams of net carbs in each cup (156 grams), cantaloupe can be incorporated into a well-planned ketogenic diet. Cantaloupe also contains folate, potassium, vitamin K, and beta carotene.</p>
9. Star Fruit<p>Also known as carambola, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/star-fruit-101" target="_blank">star fruit</a> is a vibrant, star-shaped tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia.</p><p>Although star fruit is not as common as many other types of fruit, it's a popular choice for those on a ketogenic diet due to its low carb content.</p><p>In fact, a 1-cup (108-gram) serving of star fruit contains just 7.3 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171715/nutrients" target="_blank">18Trusted Source</a>).</p><p>Star fruit is also packed with vitamin C, copper, potassium, and pantothenic acid (<a href="https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171715/nutrients" target="_blank">18Trusted Source</a>).</p><h4>Summary</h4><p>A 1-cup (108-gram) serving of star fruit contains just 4.3 grams of net carbs. Star fruit is also a good source of vitamin C, copper, potassium, and pantothenic acid.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Although fruits are often considered off-limits on the ketogenic diet, plenty of low carb fruits can be incorporated into the diet.</p><p>In addition to being low in <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/net-carbs" target="_blank">net carbs</a> and high in fiber, many of these fruits offer a wealth of other important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health.</p><p>Enjoy these fruits in moderation alongside a variety of other low carb foods as part of a well-rounded ketogenic diet.</p>
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
On Valentine's Day, people celebrate all kinds of love. And chefs and foodies around the globe are showing how indulgence can often be both healthy for people and the planet. These innovators are making the case that flavorful, locally sourced plant-inspired dishes are perfect for special occasions — and also versatile for everyday mealtimes.
1. Alice Waters<p>Waters is a chef, author, and food advocate, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. Waters is the author of 15 books, including New York Times bestsellers The Art of Simple Food I & II, and the memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook. With the belief that chefs should pay attention to the wholesomeness of food — including how ingredients are sourced — Waters is credited with providing the foundation for the plant-forward movement. Waters' recipes and menus offer occasional lapses into indulgence perfect for Valentine's Day including sweet corn soup and winter squash tortellini.</p>
2. Ana Sortun<p>Ana Sortun is the chef at Oleana in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her menu focuses on Turkish and Middle Eastern classics distilled down to their traditional elements. She is also the owner of Sofra Bakery in Cambridge and Sarma Restaurant in Somerville, Mass. Many of the vegetables used at Sortun's restaurants are grown locally — on her husband's farm. Sortun is well-regarded for her mastery of Mediterranean spices — her 2006 cookbook, simply called "Spice," is a bestseller. In her recipes for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/turkish-stuffed-eggplant-imam-bayildi-recipe/" target="_blank">imam bayildi (Turkish stuffed eggplant)</a> and <a href="https://oldwayspt.org/blog/chef-ana-sortun-oleana-shares-kitchen-secrets-and-new-cookbook" target="_blank">Syrian-style lentils with chard</a>, she homes in the one or two warming spices that will elevate the star vegetable without overpowering its natural flavor.</p>
3. Chloe Coscarelli<p>Vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli believes that vegetable-forward dishes can still be mouthwatering, rich, and playful. Now with four cookbooks and nearly a dozen television appearances, Coscarelli has become a prominent figure making the most of plants and their natural flavors. With recipes like <a href="https://chefchloe.com/recipes" target="_blank">chocolate layer cake</a>, <a href="https://chefchloe.com/recipes" target="_blank">blueberry cinnamon french toast</a>, and maple bacon benedict, home chefs can satisfy their sweet tooth and their savory cravings this holiday.</p>
