How Many Carbs In Butternut Squash: Is It Keto Friendly
Would you believe that squash could sustain you in the afterlife?
Some Native American peoples believed that.
But we want to see how butternuts squash fit on the keto diet.
If you follow this diet you might be asking yourself:
Is butternut squash keto friendly?
The answer to this question is a resounding maybe. Butternut squash can be included in the keto diet, but only sparingly.
If you want to know why that is then keep reading to find out more about butternut squash and its place in the keto diet.
Lets dive in!
Wondering what exactly a butternut squash is, can be somewhat essential for the keto diet.
We know veggies and fruits can be hit or miss on the keto.
Butternut squash is an interesting one, as it is a fruit but its most often used as a vegetable.
Its appearance more closely resembles a zucchini, while its contents and taste more closely to fruit. Some have even compared it to pumpkins.
Is Butternut Squash Healthy
Some research suggests diets high in antioxidants found in butternut squash can reduce risk of certain cancers. A meta analysis of 18 studies showed a high level of antioxidant intake .
The antioxidants found in butternut squash may also have a protective against cognitive decline. A 13-year study evaluated the association between a carotenoid-rich diet and cognitive performance. A correlation was found between consumption of orange fruits and vegetables, and the preservation of cognitive function during aging.
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This fall favorite is also linked to reducing risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation. Research has shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of carotenoids may help against cardiovascular risk factors such as markers of inflammation, high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity.
A cup butternut squash also provides 582 mg of potassium, more than you would find in a banana. The recommended daily intake for potassium is currently 4,700 mg/day. Meanwhile, the typical American diet tends to be high in sodium and low potassium. Consuming high amounts of sodium and low amounts of potassium can increase risk of heart disease and stroke. By increasing potassium intake can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering blood pressure.
As with everything, butternut squash should be consumed in moderation.
More Fall Inspired Keto Recipes
If you want even more low carb/keto recipes youve come to the right place. Our blog is full of high fat recipes with super low carb counts! Check out some of our favorite low net carb recipes:
These are just a few of the many keto friendly recipes we have on our blog. Try all our low carb recipes to find your favorites. Unless they all become your favorites Then youll have a tough decision to make
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How To Make Paleo Butternut Squash Soup Low Carb
If you check the keto food list, youll notice that butternut squash is not included there. This is because, in general, its a fairly starchy vegetable one cup has about 13 grams net carbs. So, its not usually suitable for keto lifestyle on its own.
The good news is, butternut squash can fit into keto and low carb diets in certain instances. In part, it will depend on your personal carb restrictions, as well as what else is in your prepared dish.
And, low carb butternut squash soup is one of the easiest ways to enjoy butternut squash on a low carb diet. Basically, its manageable if you make the soup thin enough. You dont get that thick texture of some other paleo butternut squash soup recipes not aiming to be low carb, but you do get the delicious fall flavor of butternut squash.
All of this being said, this whole30 butternut squash soup is not the lowest carb soup you can have. If you want a super low carb keto soup, try one of my other keto soup recipes, like broccoli cheese soup or beef cabbage soup.
But if youre really missing butternut squash and want to enjoy some autumn flavors, try eating some extra low carb foods the rest of the day and squeeze in this delicious low carb butternut squash soup.
Still want a thick butternut squash soup? You can. Try these ways to thicken it
How Do I Cut A Butternut Squash
Ah, cutting butternut squash can be such a pain! If you’re near a Trader Joe’s I would highly suggest picking up a package of their pre-cut butternut squash for ease.
If you would rather buy the whole squash here’s how you cut it:
Yeah, see why we opt for pre-cut squash? Ha!
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May Reduce Risk Of Some Cancers
The vitamin A in butternut squash may also play a role in the prevention of certain cancers. The vitamin is important for regulating cell growth and differentiation. Some studies have examined the association between beta carotene and a lower risk for prostate and lung cancers.
For example, the relationship between beta carotene and lung cancer in people who smoke has been studied with mixed results. And there is some evidence that higher vitamin A intake may lead to a lower risk of prostate cancer. However, the relationship between vitamin A and cancer risk is still unclear, and there is a possibility that taking too much vitamin A may be detrimental.
