Low-Carb Radishes Are Great for More Than Salads

Radishes are a root vegetable that is high in fiber and low in starch

Easter Radishes
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Most people do not think much about radishes outside of perhaps a few slices of a salad. Radishes have a lot of great potential while on a low-carb diet. It takes 10 medium radishes to get 1 gram of a carbohydrate. They are a great root vegetable for you to chomp on while watching your carbs.

There are other ways to eat radishes, they can be steamed and roasted.

When cooked, they lose some of their peppery bites and can take on a variety of herbs or spices.

Radishes come in a variety of colors and types. Daikon radish and Korean radish are popular in East Asia. White and red European radishes are the types usually used in American cuisine. They are considered part of the cruciferous vegetable family, related to turnips, cabbage, and broccoli. They grow quickly, smaller varieties can be ready for consumption within a month of planting.

History of the Radish

Scientists tentatively locate the origin of the radish, Raphanus sativus, in southeast Asia, as this is the only region where truly wild forms have been discovered. India, central China, and central Asia appear to have been secondary centers where different forms were developed.

Radishes enter the historical record in third century BC. Greek and Roman agriculturalists of the first century AD gave details of small, large, round, long, mild, and sharp varieties.

The radish seems to have been one of the first European crops introduced to the Americas.

Radish Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts

Since potatoes are very starch and carbohydrate heavy, radishes are a good substitute. You can roast them like potatoes, and transform them from crunchy and spicy to soft and luscious—with virtually no net carbs.

Quantity of radishCarb, fiber and calorie counts
½ cup sliced radishes (about 2 ounces)1 gram net carbs, 1 gram fiber,9 calories
1 medium radish (1 inch in diameter)0.1 gram net carbs, .1 gram fiber, 7 calories
¼ lb (4 ounces) radishes2 grams net carbs, 2 grams fiber, 18 calories

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load for Radishes

The glycemic index of a food is an indicator of how much and how fast a food raises your blood sugar. As with most non-starchy vegetables, there is no scientific study of the glycemic index of radishes.

The glycemic load of a food is related to the glycemic index but takes serving size into account. A glycemic load of one is the equivalent of eating 1 gram of glucose.

Glycemic Load of Radishes
1/2 cup sliced radishes (about 2 ounces): 0
1 medium radish (1 inch in diameter): 0
1/4 lb (4 ounces) radishes: 1

Health Benefits of Radishes

Radishes are a very good source of fiber. They are a very good source of vitamin C and contain smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals.


  • Lewis-Jones, L.J.; Thorpe, J.P.; Wallis, G.P. (1982). "Genetic divergence in four species of the genus Raphanus: Implications for the ancestry of the domestic radishR. sativus ".Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.18(1): 35–48.