4. Christina Arokiasamy<p>Chef Christina Arokiasamy, who was raised in Malaysia and now lives in Washington State, served as the first Malaysian food ambassador to the United States. Her family members have been spice merchants for five generations, and her show on the Cooking Channel, The Malaysian Kitchen, focused on traditional Malaysian flavors. Arokiasamy's recipes for <a href="https://themalaysiankitchen.com/2019/10/08/vegetarian-pineapple-fried-rice/" target="_blank">pineapple fried rice</a> and <a href="https://themalaysiankitchen.com/2019/10/08/goan-coconut-curry/" target="_blank">goan coconut curry</a> both highlight plant-based ingredients commonly found in Malaysia and blend sweet and savory elements.</p>
5. Daisuke Nomura<p>Chef Nomura is internationally praised for plant-forward takes on creative Japanese style cuisine. Having earned two Michelin stars, Nomura's recipes are sure to impress any loved one with plant-forward innovation, including his spin on an American Valentine's classic: instead of a beef steak, Nomura's recipe suggests an <a href="https://www.plantforward50.com/chefs/daisuke-nomura#recipe" target="_blank">onion steak</a> as a new way to embrace the overlooked ingredient's flavor using new and modern styles of cooking.</p>
6. Dan Barber<p>Dan Barber, Chef and Co-Owner of <a href="https://www.bluehillfarm.com/" target="_blank">Blue Hill</a> and <a href="https://www.bluehillfarm.com/dine/stone-barns" target="_blank">Blue Hill at Stone Barn</a> and the author of The Third Plate, was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President's Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and has received multiple James Beard awards including Best Chef. In 2009 he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Barber is hailed for his plant-forward initiatives including his Row 7 seed company that breeds seeds for better flavor. Barber's plant-forward <a href="https://www.plantforward50.com/chefs/dan-barber#recipe" target="_blank">celery root recipes</a> open up new possibilities for the vegetable a rich broth, cozy tea, or even a hearty braised dish.</p>
7. Deborah Madison<p>Chef, cooking teacher, and author of 14 widely-recognized cookbooks Deborah Madison specializes in seasonal vegetable recipes. Through these recipes, Madison — recognized as the originator of the plant-forward trend — hopes to highlight farmers market produce and heritage varieties of vegetables. Having cooked at restaurants like Greens in San Francisco, Madison has surprised many non-vegetarian and non-vegan diners with bold flavors and filling meals. Dive into Madison's cozy <a href="https://www.latimes.com/food/recipes/la-fo-deborah-madison-in-my-kitchen-cookbook-20170206-story.html" target="_blank">lentil soup with berbere</a> or <a href="https://www.marthastewart.com/316404/beet-risotto" target="_blank">risotto with beets</a>, which add depth and color to a normally luxurious dish.</p>
8. Derek and Chad Sarno<p>Derek Sarno is Executive Chef and Director of Plant-Based Innovation at Tesco and co-founder of Wicked Healthy, a plant-forward blog founded with his brother Chad Sarno. The co-founders develop recipes that allow eaters to indulge with smokey, deep, and nearly guilt-causing flavors — all while maintaining a plant-forward diet and mission. Their recipes like <a href="https://wickedhealthyfood.com/2019/12/27/wicked-herby-crusted-roasted-butternut-squash-tenderloin/" target="_blank">roasted and herb-crusted butternut squash tenderloin</a> and coconut tartlets with <a href="https://wickedhealthyfood.com/2016/09/11/coconut-tartlet-with-clementine-sorbet-and-lavender-syrup/" target="_blank">clementine sorbet and lavender syrup</a> embrace the flavor of plants and their potential in classic Valentine's Day preparations.</p>
9. Erik Oberholtzer<p>Erik Oberholtzer is a chef, social entrepreneur, and food activist whose restaurant chain Tender Greens makes it easier for anyone to enjoy seasonal, plant-forward home cooking at affordable prices. And as a board member for The Rodale Institute and a Food Forever Champion, Oberholtzer supports regeneratively grown and biodiverse crops in diets around the world. His recipes for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2BK-eGryp0" target="_blank">gazpacho</a> and <a href="https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/poached-salmon-salad-with-lettuce-and-asparagus-50185996" target="_blank">poached salmon salad</a> offer lighter takes on romantic meals.</p>