Potential Keto Disadvantages Of Butternut Squash
Butternut squash has higher amounts of carbs, and this will mean measuring out the necessary macros if you want to include it in your diet.
We always recommend always moderation!
Apart from a high concentration of carbs, here are a few other side effects that come with consuming butternut squash.
Among these we count:
- Stomach irritation
- Allergic reaction on your skin that can lead to dermatitis when peeling or cutting the squash rare but possible outcome
Whenever possible we suggest you wear gloves if you know you have sensitive skin, but still want to prepare butternut squash.
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Risks And Side Effects
As with any food product, butternut squash is known to occasionally cause an allergic reaction. The reactions are generally minimal and limited to contact dermatitis or mild swelling around the hands or mouth.
One common reaction that people experience when peeling raw butternut squash is a drying and peeling of the skin of the hands. This is not actually dermatitis or any other allergy rather the squashs natural defense mechanism at work. Before it ripens, the internal sap of the butternut squash repairs external damage done to it, such as a bite from an animal or other physical puncture.
If you peel butternut squash before its fully ripe and experience this, you need to thoroughly wash your hands and use an extra-strength moisturizing lotion. Most likely, a thin layer of skin will peel from the affected portions of your hands, leaving pink, fresh skin behind.
To avoid drying your hands out, you should only prepare fully ripened squash. If you arent sure if your butternut squash has ripened fully, consider wearing a pair of gloves while peeling and prepping your squash for cooking.
How Many Carbs Are In Butternut Squash
A 100 gram serving of cooked Butternut Squash contains 10 grams of net carbs. While this is fairly high in carbs, it has a low glycemic index. You can probably get away with having a small serving of squash on Keto, as long as you make it part of a larger meal consisting of low carb veggies, a serving of meat and healthy fat.
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How To Make Keto Butternut Squash Soup
Heat 3 tbsp of butter in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the celery, butternut squash, cauliflower, garlic, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and fry on a medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and simmer for about 10 15 minutes or until the butternut squash is soft.
Transfer to a blender and blitz in a food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Top the soup with olive oil and optional cracked black pepper, fresh thyme and a swirl of cream .
Is Butternut Squash A Complex Carbohydrate
Carbohydrates seem to fall in and out of favor depending on the diet trend of the season. As a source of energy, most health care professionals agree that carbohydrates are an important part of any good diet plan, but not all carbs make healthy choices. Most of the carbs in your diet should come from complex carbs, like those found in butternut squash.
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Healthy Ways To Serve Winter Squash
Acorn and butternut squash and pumpkin are delicious paired with sweeter spicessuch as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspiceand roasted in the oven. For a savory take, try cumin, garlic powder, and a pinch of cayenne or rosemary and thyme. The recipes below offer a savory and a sweet take on winter squash.
Puréed butternut squash is very versatile. Cut the squash into cubes and steam it, then purée the flesh in a blender, a food processor, or an immersion blender. You can mix the puréed squash into sauces, soups, and even smoothies. Consider blending it with apples, a nut butter, a plant milk, and cinnamon. You can also blend some into mac and cheese. It adds a creamy texture and numerous nutrients, but children are unlikely to notice or taste it.
Spaghetti squash noodles can be turned into a main course replacing pasta. Soften the spaghetti squash in the microwave, then slice in half and bake for about 40 minutes before using the tines of a fork to scrape out the flesh into strands. You can top the spaghetti squash with and serve in the bowl that remains after you scoop the flesh out of the halved squash. Or you can serve it with garlic and olive oil, or tossed with sautéed kale and chickpeas.
Lowering And Preventing High Blood Pressure
To maintain a healthy blood pressure, getting enough potassium in the diet is as important as lowering sodium intake.
The World Health Organization recommend a daily potassium intake of at least 3,510 mg for adults, while the American Heart Association and the Institute of Medicine and recommend 4700 mg per day.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , most American adults consume too much sodium and too little potassium. Fewer than of adults in the United States consume the daily recommended amount of potassium.
A high potassium intake is also associated with a from all types of stroke and cardiovascular disease, and other causes of mortality.
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When it comes to the ketogenic diet, higher-carb veggies could derail your keto macros and kick you out of ketosis.