10. Hari Pulapaka<p>Hari Pulapaka is the Executive Chef and Owner of the acclaimed Cress Restaurant in DeLand, Florida, and is a tenured professor at Stetson University. Pulapaka's self-described cuisine is "globally inspired" and "vegetarian focused" and is intended to showcase food that "nourishes the body and frees the soul." In his forthcoming book Sinfully Vegetarian, Pulapaka will feature plant-forward recipes that leave eaters feeling spoiled and craving for more. Inspired by Pulapaka's menus and recipes, eaters can indulge in <a href="http://sinfullyvegetarian.com/" target="_blank">savory vegetable bread pudding</a>, beet-radish terrine with lentil-sesame hummus, or a Mediterranean and Middle East-inspired <a href="https://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/meyer-lemon-ricotta-and-spinach-gnudi-with-green-garbanzo-bean-hummus-tomato-jam-and-spiced-almonds" target="_blank">ricotta and spinach gnudi</a>.</p>
11. Jody Adams<p>Jody Adams, a James Beard Foundation award-winning chef, highlights local vegetables at her restaurants in Boston, where her menus feature housemade pastas, roasted beets, and spanakopita. Adams — who holds a degree in anthropology from Brown University — put it best when she said, "It's the beautiful, raw ingredients that determine what food tastes like — not how fancy the kitchen is." Try something new in the kitchen this Valentine's Day, like making your own pasta: Adams' comforting recipes for <a href="https://www.bostonchefs.com/recipe/jody-adams-floppy-tomato-lasagna/" target="_blank">floppy tomato lasagna</a> and <a href="https://www.starchefs.com/chefs/JAdams/html/recipe_03.shtml" target="_blank">potato gnocchi gratin with wild mushrooms</a> guide you through the process.</p>
12. Joe Yonan<p>Joe Yonan, the Washington Post's food and dining editor, thinks we should all eat more beans. In his new book, Cool Beans, Yonan shares 125 recipes that highlight the versatility of the wide world of protein-packed legumes. Many of the recipes, like <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vegetarian-recipes-hummus-ratatouille-margaritas-and-more-from-washington-posts-joe-yonan/" target="_blank">fusilli with white beans, cherry tomatoes, and corn sauce</a> or <a href="https://modernfarmer.com/2020/02/cook-this-cool-beans-by-joe-yonan/" target="_blank">falafel fattoush</a>, use ingredients you might already have canned in your pantry. Right in time for Valentine's Day, Yonan even serves dessert and drinks, with recipes like <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vegetarian-recipes-hummus-ratatouille-margaritas-and-more-from-washington-posts-joe-yonan/" target="_blank">chocolate, red bean, and rose brownies</a> and a <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vegetarian-recipes-hummus-ratatouille-margaritas-and-more-from-washington-posts-joe-yonan/" target="_blank">salty margarita sour</a>, topped with whipped chickpea aquafaba.</p>
13. John Fraser<p>Eating vegetarian or vegan, <a href="http://www.nixny.com/" target="_blank">according to chef John Fraser</a>, "should feel more celebration than sacrifice." That's why he opened Nix, which is now New York City's only Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant. There, he serves dishes ranging from cauliflower tempura (<a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-dish-chef-john-fraser/" target="_blank">here's the recipe</a>) to kabocha squash dumplings, but his menu changes depending on what's seasonally available. Fraser shows that plant-forward dishes can be fun — he describes his <a href="https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qkn9aw/potato-fry-bread-with-sour-cream-and-cucumbers" target="_blank">potato fry bread recipe</a> as "a zeppoli made love to a French fry and then got slathered in sour cream and vegetables."</p>
14. José Andrés<p>José Andrés is often credited with bringing the tapas-style dining concept to America. The founder of 31 restaurants and World Central Kitchen, which provides meals to those affected by natural disasters, wants to bring vegetables forward in American diets. By making vegetables the center of dishes, and relegating meat to side dishes or condiments, Andrés hopes to give plants the recognition they deserve for their role in eaters' health and happiness. Andrés's recent cookbook Vegetables Unleashed includes cozy, luxurious recipes like potatoes cooked in compost, vegetable paella, and fennel bouillabaisse.</p>
15. Makini Howell<p>Chef Makini Howell from Plum Bistro Seattle designs innovative dishes that reflect upon her experience being raised in a vegan family. With powerful flavors, Howell works hard to make plant-forward synonymous with delicious. Howell's recipes offer adventurous eaters an opportunity to integrate more spice into their Valentine's Day meal plans with a <a href="https://recipes.oregonlive.com/recipes/habanero-yam-soup" target="_blank">habanero yam soup</a> and <a href="https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/home-and-family/recipes/makini-howells-spicy-peach-tofu-and-tempeh-with-charred-purple-beans" target="_blank">spicy peach tofu and tempeh with charred purple beans</a>.</p>
16. Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby<p>Chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby opened and operate a small restaurant group of vegan establishments in Philadelphia — including Vedge, V Street, and Wiz Kid — and Washington D.C.'s Fancy Radish. As James Beard-nominated chefs, Landau and Jacoby's passion for veganism injects love into their cooking; and similar plant lovers can feel inspired by their menus and recipes that explore rutabaga fondue, eggplant braciole, and even <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwExuSgTJ5M" target="_blank">potato scallops</a>.</p>
17. Romy Gill<p>When chef Romy Gill was growing up in India, meat was reserved for celebrations and special occasions — and even when she did eat meat, it was a side dish at most. So every recipe in her recent debut cookbook, Zaika, is vegan. "I wanted to show that in India, plant-based cuisine is something people don't do just for the sake of it—it's a way of life," <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel/2019/12/warming-dhals-zingy-salads-interview-romy-gill" target="_blank">she said</a>. Gill, who now lives in the U.K., cooks lighter fare with Indian flavors, like <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/recipes/red-cabbage-pomegranate-salad-romy-gill-cooking-instructions-a9008271.html" target="_blank">red cabbage and pomegranate salad</a> and <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/recipes/romy-gill-recipe-courgette-sabzi-indian-vegetarian-a8361056.html" target="_blank">courgette (zucchini) sabzi</a>, a childhood favorite.</p>
18. Selassie Atadika<p>Midunu, the name of chef Selassie Atadika's restaurant in Accra, Ghana, means "let us eat" in the Ewe language. Midunu represents "nomadic" dining, meaning meals are served pop-up style at a new location each time. Atadika said she is reminded that plant-forward cooking is healthier for humans and the planet when she looks at the traditional foodways of nomadic African groups. Now, at Midunu, Atadika sources much of her produce and grain from local farmers living off the land. Recipes like her <a href="https://www.plantforward50.com/chefs/selassie-atadika#recipe" target="_blank">gari foto</a> celebrate African ingredients like gari (made from dried cassava) and the spice prekese.</p>
19. Stéphanie Audet<p>Before Stéphanie Audet became a restaurant chef, she was a vegetarian food consultant, creating plant-based recipes and menus for restaurants. These skills have come in handy in her kitchens: A restaurant she opened in Hawaii was devoted entirely to raw indigenous ingredients. When she became the executive chef at LOV, in Montreal, Canada, in 2016, she created an entirely vegan menu that featured creative but approachable recipes like <a href="https://quench.me/mavericks/stephanie-audet-lov-maverick-chefs-2018/" target="_blank">coconut ceviche</a>. Recently, she moved to Lisbon, Portugal, where she opened Senhor Uva. At the natural food and wine bar, her small plates focus on seasonal and local vegetables.</p>
20. Tal Ronnen<p>The plant-based chef to the stars, Tal Ronnen earned his fame while cooking for Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Arianna Huffington, and for the first-ever vegan dinner at the United States Senate. Ronnen's cookbook Crossroads is based on recipes from his Los Angeles restaurant of the same name, which opened in 2013 to showcase high-end vegan dining with Mediterranean flavors. With an inventive recipe for <a href="https://www.plantforward50.com/chefs/tal-ronnen#recipe" target="_blank">artichoke "oysters" with tomato bearnaise and kelp caviar</a>, Ronnen offers eaters a plant-forward alternative to the well-known seafood aphrodisiac this Valentine's Day.</p>
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By Megan Konar
My team at the University of Illinois just developed the first high-resolution map of the U.S. food supply chain.
This map shows how food flows between counties in the U.S. Each line represents the transportation of all food commodities, along transit routes, like roads or railways.