Because of its net carb count, you may assume that you have to avoid butternut squash dishes. But dont delete all those squash recipes from your keto meal plan just yet. You might be able to use this nutritious winter squash in your favorite keto recipes after all.
A quick look at the nutrition information and youll find that butternut squash provides a rich array of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and dietary fiber.
So does this somewhat starchy gourd deserve a place in your keto lifestyle? Read on to learn more about the benefits of butternut squash, its total carb count, and how it may, in fact, work in your low-carb diet.
Butternut Squash Nutrition Facts
Below is the nutritional information on 100 grams of butternut squash. Keep in mind that the nutrition facts may vary due to differences in preparation, as well as if there are other ingredients added. For this reason, we have added the nutritional information of raw, baked, and boiled products.
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How To Cut Winter Squash
Unlike summer squash, winter squash has really hard, inedible skin and the insides are firm, not fleshy. This makes them a lot trickier to prepare. If the fear of slicing your fingers off while hacking through a winter squash gives you pause, try these easy tricks.
First, make sure the surface you are cutting on is stable. To prevent the cutting board from sliding around as you cut, place a damp towel underneath it first.
Use the largest knife you have, avoiding serrated bread knifes. You want to slice through the squash, not saw it. Ideally, a sharp chefs knife with at least an eight-inch blade will work for most squash varieties. Trim the stem and the root ends off first, removing the toughest parts of the squash and creating a flat side that you can place on the cutting board for effortless slicing. Because of their oblong shapes, you want to stabilize the squash as much as possible before cutting in half.
Once your squash is prepped, cut vertically, not horizontally. This will allow you to have fewer cuts through the squash and therefore fewer opportunities to cut yourself. If the knife gets stuck, use a mallet to tap the handle of the knife to continue to push it down and through.
If you still find the squash flesh too difficult to cut through, pop it in the microwave first. Zapping it for 3-5 minutes will soften the flesh, allowing your knife to pierce through easier.
Carbs In Butternut Squash Soup
What about the butternut squash carb count when its pureed into a soup? Sadly, its higher.
A cup of store-bought butternut squash soup can contain added sugar, flour, or other starchy veggies like carrots that bump up the net carb count. A cup of soup like this can cost you up to 20 grams of net carbs.
If you make your own butternut squash soup, though, you can make it much more keto friendly. It does come out thinner than the traditional kind, but if you want a thicker soup, try adding some cauliflower you wont taste it after pureeing into the soup.
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Storage And Food Safety
Place your squash in a cool dark place, such as a pantry, for up to a month. Do not refrigerate uncooked squash. However, if you peel or prepare butternut squash, it should be refrigerated, and should last for 5 to 7 days.
You can freeze butternut squash after it has been peeled. Simply cube or slice the raw squash and place in air-tight freezer bags for up to a year. You can also freeze cooked squash.
You can also eat it raw, but cooking the squash softens the flesh, making it easier to consume and digest. And because squash takes on many different flavors, it is tastier when cooked. Some people wonder if they can also eat the skin of the squash, but it is better not to eat the skin, as it is hard and unpleasant.
What Are Some Keto Health Benefits Of Butternut Squash
Aside from its low caloric intake, butternut squash has other health benefits due to its nutrient loaded composition.
Many opt to use butternut squash for these highly beneficial health advantages, but also for its delicious flavor.
Butternut squash is a great source of a plethora of nutrients including:
- Vitamin A implicitly involved in organ function, promoting healthy eyesight
- B-vitamins thiamine and pyridoxine turns nutrients in the body into energy
- Calcium for bone health
- Potassium to maintain adequate levels of fluids inside the bodys cells
- Magnesium for the proper function of nerves and muscles as well as producing energy
- Manganese aids in developing connective tissue, blood clotting factors, and bones
- Vitamin C the all-praised vitamin, beneficial in repairing all body tissues, and fights neurodegenerative diseases linked with oxidative stress.
There is no shortage in nutrients for butternut squash and many are promoted to have some health benefit in the works.
Butternut squash contains carotenoids such as beta and alpha carotene, which give it a bright orange color.
Even more so!
Carotenoids have antioxidant properties and this means they reduce disease risks for cancer and eye problems.
Another antioxidant present in butternut squash is polysaccharide, and this can greatly reduce free radicals from the body.
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