1. Where Your Food Comes From<p>Now, residents in each county can see how they are connected to all other counties in the country via food transfers. Overall, there are 9.5 million links between counties on our map.</p><p>All Americans, from urban to rural are connected through the food system. Consumers all rely on distant producers; agricultural processing plants; food storage like grain silos and grocery stores; and food transportation systems.</p><p>For example, the map shows how a shipment of corn starts at a farm in Illinois, travels to a grain elevator in Iowa before heading to a feedlot in Kansas, and then travels in animal products being sent to grocery stores in Chicago.</p>
2. Where the Food Hubs Are<p>At over 17 million tons of food, Los Angeles County received more food than any other county in 2012, our study year. It shipped out even more: 22 million tons.</p><p>California's Fresno County and Stanislaus County are the next largest, respectively. In fact, many of the counties that shipped and received the most food were located in California. This is due to the several large urban centers, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the productive Central Valley in California.</p><p><iframe id="tkolv" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/tkolv/2/" height="400px" width="100%" style="border: none" frameborder="0"></iframe></p>
3. How Food Travels From Place to Place<p>We also looked at how much food is transported between one county and another.</p><p>Many of the largest food transport links were within California. This indicates that there is a lot of internal food movement within the state.</p><p>One of the largest links is from Niagara County to Erie County in New York. That's due to the flow of food through an important international overland port with Canada.</p><p>Some of the other largest links were inside the counties themselves. This is because of moving food items around for manufacturing within a county — for example, milk gets off a truck at a large depot and is then shipped to a yogurt facility, then the yogurt is moved to a grocery distribution warehouse, all within the same county.</p><p>The food supply chain relies on a complex web of interconnected infrastructure. For example, a lot of grain produced throughout the Midwest is transported to the Port of New Orleans for export. This primarily occurs via the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/maps-of-american-infrastrucure/" target="_blank">waterways</a> of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.</p><p>The infrastructure along these waterways — such as locks 52 and 53 — are critical, but have not been overhauled since their construction in 1929. They represent a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/business/economy/desperately-plugging-holes-in-an-87-year-old-dam.html" target="_blank">serious bottleneck</a>, slowing down innumerable supply chains nationwide, including that of grain. If they were to fail entirely, then commodity transport and supply chains would be completely disrupted.</p><p><a href="https://www.aar.org/article/freight-rail-grain/" target="_blank">Railroads are also important for moving grain</a>. Fresh produce, on the other hand, is often moved around the country by <a href="https://www.shipabco.com/shipping-fresh-produce-what-you-need-to-know/" target="_blank">refrigerated truck</a>. This is due to the need to keep fresh fruits and vegetables — relatively high value agricultural products – cool until they reach the consumer.</p><p>In future work, we hope to evaluate the specific infrastructure that is critical to the U.S. food supply chain.</p>
By Brian Barth
Santa Barbara-based farmer, chef, and educator Michelle Aronson is an outgoing type. She's become known among for her friends for a certain party trick: "I would get to know people and on the spot come up with their spirit vegetable."
By Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz
Sometime during the spring, backyard food growers decide what kind of tomatoes to grow: heirlooms or hybrids. Hybrid varieties have had the benefit of genetic tinkering that allows for some cool traits. But these seeds must be purchased new each year from the companies that create them.
Climate change is boxing us into a dietary corner. Research last month suggested that avoiding meat and dairy was the best thing an individual could do to reduce their ecological footprint, but now scientists predict that rising global temperatures and other changes could make vegetable and legume alternatives harder to come by.
By Brian Barth
Indoor growing offers many advantages. The biggest benefits are the most obvious: garden pests can't get at your plants, and you have total control over the weather.
Yet unless you're lucky enough to have a solarium or greenhouse attached to your home, providing sufficient light to your plants will likely be an obstacle (shade-tolerant houseplants excepted). South-facing windows may provide enough light for a tray or two of seedlings, but if you want to grow vegetables, or any other sun-loving plants, to maturity, you're going to need grow lights.
Amazon has a new frontier it's looking to tackle: your garden. The tech company recently received a patent for a new service that would let users upload photos of their vegetable gardens then receive a variety of recommendations from Amazon including recipes for the specific veggies they've planted, gardening tools they might need, and even advice on what else to plant and exactly where in your plot it should go.
By Dan Nosowitz
On the heels of our country's very own secular harvest festival, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released new data indicating just how few people are actually regularly eating the fruits of the harvest.
The CDC regularly publishes data on the health of the country, and, appropriately for the season, last week's ominous-sounding Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report includes information on fruit and vegetable consumption.
By Maggie McCracken
Kale, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower may all look different, but they're actually remarkably similar. These five veggies are all part of the Cruciferae family. We laymen commonly refer to them as cruciferous vegetables. In addition to being closely related, these five vegetables also have something else in common: They're some of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet.
We're not saying you shouldn't ever deviate away from the cruciferous family, but really, these five vegetables can fulfill a lot of your nutritional needs. Here are a few of the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables and some advice on how you can best prepare them at home.
First off, few vegetables are packed with as many different nutrients as cruciferous vegetables. They're rich in vitamins A, C and K, as well as the B-vitamin group, including the ever-important folic acid.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamin A is super important for hair, skin and nail health, which makes cruciferous vegetables not only good for our bodies, but also our beauty routines. Vitamin A is also important for eyesight and is an important nutrient for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
Vitamin C, of course, strengthens the immune system and vitamin K is important for blood clotting function. Meanwhile, the hugely important nutrient folic acid (a B-group vitamin) is beneficial for healthy pregnancies. It's so important, in fact, that the Center for Disease Control recommends that all women of childbearing age consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to prevent potential birth defects.
Phytonutrients are a group of nutrients that can only be found in plants, hence their title, phtyo- (Greek for "plant") nutrients. The phytonutrient group glucosinolates is prevalent in cruciferous vegetables. In fact, according to World's Healthiest Foods, we simply can't get enough glucosinolates in our diet without consuming these kinds of veggies.
This is crucial because these phytonutrients play an important role in cancer prevention.
"Once converted into other molecules called isothiocyanates, the glucosinolates have an eye-opening track record in lowering the risk of certain cancers," World's Healthiest Foods states.
We already know that calcium is important for bone health, but did you know that you can actually get plenty of calcium from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kale? They may actually be preferable to dairy as a calcium source, because they are absorbed better, are paired with vitamin K (important for calcium absorption) and don't have the negative health effects of dairy.
Finally, like all plant foods, cruciferous vegetables contain tons of fiber, which is great for our bodies. Fiber moves through the digestive tract, clearing the intestines, promoting regular bowel movements and increasing nutrient absorption. In fact, adequate fiber intake may just be the most important component in a weight loss program, according to Harvard University Researchers.
How to Prepare Cruciferous Vegetables
When it comes to broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage, the rawer you can eat your veggies, the better. World's Healthiest Foods points out that the fresher your veggies are, the more likely they will be to have active enzymes, which contribute to vitamin and phytonutrient content.
To eat your broccoli raw, simply dip it in a tasty vegetable dip (ranch is a classic) and munch on it as a snack. You can also pick up raw broccoli cole slaw that makes for a great addition to salads.
Speaking of salads, use kale as one of your leafy greens in salad preparation. This will ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck in terms of nutrients. Cabbage is similar in its palatability on top of salads and in cole slaws.
Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are difficult ones to eat raw due to their harder textures and bitter tastes. A great trick is to throw them in your food processor and grind them until they are a fine, grain-like texture. Then you can sprinkle them over salads or soups.
If none of these options sound appealing, don't worry—eating your cruciferous vegetables cooked will still give you a healthy dose of important nutrients.
"Recent research shows a definite dietary place for cruciferous vegetables in both raw and cooked form," asserts World's Healthiest Foods.
This article was reposted with permission from our media associate Care2.
By Marion Nestle
Michelle Obama and Tom Vilsack announced new nutrition standards for school meals Jan. 25, to what seems to be near-universal applause (the potato growers are still miffed, according to the New York Times).
The new standards are best understood in comparison to current standards (see chart). They call for:
- More fruits and vegetables
- A greater range of vegetables
- A requirement for whole grains
- All milk to be 1 percent or less
- Only non-fat milk to be permitted to be flavored
This may not sound like much. But given what it has taken the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to get to this point, the new standards must be seen as a major step forward.
The new one looks so much better. Now it’s up to schools to make the new standards work, make the foods taste yummy, and get kids to be willing to try new foods.
To review the history—This all started when the USDA asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to design nutrition standards that would:
- Increase the amount and variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Set a minimum and maximum level of calories
- Focus more on reducing saturated fat and sodium
The new standards come pretty close to what the IOM recommended (see the earlier chart), with some now-famous exceptions. The IOM proposed limits on starchy vegetables. USDA then proposed to limit starchy vegetables to two servings a week. It also set a minimum for the amount of tomato sauce on pizza that could count toward vegetable servings.
Under pressure from potato growers and suppliers of school pizza, Congress weighed in and overruled the USDA on both counts.
The result—pizza now counts as a vegetable.
To give some idea of the extent of lobbying on all sides of this issue, USDA’s January proposal elicited 132,000 public comments (these are someplace at www.regulations.gov and are addressed in the Federal Register notice).
I asked in a previous post whether this kind of congressional micromanagement made sense (absolutely not, in my view). I also wrote previously about the intense lobbying efforts to make sure these standards would never be released.
Despite congressional and industry opposition, the standards are out.
Applause is very much in order for Mrs. Obama’s leadership on this issue.
Good work. Now let’s get busy on the next challenges:
- Set nutrition standards for competitive foods in schools—those sold outside of the lunch program as snacks and meal replacements.
- Teach kids where food comes from.
- Teach kids to cook.
For the record:
The initial press release—It is headlined “First Lady to Announce New Nutrition Standards for Meals Served in America’s Schools: Public-Private Partnership Aims to Connect More Kids to Nutrition Programs.” I’m not sure where the Public-Private Partnership comes into this.
Additions—Dana Woldrow sends this link to shed some light on the curious business of private-public partnerships. Here’s one where Goya foods is giving out teaching materials in schools.
For more information, click here.
By Marion Nestle
The food and chemical industries are lobbying hard against what is expected to be a tough report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report will set an upper limit for safe consumption of dioxins.
Most Americans consume dioxins at levels higher than this standard, mostly from food. About 90 percent of dioxins come from foods, particularly high-fat animal foods.
Dioxins mainly enter the food chain as by-products of industrial processes. To a lesser extent, they also come from natural processes such as volcanoes and forest fires. They contaminate land and sea, are consumed in feed, move up the food chain, and end up in the fatty parts of meat, dairy products and seafood.
Dioxins accumulate in fatty tissues and they increase the risk of human cancer more than any other industrial chemical.
The EPA is expected to recommend an intake limit of 0.7 picograms of dioxin per kilogram body weight per day. A picogram is one trillionth of a gram. The World Health Organization and European Union limit is higher—from 1 to 4 picograms per kilogram per day.
The food and chemical industries argue that the proposed EPA limit is too low.
The EPA thinks less is better. Dioxins are toxic and Americans typically consume amounts within the European range. A single hot dog can contain more dioxin than the proposed limit for a 2-year-old.
Dioxin levels in the U.S. have been declining for the last 30 years due to reductions in man-made sources, but they break down slowly and persist for a long time in the environment.
How to avoid them? The best way is to eat less high-fat meats, dairy foods and seafood. No wonder the food industry is alarmed.
A “Food Industry Dioxin Working Group” of trade associations such as the International Dairy Foods Association, the American Frozen Food Institute and the National Chicken Council wrote to the White House:
Under EPA’s proposal…nearly every American – particularly young children—could easily exceed the daily RfD [reference dose] after consuming a single meal or heavy snack…The implications of this action are chilling.
Since the agency contends the primary route of human exposure to dioxin is through food, this could not only mislead and frighten consumers about the safety of their diets, but could have a significant negative economic impact on all U.S. food producers.
These groups singled out the media for particular blame:
The media will inevitably report on this change and in all likelihood misinterpret the RFD as a ‘safe limit’. As a result, consumers may try to avoid any foods ‘identified’ as containing or likely to contain any dioxin.
Eat more fruits and vegetables anyone?
Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) is urging the EPA to get busy and release its report:
The American public has been waiting for the completion of this dioxin study since 1985 and cannot afford any further delays…A baby born on the day the EPA completed its first draft health assessment would be 27 years old today. I’d like to see the final EPA analysis before it turns 28.
Let’s hope the EPA does not cave in to industry pressure and releases the report this month as promised.
Dioxins collectively refers to hundreds of chemical compounds that share certain structures and biological characteristics. They fall into three closely related groups—the chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (CDDs), chlorinated dibenzofurans (CDFs) and certain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The most studied is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). PCBs are no longer produced in the U.S.
For more information, click here.